Although the weather doesn’t feel like fall around here I am so ready for some typical fall foods like this Red Lentil Chili by Chef AJ. Delicious healthy food can’t get any easier than this recipe! Everything is placed either in a pressure cooker or a slow cooker and then you just let the magic happen. You will be rewarded with a creamy, hearty chili that everyone will enjoy. Since this recipe uses red lentils that pretty much dissolve into a creamy texture when cooked, even those who don’t usually like lentils will love this soup.
Chef AJ also has a recipe for a Faux Parmesan topping made from raw nuts, nutritional yeast and salt free seasoning. The nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy flavor, the nuts provide healthy fasts and flavor. It makes for a nice little boost of cheesy flavor (without any dairy or cholesterol) on top of this chili, soup, pasta, vegetarian lasagna, popcorn or salads. Mix it up and store it in the fridge for future use. You will find yourself using it frequently. I like mine a little chunky.
I bought my first pressure cooker! I have to admit I was a little intimidated by it at first but after using it the first time I discovered that it’s really easy to use. It’s great for cooking beans, chili, soups and stews. Today’s pressure cooker isn’t anything like the one your mama or grandmother had that instilled fear in all of us! Pressure Cookers are making a come back and they are perfect for busy households.
This pressure cooker is all electric, has a touch key pad so you select your settings and it does all the work – I love it. It reduces the cooking time drastically on everything so you can get dinner on the table in record time. For this Red Lentil Chili recipe it only cooks for 10 minutes on high in the pressure cooker- of course there is the warm up time for the PC and the time it takes for the pressure to come back down so overall it might be more like 30-40 minutes total verses 6-8 hours for the same recipe in the slow cooker. I’ve used the PC about six times so far and I can see that it’s going to be a great addition to my kitchen along with the Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure Cook Book I bought to use with it. Oh – and there is even a quick cook method for cooking dry beans without soaking them overnight.
With the Chipotle powder and the smoked paprika this has a nice deep smoky flavor without being over powering. It’s pure comfort food in a bowl. You can serve it over a baked potato, rice, barley, quinoa or along side a wedge of Confetti Cornbread. Each bowl is packed with high fiber- vegetable protein with the added bonus of no cholesterol and very low sodium yet, it’s big on flavor! This recipe will be going into our regular menu rotation for sure.
Red Lentil Chili
Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker
- 2 ounces dates (approximately 9 Deglet Noor)
- 1 pound red lentils they look orange in the package
- 7 cups water, divided
- 2 14.5-ounce cans salt-free diced tomatoes (fire roasted preferred)
- 1 6-ounce can salt-free tomato paste
- 10 ounces chopped onion (approximately one large)
- 1 pound red bell pepper, (approximately 2 large), finely chopped*
- 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1½ tablespoons dried parsley
- 1½ tablespoons dried oregano
- 1½ tablespoons salt-free chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (different than regular paprika)
- ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or more to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- scallions or Faux Parmesan – optional (for topping at the end)
Blend the dates in one cup of the water until smooth. Place all remaining ingredients in an electric pressure cooker and cook on high for 10 minutes. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Sprinkle with chopped scallions or Faux Parmesan and serve with baked tortilla chips or over a baked potato if desired.
* Chef AJ’s note: I like to use the food processor so it’s almost a puree.
Yield: 8 servings
We were so anxious to sit down and eat this chili that I didn’t write down how many total cups this recipe made but I know it’s a lot! The next time I make it I will update the recipe with the serving size and total cups made for those of you who like the stats. My guess is that it’s about 2 cups per serving.
Nutritional Information – not including optional toppings
Per Serving: 304.1 Calories,0.9 g Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 60.8 mg Sodium, 759.5 mg Potassium, 52.5 g Carbohydrates, 11.8 g Fiber, 18.5 g Protein, WWPP 7
Recipe by Chef AJ and reprinted with permission.
- 1 cup raw almonds or cashews or walnuts*
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon salt-free seasoning – Table Tasty, Mrs Dash Garlic & Herbs, Costco Salt Free Seasoning or your choice.
In a food processor fitted with the “S” blade or in a blender, combine all ingredients until a powdery texture is achieved. If you like it chunkier, process less.
Yield: 1½ cup
Servings: 24 Servings Size: 1 Tablespoon
Nutritional Information - using Trader Joe’s blanched almonds
Per Serving; 35 Calories, 2.5 g Fat, 0.2 g Saturated Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 1.8 g Carbs, 1g Fiber, 2.2 g Protein, WWPP 1
*Chef’ AJ’s Note: You can also use store bought almond flour in place of the almonds. We use this on everything from air popped popcorn to potatoes to steamed veggies and as a topping on chili and soups.
Recipe by Chef AJ and reprinted with permission.