Lentil and Black Bean Chili

Sorry for the long blog absence! Last week I was working crazy hours (well, "crazy" for a non-profit lawyer, anyway) writing a brief that was due yesterday. I cooked last week, but usually forgot to take a picture and ultimately decided it wasn't really worth blogging about anyway.

But I'm back now. And hello, winter weather! I don't know about you guys, but it's officially cold in DC. Not, like, the hypothermia-inducing, can't-go-outdoors-without-20-layers Boston weather that I'm used to, but I definitely wore my winter coat to work this morning. October, I barely knew ye.

Anyway, what better cold weather fare than a hearty vegetarian chili? This one's super healthy and quick. It's nothing that'll blow your mind, but it's just really satisfying and meant to be eaten on a cold night while cuddling on the couch under a blanket watching TV with your significant other and/or dog.

Lentil and Black Bean Chili
  • 1-1/2 cups dried lentils, washed and picked over for stones
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (be generous)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • One large 29-oz (or two small 14-oz) cans fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
  • Two 14-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
Place lentils in a large sauce pan and cover with water by several inches; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are tender but retain a little bite, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, pepper, and garlic, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add chili powder, oregano, cumin, cayenne, and salt; stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and their juice, along with beans. Stir well to combine, then cover skillet and simmer so flavors can blend, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in lentils and cilantro.