Vegetarian Chili

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I have never really used a recipe for chili – it’s always been a ‘throw whatever you’ve got in the pot’ kind of affair. This, however, is the skeleton of our vegetarian chili. I can’t remember the last time we used meat in our chili, and really, I don’t know why we would when we have this option. It is hearty, delicious, and full of fibre. This is comfort cooking made for an evening of cozying up inside – away from the cold and the accumulating snow banks. Maybe you’re all chili’d out with the football event of yesterday…but if not – go nuts.

Don’t skip the toppings. Or the chips.
Ingredients
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1-2 jalapeño peppers, finely diced *ribs and seeds removed for a milder chili
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1/2 – 1 tsp chili flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 14 oz can 5 bean blend, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup dried lentils
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato purée
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 dashes worchestershire sauce ***omit if true vegetarian.
Toppings
Cheddar cheese, diced avocado, finely diced red onion, chopped cilantro
Tortilla chips

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Instructions
1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and all 3 peppers. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until beginning to soften.
2. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano, chili flakes, garlic and tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
3. Add remaining ingredients (except toppings, obviously). Bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook uncovered for at least 45 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add more liquid if needed, or put the lid on your pot to prevent too much more from evaporating.
4. Dig in.

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