Best Ever Fall Chili

Doesn’t Everyone Love Chili? WE DO! And this is the perfect weekend for a steaming hot bowl of slightly spicy, rich and warming chili! This is a little different than the same old “pot of red”. Its full of good for you ingredients, and the zingy taste of sweet potatoes and black beans.

We use orange, (red), lentils in this chili, an ingredient which may be new to you. Use Orange Lentils whenever you are making a creamy dish, as they are much softer when cooked, than green, black or brown lentils. We love lentils in the healthy kitchen, they are tiny powerhouses of flavor AND nutrition. Not only are they are super source of fiber lowering cholesterol – the same fiber helps regulate blood sugar! In a study lentils also provide significant amounts of folate and magnesium – perfect nutrition for a healthy heart! (February is HEART HEALTH month, too!)

We’ve added turmeric to our chili to further ramp up the good-for-you factor in this yummy soup. Turmeric is our go to powerhouse spice in the kitchen. Whenever we cook, we try and put this in it because of the curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric). Curcumin is an anti-oxidant and works on many facets of fighting diseases. For instance, in studies curcumin helps block enzymes that promote cancer growth. Another example is with digestion. Curcumin actually helps the gallbladder make bile to aid in a healthy gut. It is important to always include black pepper and a healthy fat (in this recipe it is oil) to any recipe that calls for turmeric to get better bioavailability.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

2 TB Grapeseed Oil

1 Cup Chopped Red Onion

1 Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper Chopped

3 Grated Garlic Cloves

2 (15 OZ) Cans Black Beans

4 Cups Chopped (about ½”) Sweet Potatoes, roasted at 425F for about 30 minutes with a sprinkle of turmeric, salt, pepper and EVOO

2 (15 OZ) Cans Fire Roasted Chopped Tomatoes

½ Cup Orange* Lentils

4 Cups Veggie Broth

1 TB Chili Powder

1 Tsp Cumin

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

¼ Cup Chopped Cilantro

¼ Cup Chopped Green Onions

1 TB Lime Juice

1 Cup Shredded Light Cheddar

½ Cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Sauté the onion and pepper in the oil. When soft, add the garlic and cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the next 8 ingredients to the pot and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. When warmed through, stir in the cilantro and green onions. Serve with shredded light cheddar and yogurt if desired.

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