Sweet and Smokey Lentil Chili

IMG_1349My dad won an award once for his chili recipe, and I basically copycatted it with two major alterations. First, I used lentils instead of ground beef and sausage, and second, I added a secret ingredient–sweet potato! The idea was to reduce the amount of tomato sauce needed so the chili would be less acidic, but it also has the added benefit of giving a subtle sweetness to this chili that complements really well with the smokey paprika and the warmth of the cumin. This recipe was fantastic! And except for the cheese on top, it’s vegan.

Ingredient:

-2 c. red lentils

-1 can tomato paste

-1 small/medium sweet potato, baked

-1 can southwest chili beans

-3 cloves garlic

-1 tbsp onion powder

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-1 tbsp cumin

-1 1/2 tsp. paprika

-1/2 tsp. ceyenne

-1 1/2 tsp chili powder

-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

-1 tsp oregano

-1 1/2 tsp salt

-dash of black pepper

-2 tbsp butter or oil

 

Directions:

Melt butter (or oil) in the bottom of a pot. Mince garlic and sauté in the butter for one minute. Add the can of southwest chili beans with sauce and the tomato paste. Puree sweet potato in a blender with a cup and a half of water, then pour that into the pot. Add in all of the seasonings. Add 4 or 5 cups of water and the lentils. Cook on medium low for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the lentils are fully cooked. Add some cheese and sour cream, and enjoy!

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