Lentil and Black Bean Chili

Here’s a tasty, filling vegetarian chili recipe I adapted by combining two separate chili recipes.  One recipe featured lentils; the other bulgur. Since my pantry is overflowing with lentils, I chose to take that route.

Lentil and Black Bean Chili – Ready to Eat!

Lentil and Black Bean Chili 
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients for Lentil-Black Bean Chili

1 cup dry (brown or green) lentils, picked through to remove unwanted particles, and rinsed
1 Tbsp. olive oil   
1 cup onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced    
1 to 2 Tbsp. canned Serrano peppers, drained and chopped    (NOTE: poblano, cubanelle, or sweet red peppers can be substituted)
1 Tbsp. chili powder   
1 tsp.  ground cumin   
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. salt, or to taste   
28 oz. canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup yellow corn, fresh, frozen or canned (drained) 
1- 15 1/2 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, or left whole  (optional) 
For serving (optional):  hot sauce, low-fat plain yogurt, and/or fresh lime wedges

1. Place lentils in a large saucepan. Completely cover lentils with water; bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer lentils until they are al dente, about 10-15 minutes. Drain; set aside.
2. In a non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and peppers; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt to skillet and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
 3. Using the large saucepan again, add tomatoes with the liquid, partially-cooked lentils, and onion-seasoning mixture. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until lentils are tender and flavors blend. Stir occasionally. If chili gets too thick, stir in a little water to thin it out.
5. Stir in corn and black beans; simmer, covered, over medium heat; cook an additional 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.
4. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, if using; finish with a squeeze of lime juice.

To serve:  Stir in a few drops of hot sauce, a dollop of low-fat plain yogurt and/or a squeeze of fresh lime juice, if desired.

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