I hardly ever make chili. Mostly because my family has never been big on chili. Especially my younger siblings. In fact, the mere suggestion of chili for dinner has usually always rewarded me with a song about magical fruit.
Yeah, it’s just never been our thing…until now. Not only did I make chili for dinner recently but everyone wanted it again less than a week later.
The most surprising part of that is that my 5-year-old sister may be my chili’s biggest fan. She actually got excited about dinner that night. That is so unusual you guys. My youngest brother and sister pretty much consider dinner a bad word and have been known to hide in an attempt to avoid eating it. Are all kids this way? Getting nutrition into them seems impossible sometimes.
My point is that this chili was really good. It’s even better with cornbread. In my house we all put the cornbread into the chili and it becomes a super thick bowl of savory sweet goodness.
I know that lentils aren’t the most common ingredient in chili and I don’t get why. They are so good in it and they are less noticable to the kids than beans. I love using them in recipe.
Oh, and don’t forget about the toppings sour cream, cheddar cheese, and cilantro are my favorite toppings.
- 2 lbs ground beef or pork
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1-2 jalepeno peppers, minced
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
- 2 cups cooked red lentils
- 2 cups cooked black beans
- 2 1/2 tablespoons worchestershire
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregeno
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- shredded cheese, cilantro, and sour cream for serving (optional)
- Brown meat in a skillet over medium heat. Drain and set aside. Add oil, onion, garlic, and peppers to skillet and cook until softened.
- Combine all other ingredients in a large pot with 2 cups of water. Add sauteed veggies and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add meat. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes to 1 hour until thickened. Add about 1/2 cup water if it gets too thick.
- Serve hot topped with sour cream, cilantro, and shredded cheese.