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Mushroom-Lentil Chili

Mushroom-Lentil Chili

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

25 to 35 minutes

Servings:

2 1/2 cups

Difficulty:

Moderate

Mushroom-Lentil Chili Recipe
By Chef Linda

Incendiary or sweet, chunky or smooth, on a carrot dog or over rice, chili in any of its (vegan) permutations is a dish full of flavor and healthy ingredients. Inspired by summer and to sooth a monster craving, I developed this Mushroom-Lentil Chili to properly douse a dog in a bun. Typical vegetable chilis, while delicious and full of variety, are generally too chunky to use for a chili dog. No, for this I wanted a certain delicate texture but with substance. I needed a subtle but spicy heat enveloped in rich, robust flavor. For texture I turned to finely chopped, meaty mushrooms and firm French lentils, though any green or brown lentils will do. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, found in canned in the ethnic aisle of most grocery stores, ample amounts of chili powder, cumin, and crushed red pepper flakes, and the somewhat unusual addition of yellow mustard, turn up the heat and smokiness without scorching your mouth. It’s a chili worthy of a dog, for sure, as much as it’s suited for a bowl or a bed of rice.

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    1 (10 ounce) package of white or cremini mushrooms

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

    1 medium onion, finely chopped, about 1 cup

    3 garlic cloves, minced, about 1 tablespoon

    2 tablespoons chili powder

    1 teaspoon cumin

    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

    1/2 cup dry French, brown, or green lentils, rinsed (if using canned, use 1 cup drained and rinsed)

    1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

    1 cup water or vegetable broth

    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

    2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

    2 tablespoons tomato paste

    1 tablespoon maple syrup

    1 tablespoon yellow mustard

    1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced, plus 1 tablespoon of sauce

    Salt to taste

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    1

    Finely chop or pulse mushrooms in a food processor until pieces are about the size of lentils. Heat oil in a large pan and add mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms are starting to browning nicely. Add onions and garlic. Cook, while stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, and mushrooms are dark brown. Add chili powder, cumin, and crushed red pepper flakes then cook for a few minutes until spices are fragrant.

    2

    Add lentils to pan along with; tomato sauce, vegetable broth, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, tomato paste, syrup, mustard, and chipotle pepper with sauce. Stir to combine then cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender and flavors have mingled together. If water evaporates before lentils are tender, add a little more. Taste and adjust seasonings.

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