Lovin’ the Lentils…and Making Lentil Chili

Hooray for Springtime!! I just had to mention the great weather we’ve had this week because lets face it, it was awesome.

This post is a bit of a walk down memory lane for me.  It takes me across the world and about a year back….to when I was in the Peace Corps in Lesotho.

So getting an appropriate amount of protein was a bit of an issue for me at the beginning. I didn’t have a fridge or anything and wasn’t confident in my ability to NOT get ill from eating the meat in my area (I had heard some stories…). I’m not really an egg person, so that was out. I didn’t have much experience with beans in general…and I had never touched a lentil in my life. But you can only eat so much peanut butter.

Many of my volunteer friends were lentil enthusiasts (it helped that they were cheap and pretty easy to find) so I decided to give’em a shot. I decided to try my hand at lentil chili. I feel like most of the “get togethers” we had as volunteers for my first year involved chili lol…its cheap to make, tasty, and you can make a TON of it. Plus its one of those dishes that you have to try pretty hard to ruin. So I made the lentil chili, loved it, and made it what feels like half a dozen times before coming home to America.

So I figured what better an adventure for my crockpot Crocket to embark on than an old fave. Plus, if you’re like me a year ago, this is a GREAT way to build your friendship with lentils. Its super hassle free, and will kill at parties (especially if you whip up some corn bread to go with it!)

I don’t use a recipe for it, but here’s a basic outline for what will fill up a 5.5 qt crockpot.

2 peppers (I used one green and one yellow)
1 onion (I LOVE onion so I used a whole large one)
3 carrots (mine were small)
1 small can of corn (Green Giant Mexicorn is great and healthy)
2 cans red kidney beans (I think they’re like 15 oz each)
3 cans tomates (diced works well)
garlic–I use TONS of garlic because I love it, you can do it to taste
1-1.5 cups red lentils
spices (I like Old El Paso Chili or Taco Seasoning; or chili powder, cumin, pepper, etc.)
Tomato paste (maybe like 3 Tbs…its sort of optional…I should know since I forgot to add it!)

You just toss it all in the crockpot, stir, and go about your business. It makes about 10 servings of 1 cup each. I like to cut my veggies big so that the chili is even heartier. Here’s a pick of what my veggies looked like.
Chopped up veggies

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