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Red Lentil Chili & “Unprocessed”Cookbook Winner Announced!

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 doesn’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.

Red Lentil Chili

Chef AJ posted this recipe over on the Forks Over Knives site and it was also featured on Healthy Girls Kitchen.

Faux Parmesan Chef AJ

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.

6 QT Cuisinart Pressure Cooker

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.

Red Lentil Chili Chef AJ

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.

Faux Parmesan

  •  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.

Nutmeg Notes

Chef AJ Unprocessed The Winner of  Chef AJ’s cookbook Unprocessed is:

Di who said, “I never used to like Brussels sprouts but recently retried them. I must say they are now one of my favorite veggies”.

Congratulations Di! Please send me your mailing information so I can pass it along to Chef AJ and she will mail you the book.

For those of you who didn’t win the cookbook  you can always order it on Amazon.  

Thank you to Chef AJ for sponsoring this giveaway!

Add your thoughts – I love reading your comments and answering your questions!

I own two slow cookers and I often have them both going at the same time as well as my rice cooker!

Do you have a pressure cooker or  slow cooker?

Would you like to see more recipes for the pressure cooker or slow cooker?


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13 comments

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  1. Racheal @ Running with Racheal says:

    I have two slow cookers too, and I am always using one of them – along with my rice cooker. Being a new mom, anytime I can have a ‘set it and forget it”- type meal, the better.

    I have never used a pressure cooker before.

    I would love to see more slow cooker recipes! Thanks Tami!

  2. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    I’ve never found a need for a pressure cooker, but I do have two slow cookers and use one at least weekly, including, as you already know, for cooking lentils. Much prefer them this way.

    1. Tami says:

      You just have to love the ease of slow cooking!

  3. Lori says:

    I have both a slow and a pressure cooker. I love both! The pressure cooker is great for quick cooking sweet potatoes or for making pumpkin puree from scratch.

    I just cannot get on the nutritional yeast bandwagon. I doesn’t taste anything like cheese to me. I ended up throwing out a whole pound of the stuff because I couldn’t eat it.

    1. Tami says:

      I hadn’t thought of using the pressure cooker to quick cook sweet potatoes but I will have to try that! I love the taste of nutritional yeast – we all have different taste buds. :)

  4. Jody - Fit at 55 says:

    I don’t have either so you are going to have to cook for me! :)

    1. Tami says:

      I would love to cook for you Jody!

  5. Kim says:

    Though I eat meat….would love some more slow cooker recipes to try:)

    1. Tami says:

      I plan on posting more slow cooker recipes – meatless – but of course you can also toss in a little meat if you desire. Happy Cooking Kim!

  6. Veronica says:

    Oh, this sounds so so good! My longest-enduring craving has been soups and I’ve been enjoying both healthy and not so healthy ones. The cool thing about soups/chilis is how healthy you can make them without compromising the flavor! the smoky factor really calls to me.

    1. Tami says:

      How neat is it that you have been craving soups! We love soups all year long around here and I have been making some awesome ones. Happy cooking!

  7. Veronica says:

    I made this for dinner Wednesday night and we both loved it! I also had it for lunch yesterday and plan to have it for lunch again today. So good with some sweet cornbread. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you for the feedback Veronica! It is delicious with cornbread – great minds think alike. :)

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