Instead of thinking of vegan chili as an oxymoron, consider it an opportunity to explore all the different veggies, legumes and spices that can be mixed together to create a delicious stew. This version starts with a classic tomato base and regular chili powder, but the addition of green lentils, sweet potato and kale make it a little earthy, slightly sweet and substantial enough to keep you full.
Even if you think you aren't a fan of lentils, give 'em a try in this chili. They soak up so much flavor from tomatoes, chili powder and other spices that you may just hop aboard the lentil train. Remember never to skimp on the toppings -- that's one of the best parts of chili! I like to add avocado, vegan cheese, coconut yogurt and pickled red onions to give it a zingy finish.
Slow Cooker Vegan Chili
Makes 6 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours to 10 hours
1 medium sweet potato (about 14 ounces)
1 small red onion
1 cup green lentils
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped or torn lacinato kale leaves
Garnish options: coconut yogurt and pickled red onions
Prepare the following and place them in a slow cooker: peel and dice 1 medium sweet potato, dice 1 small red onion, and rinse 1 cup green lentils.
Add 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices, 1 1/2 cups water, 3 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and stir to combine.
Secure the lid and place on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 6 hours until the lentils and sweet potato are tender. Season again if necessary.
Cover and cook until the sweet potato and lentils are tender, 8 hours on the LOW setting or 4 to 6 hours on the HIGH setting. Meanwhile, clean, stem and roughly chop 1 cup lacinato kale. Store in the refrigerator.
Thirty minutes before serving, stir the kale into the chili. Garnish with coconut yogurt or pickled red onion if desired.
Storage: The chili can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer.
This article is written by Laura Arnold from The Kitchn and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.