Apparently, I am all about black beans this week.
Didn’t mean to show you two black beans recipes in a row, they just happened. And you know what? I was even thinking about making black bean brownies this week, but I stopped myself because, I don’t know, is that weird? I feel like it’s a little weird so I am kind of skeptical. I mean, can’t I just make my brownies with loads of butter and all the good things that usually go into brownies?
Any thoughts on black bean brownies? I think I am just a bit too much of brownie purest to try them out, but I could be persuaded.
Ok, but let’s talk about serious things. Now that I am in my own place, I am finding the quiet while I cook kind of weird. Well, honestly I haven’t really been alone while cooking, except for on the weekends and even then, I have had workers coming in and out. BUT on the few days that it has been just me, I have been listening to Pandora to break up the quiet (remember I come from a family of nine, plus the “extras”). The thing is I am so tired of hearing the same stuff.
I need music suggestions. Currently I am listening to a lot of Taylor Swift Radio and umm, it is just so not doing it for me. I mean, I love T-swift, but I like a little variety, and when you are in the kitchen cooking for more than six or even eight hours, even Taylor can get old. And since I really haven’t had time to keep up with all the new music out there, I totally need some help. I thought of asking my brothers, but then swayed away from that in fear of what they might suggest. I mean, it could possibly good, but it could also be really bad. You never know with them.
So what do you guys like? I’m pretty open to everything… just not rap. I really cannot handle rap.
Also, music is like a million and one times better than screaming little girls. Just sayin.
Double also, chili loaded with beans and lentils is totally my new favorite! Who knew a vegetarian chili could pack in so much flavor and texture? Not my meat-eating brothers, that is for sure. And yes, they never even tried this. Losers I tell ya… with the exception of Brendan, because he will eat anything. Gotta love having him around!
Anyway, I made this spicy black bean and lentil chili last week while all of my family was still here because I knew that my cousins would eat a bean filled chili. I am not sure who actually had a chance to try it though since we had so many people and so much food in one house at one time. But people did try it and the reviews were good, and um hello, I clearly thought it was awesome.
I added some super fun toppings to mine, but if you are short on time, the chili is delicious solely on its own.
If you do have the time though, I highly recommend making the fries and most definitely the guacamole. It’s the perfect chili topper. Especially if you use the fries to sort of scoop up the chili and then get a little guac on there too. So flippin delicious and totally cold weather appropriate too!
Ok, so what else? The chili is super easy to make and there is a good chance that you’ll have all the ingredients on hand. It’s mostly just some spices, tomatoes, a little broth, lentils and black beans. I always have these foods in my panty, but I’m not sure if this is standard for most, since I try to keep a pretty well stocked pantry. While, I try, but it seems I am ALWAYS out of whatever I need and either running to the store or sending a family member…which may not be happing all that much anymore since I am now out of the family house.
Seriously though, don’t let anything scare you off from this recipe. If you’re short on time, simply make the chili. If you do have some time though, make the fun toppings too. Either way it’s a beyond delicious, cozy winter meal!
OH and extra healthy too! Yahoo!!
Spicy Black Bean and Lentil Chili with Cotija Guacamole + Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 sweet onion diced
- 2 carrots chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne or more or less to your taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 4-5 cups veggie broth
- 2 cups green lentils
- 3 cups cooked black beans drained and rinsed if using canned
- 1 ounce jar spicy marinara sauce 28, I use DeLallo
- 2 ounce cans tomato paste 6
- 1 1/2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce (optional not vegan friendly)
- sharp cheddar cheese for topping
Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries
- 2 inch large sweet potatoes cut into 1/4 wide strips
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
Cotija Guacamole (optional)
- 2 ripe avocados peeled + pitted
- 1 jalapeno seeded + chopped
- the juice of 1 lime
- pinch of cumin
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/3 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (optional not vegan), may sub feta cheese
- salt to taste
In a large heavy pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil, then the onion and carrots. Cook until the onions have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for about another minute. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne and salt. Cook for about two more minutes or until everything is fragrant.
Add the veggie broth (starting with 4 cups), spicy marinara sauce, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the lentils. Crank up the heat to high, bringing the broth to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Add the black beans and cook for about 20 more minutes. Add the extra cup of broth, if needed to thin.
While the chili is cooking, make the fries (if making). Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place cut potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with oil. Add the garlic, chipotle chili powder, salt and pepper. Gently toss with your hands or two spatulas to evenly coat. Spread the fries among two baking sheets in one even layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then flip and bake for 15-20 minutes more at 400 degrees F. You want the sweet potatoes to be crispy, but not burnt.
To make the guacamole, mash the avocados in a medium size bowl (I left mine pretty chunky, but go as chunky or as smooth as you like). Add the cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and fold in the cotija cheese.
Serve the soup in bowls topped with guacamole, sweet potato fries and cheddar cheese.
Now pass the spoons please!