Friday, August 29, 2008

Last nights dinner: Modified Lentil Chili

So guess what, I have still yet to go to the grocery store! Can you say procrastinate?! haha So once again I have ran to the pantry and and came up with something to eat. I used the lentil chili recipe as a reference of sort, I did not by any means follow it to a T. That recipe is here: I also have a bad habit of not measuring a lot of things, so I will do my best to estimate the amounts I used.


1/2 lbs lentils (about 1-1/4 cups)
8 cups of water (estimate)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp onion powder
6 beef bouillon cubes
6-10 small-medium tomatoes (diced)
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp cumin
dash ground red pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lbs hamburger
1/2 - 1 cup potato flakes (estimate)

First you want to prepare your tomatoes. Some like to scrap the seeds out, I am not one of those people, I think the seeds and juice are the best part! Anyway, get your tomatoes diced and put your lentils on to boil in about 4 cups of water (I put enough water so that where was a bunch of water swimming over the lentils) and add the bouillon cubes. Once the water is boiling, reduce heat and let them simmer for 30 min. Instructions from the above website:
"Place the lentils and the water in a large pot. Put the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the lentils are simmering gently. Cook for 30 minutes. Do not add the other ingredients until after the lentils have cooked. If the lentils begin to get dry, or if their water boils away then add more water. You want the lentils to remain juicy while they cook".

While your lentils are simmering, brown your hamburger. Make sure you break it up while it is still pink and continue to break it up while it is browning. This way you can have itty bitty pieces of hamburger that doesn't crowd the spoon while your eating.
When the lentils are finished you can add all the other ingredients, including the extra water if needed. That is really up to you, see I just added about 2 cups I think, until it was swimming again.
Allow this to simmer as long as you like. The longer you let it simmer, the more the flavors mix, but be careful because you can simmer all the liquid out of it. I let mine simmer about an hour, then added some potato flakes until it was as thick as I wanted it to be. If you like soupy chili you might want to omit the potato flakes. I then let this cook about 10-15 min longer. This served a small bowl (1 ladel) to my toddler, 4 bowls that held about 3 ladles worth, and 1 two ladle bowl for lunch the next day.

Well, really I have none. I added pretty much all my notes to the instructions since it was such a such a hybrid recipe. But then again, most of my recipes are strange hybrid of other recipes or just what I have in my cabinets close to shopping day!
I will add that you can make any modifications you like. I have found that most chili recipes are just a bunch of random ingredients thrown together with the same bases: beans, beef stock, ground meat, tomatoes, and chili powder. Explore your tastes and have fun with it!
Any even though this may not be the healthiest recipe you will read today, it is homemade, so you know what it in it!

3 lentils out of 5

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