In the (Lunch) Bag: Lentil Chili & Sweet Potato Mash

It may still be summer according to the calendar, but it sure feels like fall here in Atlanta. The windows are open and the shorts have been exchanged for jeans. Something about the cooler days made me crave the fall associations with all things chili. Since I had some lentils in the pantry (and all of the cookbooks are packed), I decided to go with this recipe from the Whole Foods Recipes App.

Look at those beautiful fall colors:)

Look at those beautiful fall colors:)

A brief aside on this app. I love this thing. No, I mean really love. You can search for recipes by ingredient and special diet (vegan, gluten free, low sugar, etc.). This makes it invaluable after a haul from the farmer’s market. Gluten free zucchini side dish, you say? No problem. There are many from which to choose. I also love that, even being associated with Whole Foods, the recipes are generally entirely non fussy. Simple even. We’re talking a one pot stop. Enough about the app, let’s get to the food:)

I’m going to give you the recipe as it is in the app and then I’ll tell you how I tweaked it!

Lentil Chili

8 cups low sodium veggie broth

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

5 cloves garlic, cup ’em up fine

4 tsp chili powder

16 oz brown lentils

30 oz diced tomatoes (no salt added)

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Bring 3/4 cup of the broth to a simmer, add the onion, pepper and garlic and cook until translucent (about 8 minutes). Add everything else except the cilantro, bring to boil and then simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are soft. Remove the cover and cook another few minutes, stirring in the cilantro at the end.

I used three peppers all together – red, orange and yellow because I love me some peppers. I used 1/2 brown lentils and 1/2 red, since that’s what I had. The red tend to mush a bit more, but really, who cares? I reduced the broth a bit since my pot was about to overflow. Didn’t seem to be a problem.

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The sweet potato dish is one of my own invention. Peel some sweet potatoes and cut them into 1″ chunks. Add to boiling water until they are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and then mash with cinnamon, 2-3 scoops vanilla protein powder and a little almond milk, if needed. I had two clementines left over from last week, so I decided to squeeze their juice into the mix. Yum. I like to top each serving with a few walnuts for some crunch.

And, drumroll please…

The finished lunch, all packed and ready!

Even the low light gives the feeling of fall!

Even the low light gives the feeling of fall!

The only thing that would make this better is some Sunday afternoon football. Soon enough:)

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