20 August 2009

Meatless Cincinnati Chili

You will need: 16 oz. brown lentils, (1) 15-oz can tomato sauce, 2 cans vegetable broth (or beef broth), 2 bay leaves, 2 t (minimum) cinnamon, 1/4 cup chili powder, 1 t cumin, 2 whole cloves (or 1/4 t ground), 2 whole allspice (or 1/4 t ground), 2 t (or a little more) Dutch-process cocoa, 2 T vinegar (or a little less, to taste) (I generally use at least 3 t cinnamon; taste the sauce as it simmers and adjust the seasonings as necessary)

Put the broth in a pan, bring to boil and add lentils. Reduce heat; stir in the other ingredients and simmer at least an hour and a half, checking often and adding more broth or water if necessary so lentils don't get dry.

This is served over spaghetti, with chopped fresh onion and grated cheddar cheese on top.

Note: If you love Cincinnati Chili but absolutely hate lentils, you can still make the chili healthier by using ground turkey rather than ground beef, or you could use soy crumbles (meatless ground beef). I like the lentil version very much and even a couple of my kids liked it.

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