- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
- 3 cups veggie stock
- 2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- ½ cup dry green lentils
- ½ cup dry red lentils
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional)
- ½ red onion, diced
- ½ red onion, diced
- greek yogurt or sour cream
- Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium low heat. Add in olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
- Add in chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir until the spices are evenly coated over the onions.
- Pour in tomatoes, veggie stock, sweet potatoes, lentils, coconut sugar and liquid smoke. Stir the pot well, increase the heat to medium high and bring the pot to a simmer.
- Once simmering reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes - stirring occasionally.
- After 30 minutes, take the chili off heat and stir in the remaining ½ red onion. Pour chili into bowls, and top with diced red onion, greek yogurt, and cornbread (optional.)
- EAT UP.
Every year I think that the holidays are going to be a nice vacation, and then every year it hits me – they aren’t. Not even a little. They’re filled with excessive extroversion (if you ask me), and buying an excessive amount of things, and excessive time in the kitchen, and excessive excessiveness. You go to a million parties, and see a million family members, and eat and eat and eat. (If you’re me.)
I find myself craving simplicity in the midst of it all. I want to hide away from the lights and the presents and find some moments to come back to myself. I crave this simplicity in a mental/spiritual sense, but I also crave this in a physical sense. I get tired (quickly) of the endless brie plates, and cookies, and fancy cocktails. I just want some veggies. Nay, I NEED some veggies.
Let me clarify, when I say I want veggies I don’t mean I want a dumb salad filled with cold green things. It’s too dang cold for that shit. No, I want a big ole pot of plants. So that’s what I put together for myself – lentils for protein, sweet potatoes for carbs, tomatoes and all the other goodies for flavor. This Lentil and Sweet Potato Vegetarian Chili is the biggest and best pot of veg filled deliciousness. And it’s really simple to make. Just throw stuff in a pot and wait.
It satisfies my need for something simple – a cozy bowl of food that fills me up, isn’t any fuss to make, and will last me for a few days. It takes away the stress of figuring out what to eat if I don’t want to eat leftovers. It’s reliable, it’s comforting, it’s exactly what I need during the holidays. Plus, since it’s meatless it won’t weigh you down like a lot of the other things you may or may not consume this week. However, if you didn’t already know lentils have a crazy amount of protein in them. (18 grams per cup!) So it will fill you up, but you won’t feel icky later.
So in the midst of all of the holiday nutzo-ness, take some moments for yourself. Breathe in deeply, listen to the quiet voice of your body, and remember to be thankful for your own skin – your own existence. Things don’t have to be so complicated. Seek some simplicity this holiday. And also eat some dang veggies.