First Sunday of 2010, supposed to have been spent in the kitchen with the hubby. We had the best intentions. We planned the menu--simple as it was--together. We were looking forward to hot food, since the new year's diet has had us eating salads for the past two days and walking all around town in the cold (we're wimps--but at least we admit it). We were going to make lentil chili. We've made it before, with various recipes, and doubtless we'll make it again.
But this time, we didn't make it. I did. Because Ian was a bit too busy for cooking--he was on the phone with our credit card company. Apparently someone in Michigan thought it would be nice to steal our card numbers (online Christmas shopping? We're not sure.) and buy something for $700 at Walmart, and when that purchase was declined (they thankfully had the wrong expiration date), try the counterfeit card again at Burger King. So he was on the phone--still is, actually, after a break to eat some chili--with the various companies that receive their payments automatically on that card. It could have been worse. If the transactions had gone through, the hassle would have quadrupled.
But enough about that--back to the chili. I sort of winged it as far as a recipe goes--went on the sweeter and tangier side to counter the earthy flavor of the lentils. I made it in my new dutch oven, my favorite Christmas present (in-laws, if you're reading this, thank you again!). It was a simple affair. I probably wouldn't have needed Ian's help even if he'd been available, though it is nice to have him chopping onions and manning the can opener. It made four generous servings, each of which contained only 350 calories--a dieter's dream! Here's the recipe I cooked up:
Laura's Lentil Chili
1 cup lentils, dry
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium green bell peppers, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp tomato paste
7 oz fire roasted green peppers, drained and chopped
14.5 oz can Italian stewed tomatoes
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
*Rinse and boil lentils according to directions on package. Set aside.
*In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add onions and bell peppers; cook until soft.
*Add chili powder, cumin, vinegar, and tomato paste; stir and cook for about a minute.
*Add fire roasted peppers, both cans of tomatoes, and cooked lentils; stir and cook for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
So this week we missed out on that together kitchen time, but we have had a good deal of time together lately, since both our schools are on winter break and we've had a long weekend for New Year's. My school starts back up tomorrow, and Ian goes back to his normal work schedule, with his class starting in a week. I suppose if we had to miss any weekend cooking together, this was a good time to do it. Once he gets off the phone (if he ever does) we'll snuggle up on the couch and watch our latest DVD purchase: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. We would watch Julie & Julia again, but I've watched it four or five times since I got it for Christmas and Ian is probably getting sick of it by now. He offered to watch it again tonight, but I can't do that to him. But who knows--he might be secretly addicted to it, too.
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