Lentil and Eggplant Chili

Lentils are crazy nutritious. They are packed with protein, iron, and fiber. In fact, one half cup of cooked lentils has 10 grams of protein, 3.2 grams of iron, 179 micrograms of folate, and 11 grams of fiber! Now that is one healthy little bean 🙂

Need I say more about this dish? It’s super healthy, low in fat, high in nutrients, and full of flavor. Try it. Eat it. Enjoy it.

Lentil and Eggplant Chili (adapted from Appetite for Reduction)
1 tsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into medium dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup dried green lentils, washed
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 small eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 cup sliced baby portabella mushrooms
2 tsp agave nectar

Let’s Make Chili!
1. Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat and saute the bell pepper in the oil for 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute, using nonstick cooking spray or a splash of water if it’s sticking.
2. Mix in the chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, and salt. Add 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth and the cocoa powder and cook for about 1 minute more, stirring to dissolve the cocoa powder.
3. Add the lentils, remaining vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, and eggplant. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s boiling, lower the heat and simmer, cooking for about 40 minutes. The lentils should be tender and the eggplant soft. Mix in the agave and taste for salt and seasoning.
4. Let the chili sit for 10 minutes more for maximum flavor. Serve with a side salad or a hunk of crusty bread.

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