The man of the (female-dominated) house did not find lentils too palatable the last time I made them. So we had a big bag of lentils hanging around the house that were collecting dust… and this turned out to be a sneaky way to make them again! So delicious that it can turn anyone into a lentil-lover.
1 bell pepper, chopped (we used a yellow bell pepper, any color will do)
*1 tbsp chili flakes
*1 tsp garlic powder
*1 tsp paprika
*1/2 tsp salt
*2 tiny cans of tomato paste (if in Holland– the Euroshopper kind of 0.07€/can!), about 1/2 cup in total
*1/4 cup ketchup
*2 tbsp syrup
*1 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup water
*1 vegetable bouillon, crushed
You can omit everything with a * and replace with 1 cup of barbecue sauce if you are in a time or ingredient crunch… or are afraid of too many ingredients (like my mother).
Start by cooking the lentils. Put the lentils and water in a pot, bring to a low boil, then reduce to a simmer. They should cook for about 30 minutes or so, or until they get to be a little tender. (We will finish them off in the sauce, so they don’t need to be completely done.)
Sauté onions in oil until they get translucent. Then add bell peppers. Sauté until peppers begin to get soft.
Then add in the chili flakes, garlic powder, paprika and salt. Toss.
Add in the tomato paste, ketchup, soy sauce & syrup.
Take your mostly-cooked lentils and add to the sauce. Add in the water and the crushed vegetable bouillon.
Let the lentils simmer until the water has been absorbed and the lentils stick together in the barbecue sauce. If lentils are too hard still, then add a bit more water. You are done when the lentils are cooked to your liking, and everything is sticking together!
I had the worst craving for veggie chili a few days back, and thus the many-bean chili was born. This makes enough for about 6 hungry adults. Any leftovers can be frozen and heated up as desired!
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 medium-sized onions, chopped
4 bell peppers (any color will do, an assortment is nice), chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp chili flakes (add a bit less if you’re afraid of spicy food, and more if you love it!)
2 vegetable bouillons, crushed
1 tbsp cumin
4 cans of beans– your choice! In this chili we used 2 cans of brown beans (very cheap in Holland), 1 can of black beans, and 1 can of kidney beans; strained and rinsed
4-5 large tomatoes, chopped and de-seeded
1 cup water
700g tomato passata (or just plain tomato sauce)
Sauté onion in the oil in a big pot. Add in the garlic, then the bell peppers, and sauté until the onions begin to get a little translucent.
Add in the chili flakes, crushed bouillon, and cumin. Toss.
Add in the rinsed beans, then tomatoes. Toss again. Finally add in the tomato passata and water and mix well.
Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat and simmer for as long as you can wait. (At least 30 minutes.) Stir occasionally.
Can be served on its own, or with rice, cornbread, or couscous! We served it with couscous and it turned out well. We stuck the leftover couscous in the chili and let it all absorb, and it was delicious on day 2!