Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Lentil Chili, redux

We have moved. There has been little action on any front, not cooking, not knitting, not writing. It's just been packing and unpacking. Then, I had the good fortune of moving in thirty-degree weather that wore down my immune system just enough for me to contract this horrible cold virus that's been going around. I was bedridden for two days, not consecutive but still, I was a sad panda.

As I try to get back on some sort of track with my various outlets of creativity, including the blog, here is a recipe I did over two weeks ago now. We needed to use up existing pantry items and we had a bag with 1 cup's worth of lentils in it, frozen minced squash, and several bags of corn meal. (We still have several bags of corn meal.) I remembered a meal I prepared a few years ago that involved chili and johnny cake.

Sweet and Spicy Lentil Chili, revamped
What you need:
1 c dried brown lentils
1/2 c chickpeas (cooked)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/3 c dark sulfured molasses
1 c. minced squash
2 c water
1 c white grape juice
2 Tchili powder
garlic powder, to taste
onion powder, to taste
1 T cumin
1/2 t ground allspice

Put all ingredients in a stock pot and cook until lentils are soft (time is indicated on the lentils packaging).

This version, which adds squash and cumin and replaces apple juice with white grape juice, had a particularly complex flavor that I enjoyed even more than the original recipe.

And here is my bowl of chili at the table with the bouquet of greenery (plus one blown white rose the florist gave me as a freebie) we purchased for my son's sunday school's lenten floral arranging. You can't see it very well in the photo, but that chili is topping a big square of johnny cake.

To make the johnny cake, I needed to grease a 9 by 11 cake pan, which gave me the perfect excuse to try out the oil sprayer we bought a while ago to avoid having to rebuy those spray cans of oil (like Pam). Instead of spending all that money on aerosal spray cans, you can buy this one spray bottle and refill it with whatever oil you prefer whenever it runs out.

You use the metal lid to pump air into the bottle. Then, you spray the oil. I was quite thrilled by it. It worked just as well as the spray can oils but instead of generic oil, it was filled with high-quality 100% olive oil. I'm not sure how I lived without one of these before it came into my life, but I hope never to have to do it again.

Of course, having to live without the oil sprayer might come sooner rather than later, as most of the kitchen supplies are still in boxes and I have no idea which of those boxes might contain a reusable bottle for spraying oil. Thus is life.

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