Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Lentil Chili Nachos

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lentil Chili Nachos

This was a really good dinner. I had something like this when I was in DC after graduating from college last year and the chili was way too flavorful and salty, but I loved the idea of a lentil chili nacho. Not only was this delicious, aside from the chips (which aren’t too bad), this was a very healthy, and easy to make meal.

Note: This makes a lot of chili, a lot. After I had filled our plates, I froze a quart, and put the other half quart of chili in the fridge for lunches this week. If you don’t like leftovers, you can always cut the recipe in half. It may also seem like there are a lot of hot peppers in here - this chili is not spicy at all (this was confirmed by Brett who is not a spice freak like me), however, if you are very sensitive or cooking for children, you might want to omit one of the jalapenos and the habanero.

This was Brett's plate topped with guacamole, olives, tomatoes and jalapenos.

This was my plate topped with guacamole, jalapenos, red onions, olives and tomatoes.

Lentil Chili Nachos

Lentil Chili:
2 cups dried green lentils
6-8 cups water

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapenos, minced
1 habanero, minced
1/4 red onion, minced
1/2 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1-2 cans no-salt added tomato sauce (depending on how thick you want your chili)
chili powder
a couple large pinches chipotle chili powder
ground coriander
Mexican oregano

Toppings (this is what we used - you can top it with whatever you want):
black olives
diced onions

blue corn chips

Wash lentils well in a wire mesh strainer. Combine with water in a large pan, bring to a boil, and cook until lentils soft, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the rest of the veggies. Heat a few tablespoons of water in a medium pan and cook the peppers, garlic, and onions until soft.

Once lentils are done, drain and rinse them. Transfer them to a large pot. Add the cooked veggies, tomatoes with chilies and tomato sauce. Add seasonings to your liking.

Keep on low heat and simmer for about an hour.

While the chili is simmering, it is the perfect time to get your toppings prepped.

Once chili is done, make a large ring of chips around a plate. In the center, layer the chili, whatever veggies you desire, and guacamole.

Having the ring of tortillas and dip in the center keeps the chips from getting soggy.

'Til next time!


Kumquat Peekapoo said...

Mmmmm! Sounds and looks great!

Vegyogini said...

If only we lived closer to each other, we could have vegan parties with guitar playing and singing! I think it's time for you and Brett to relocate to California. ;) Lentil chili sounds so good!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

The blue nachos looks so beautiful! I wish I could find some in Germany... And the lentil chili is a great idea, lentils are such a nice comforting food.

Lizzy said...

Mhhh, this looks fantastic! Too bad I'm out of most of the required ingredients. I recently found blue corn chips and was very excited because when I first saw them on some blog I thought they were some sick new american chemical food invention(but then again WHY would vegans eat them, I wondered) ha ha, because I had never ever seen them before. I had no idea there even was blue corn. Oh well, I learned ;)

ChickPea said...

Mmmm lentils! I love 'em! I actually just had some for lunch. This looks like a good new way to use them though, especially since I typically use black beans or kidney beans in my chilis.

PS Blue corn chips are way better than yellow!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Haha, more Mexican food! I love it!

Anonymous said...

I love lentils...what a great idea! It sounds like it would make a nice topping for a taco salad too...


Alison Nicole said...

What an amazing idea to use lentils in chili! I love lentils. This recipe proves how versatile they can be! Yum!

Happy Herbivore! said...

I knew this was coming... but I have to say Jennifer, you took it to another level. I mean .. its even better than I could have imagined! You rule the Mexican food!

Anonymous said...

mmm! that looks fabulous! i think i will get some avocados on the way home from work tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

You should open a mexican restaurant. You are just amazing!!

Ruby Red Vegan said...

okay, so you really need to come to texas and show 'em how to do mexican vegan-style! i would do three backflips from excitement if i could go out to eat at a mexican place and get vegan lentil chili nachos. this recipe looks so awesome!

when i go back home to texas for the summer, i'm just going to have to pull up all your recipes and just cook up some big mexican feasts for my family!

Calimaryn said...

Looks lovely! I will have to give this lentil chili a try!

Jennifer said...

Kumquat Peekapoo - Thanks!

Vegyogini - I agree! Would be lots of fun and I've been wanting to get a mandolin or fiddle, so I could bring the Midwest with me in the form of bluegrass! I was born in Ventura, California, and I've always been convinced that I would end up back in CA at some point.

Alice - I love your name! You can't find blue corn chips?!?! I'm sorry! They are wonderful. These would still be good with regular yellow or white corn tortilla chips though (I would suggest white personally). Thanks, lentils are really good, but I'm so uncreative with them!

Lizzy - Thanks! Hahahahaha! I might have thought that too if I were you. We Americans come up with some crazy food like products. It's pretty interesting to go to the grocery store here and venture through the center aisles (which we hardly do), some of the stuff they come up with!

Chickpea - Lentils ARE a nice change up to traditional chili. I agree blue corn rocks.

Chocolate Covered - I have to stick with my roots, eh?

Courtney - Thanks. Great idea with the taco salad. I think I know what I'll be doing with the frozen leftovers now! Thanks for the idea!

Alison Nichole - I find that I like to 'push the limits' of what an ingredient can be used for. Lentils just seem perfect for chili. You should try it, it's super good.

Happy Herbivore - Thanks! That means a lot coming from a cook as good as yourself.

Stonielove - Avocados are my soul-mate (well aside from Brett of course, and hot peppers....)

Romina - Hahaha! Thanks. We could call the restaurant 'The Missourian Does Mexican' - wait, that might sound dirty, not sure...... :-)

Ruby Red - I grew up on Mexican food! my mom loves it and a lot of my family lives in Texas (currently Houston and McKinney).

Most Mexican food is VERY UNVEGAN, or even vegetarian for that matter. I'm just trying to show how much BETTER Mexican food is when it's done vegan. Hahaha.

I hope your family enjoys anything you might try.

Calimaryn - Oooh, do let me know what you thought if you try it. The only person that I'm aware of that has tried any of my recipes has been Happy Herbivore. I'm always nervous when someone tries one of my creations. What if I was crazy to think it tasted good?!

Alice (in Veganland) said...

Lizzy gave me a hint on where to find blue nachos! I need to learn from you because I'm the worst with mexican food: I love it but have no idea how to cook it at all.
Thanks for your advice in my post about affordable vegan food!

Jennifer said...

Alice - Awesome! I hope you can find them.

If you ever need any help with your journey to veganism or especially cooking Mexican, feel free to email any questions you have to me, I have no problem helping. Especially when that means there will be more vegans, and more importantly, more vegans who cook Mexican food. ;-)

Kumquat Peekapoo said...

Jennifer, thank you so much for your nice comments on my blog today!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Won't you please come and serve up your lentil chili here in Texas?

Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my blog! When I first went vegan I felt pretty isolated until I found blogging and this local vegan society that i am now treasurer of. Definitely get one started in Columbia if there isn't one already! Vegan outreach makes you feel soooo good inside. Oh, and definitely if you need some restaurant tips for houston, feel free to drop me an email aiellison26 at yahoo dot com

pleasantly plump vegan said...

this sounds really, really great.

Christina said...

Hi, I found a comment of yours in on Cookie Mouse-- I'm a vegan in CoMo, and I'm also a Nook volunteer, so I thought I'd say hi! Great blog!!

Anonymous said...

OMG we dont have tortilla chips like that in Aussie land!!
But this seriously made me crave nachos ^^

Jennifer said...

Kumquat - Not a problem. I was really excited to see that you countered someone who was trying to be rude.

Vegan_Noodle - Hahahaha! Next time I'm there, maybe I will come armed with chili. ;-)

No problem, I think what you are doing is awesome. I felt pretty isolated too until I started this blog, and I just noticed a commenter below who is a vegan and lives in Columbia, what a small world!

Pleasantly - Thanks!

Christina - Hello! A fellow CoMo vegan! What a small world. And to think you found my blog through someone from Amsterdam. Haha! I used to volunteer at the Nook before I graduated from college and got a full-time job. I miss the Nook, I don't get to be around as much as I used to now. Maybe I'll get to meet you sometime (if I haven't already and just didn't know it).

Bean_Mix - Oh no! White or yellow corn chips would work too. Nachos rock, especially half ass healthy ones.

Bianca said...

That's a great idea! I LOVE nachos, probably one of my all-time favorite foods. And I've never used lentils in chili....I'm going to try this. Love it!

BTW, the cookbook is totally a work in progress. I'm hoping to develop at least 100-150 more recipes before it's done. I have about 100 now. Then I gotta find a publisher. But I will definitely let everybody know on my blog when that happens. I'm sure I'll be on top of the world when I find a publisher!

Anonymous said...

this looks scrumptious! I *so* miss blue corn chips! Very scarce commodity here in France... :( luckily, lentils are plentiful, so I can still make the chili!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm...nachos! Looks so good!

Jennifer said...

Bianca - I hope you like it! Both Brett and I agree that, as with any chili, it's better the next day.

Awesome! I wish you much luck with the cookbook, keep us posted!

Shellyfish - Aw! I'm so saddened by the fact that Europeans have trouble getting these things! You could always use yellow or white corn tortilla chips as well!

Tina - Thanks!

Rural Vegan said...

I love the blue corn tortilla chips - they manage to make nachos look elaborate and swanky. Topping them with chili is even better!

Veggie said...

This recipe looks great, i've often though of making lentil chili, but then making it into nachos is such a great idea.