I think weeknight meal planning is one of the greatest challenges modern households face. You may have nothing specific on your calendar for an evening, but then you stay long at work, or traffic is terrible, or you go for happy hour and you get home and all of the sudden, you realize you have no plan for dinner and you are starving. We live a couple of hundred feet from a neighborhood taqueria and let me tell you, it tempts me more than I should probably eat those giant, delicious burritos. *Homer Simpson voice* Mmmm, burritos..
But buying fast food every day is neither budget-friendly nor healthy, and the better solution is for us to think ahead about delicious and healthy options that can be made ahead and are versatile. Bonus points if they are vegetarian, vegan, and/or gluten free like this one!
That was the thinking when I created this spicy vegan chili. Not only is it great on its own, but I have two fun ways to use the leftovers coming for you later in the week. The recipe here makes about four servings of soup — buuuut the other two ways to use the chili involve using part of a serving. And of course, you can always batch it! This will freeze well.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s vegan? Both this recipe and the two remixes are all vegan, but there’s nothing stopping you from throwing some cheese or sour cream on top and/or adding some ground beef or sausage to the chili. That’s one of my favorite things about this type of food… it’s endlessly customizable.
After a couple of very busy weeks, we are excited to be back in the saddle of making healthy dinners together. This chili was such a great start!
- 2 Tbsp. your favorite saute oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 serrano chile, minced
- 1 cup cubed sweet potatoes
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo, roughly chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- Topping suggestions: avocado, sour cream, cilantro, green onion, sliced radish, toasted pumpkin seeds, and more !
- Heat the saute oil in a Dutch oven, and saute the onion, peppers (except the chipotle chile), salt and sweet potatoes until softened. Add in the lentils and toast for a few minutes, stirring frequently
- Next, add the tomatoes, chipotle chile, and vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked but not mushy. Season to taste with salt and serve with your favorite toppings!