In discussions of football foot, one dish tends to be particularly important to me: chili. Sure, it may not be as quintessential as buffalo chicken, but I maintain that it is equally important. First, it’s one of the few football foods that you can actually make a meal out of without hating yourself after (I mean, I adore nachos but will inevitably feel ill if that’s all I eat). Plus, the best football weather is when it is freaking freezing out. Even when it’s in the single digits outside, a hot bowl of chili will always work to warm me up. Besides, with a chili bar, dinner is totally customizable; people can add as much spice or cheese or whatever so it ends up to everyone’s liking.
Now, if you listen to Sheldon Cooper, traditional chili is just meat, no beans. That’s nice, but it’s not how I roll. This vegan dish is as hearty as any other chili you could find. The kidney and black beans work well together, and the lentils serve as a great alternative to ground meat. My favorite part of this chili, though, has to be the spice blend. The chili powder and cumin are balanced to give a nice smokey, earthy flavor, and there is just enough heat from the cayenne to get your nose running a little bit. The chili as a whole is pretty thick, which I love, but if you want a soupier consistency, adding a bit extra vegetable stock would work to thin it out.
Whether you eat it on its own, or on french fries, or do the Ohio thing and put it over a bowl of spaghetti, this chili is going to hit the spot.
Vegan Bean & Lentil Chili
- Olive oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 jalapenos, diced
- 1 ½ tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 lg can crushed tomatoes
- Dash Worcestershire sauce (vegan if necessary)
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can black beans
- ¾ cup dry lentils
- 2 cups veggie stock
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot. Sauté onion and jalapenos together until tender; add garlic, chili, cumin, cilantro, and cayenne and sauté until fragrant.
- Stir in tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, veggie broth, and lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 – 45 minutes, until the lentils are almost tender.
- Stir in kidney and black beans and simmer for another 10 minutes.
This is my own recipe, but I drew inspiration from the following: