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March 4, 2010

French Lentil Chili

W wanted something warm tonight, so I came up with a French Lentil Chili. Lentils are low in fat and high in protein and fiber. The good news is, they cook quickly. Lentils have a mild and earthy flavor, and are best cooked with strong flavorings.  French green lentils are sort of peppery and hold their shape rather well. They don't get mushy like most other lentils.

Always rinse lentils and pick out stones and other debris. There's no need to soak them. Store lentils  in a cool, dry place. 
French Lentil Chili
Ingredients:
4 carrots
1 large onion
1 tomato
1 stalk of celery
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2  tsp sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2  cups French green lentils
3  cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup  water
2  Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp chili paste (optional)
1/2  each, red, yellow, orange or green peppers
3/4  cup mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2  tsp cumin
1/4  tsp  cayenne pepper to taste

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Cut carrots, onions,tomato,celery, and peppers into 1 large chunks. 
  3. Toss in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of oil and a dash of salt and pepper. 
  4. Spread on a baking sheet. Roast the vegetables for about an hour, or until they are soft and
  5. browned, stirring and turning during the roasting. 
  6. Let them cool and then chop them into smaller course chunks..
  7. Combine washed green lentils in a large soup pot with 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still firm.
  8. Drain the lentils. Add the chopped roasted vegetables, vegetable broth, and other  ingredients to the lentils.
  9. Simmer for about 30 minutes and adjust the seasoning as needed. Remove the stew from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil, and serve over spiralized zucchini or rice.
  10. Garnish with parsley or rosemary and slivers of avocado slices.

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