Pinto Bean & Lentil Chili

Hey! How have you been? I know, I know, it’s been a minute since I talked about food. The temperature dropped in Daytona even though it will rise again in a day or two; chili was made.

*Update: it changed in less than two days . . . Florida*

You know why we’re here. Surprisingly, I don’t have a cute story this time but this is simple to make so it will short and sweet.

The ingredients:

  • 2 c. dried pinto beans
  • 4 c. vegetable stock
  • 1 c. lentils
  • 2 – 14 oz. cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 4-ish garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Chili powder, sage, paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper

The methodology:

  1. Quick soak pinto beans, drain and rinse. See below for instructions. 
  2. Add the soaked pinto beans, stock and bay leaves into pot. Cook for about an hour
  3. While the pinto beans are cooking, chop peppers and onions and finely dice the garlic cloves.
  4. Sauté peppers and onions in sunflower oil with salt and pepper until the onions are translucent. Then add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  5. Add the sautéed vegetables to the pot of beans. Also add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste and lentils.
  6. Cook for about 30-45 minutes, or until the pinto beans are soft enough to eat.
  7. Add seasonings (y’all know good and well I did not measure these so let the ancestors guide your hand). Cover.
  8. Taste for further seasonings, if needed. Cook another 10-15, uncovered.
  9. Serve with cornbread, rice, or any other thing you normally eat with chili.

I only needed to buy a handful of things: diced tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, peppers, vegetable stock, and two boxes of Jiffy. It cost about $10 at Aldi, everything else I already had. As with most of my food posts, most of this recipe can be swapped for other things. Use different beans, add more peppers, beef or chicken stock instead of vegetable, etc. 

Random thing I realized: Onion powder is my seasoning security blanket. I know I used herbs, fresh garlic and fresh onions . . . I’m still using this onion powder.

I don’t have an explanation why, it just feels right.

Quick Soak Method: If you are anything like me, you don’t really think about needing to soak beans the day before and you usually forget. The quick soak method takes an 8-10 hour process down to 1-2 hours. So here’s whatchu gotta do: rinse the beans in cold water, look for random small rocks and particles that aren’t supposed to be with the beans. Add enough water to a pot to cover the beans by a few inches and bring to a boil.  Add beans to the boiling water, boil for 1-3 minutes, remove from the heat and cover with a lid. Let it hang out for an hour or so, then rinse and drain. The beans will expand and it’s better to have too much water than too little. You now have beans ready to be cooked. They can be frozen in 2 cup portions for the next time you need beans but are short on time.

That’s it! See? Told you it was easy. Here is the celebratory photo: 



Until next time, 



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