Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Best Lentil and Bean Chili Ever!

My friend Staci mentioned the other day that she's tired of making the same old flavor-packet chili, and I told her I have a recipe for a wonderful home-made chili.

This is actually from the Magic Foods for Better Blood Sugar book that my mom got for me right after I learned I have type 2 diabetes. You can read more about the book here.

It became my diabetes bible, with wonderful information about lowering your blood sugar with healthy eating, and a ton of delicious recipes that have become favorites with my family.

You can order this wonderful book on

This chili uses lentil beans (which are fantastic for your blood sugar) and dark red kidney beans. My family members rave about how delicious it is!

You can garnish the chili as you please with diced avocado, grated cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, and sour cream (reduced-fat if you wish.)

The original recipe does NOT call for meat of any kind. I usually add a pound of very lean ground beef or ground turkey breast, just because my husband prefers chili with meat...but if you want to leave it vegetarian, I'm sure it would be just as good.

By the way, I could not find this recipe online, so it shows how much I love all of you that I'm typing it out! :)

I'm giving you the vegetarian version--if you want to add ground beef or ground turkey, brown it separately, drain it, and add it to the pot when you're simmering your onions and carrots.

Lentil and Bean Chili

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 cup diced carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 teaspoons chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 cans (10 ounces each)diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 cans (15 or 19 ounces each) dark red kidney beans
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots (and meat if you're using it). Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the broth and lentils. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

2. Add the tomotoes, beans, and pepper. Return to a simmer. Cook, covered, over medium low heat until lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes longer. One serving is 1 cup. Left-overs will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Nutritional facts for the chili WITHOUT meat:
199 calories, 12 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber, 3 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 691 mg sodium

*photo source
*photo source


Debbie said...

This looks good and ...healthy. I'll bet it would be good in the crockpot too.

Blessings and love,

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning Cindy! THis is the way to eat always! I love beans and they provide so much nutrition without a ton of calories or spike in sugar levels. BON AP√ČTIT!! Anita

Cindy Swanson said...

Thanks for the kind words, Anita! And Debbie...yes, it's very good in the crockpot; I've made it that way several times.

Maureen said...

I made this today & it was yummy, is it ok to freeze?

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