A couple of weeks ago I went to a morning spin class at FlyWheel near Lincoln Center. Everyone in the class was unusually chatty and excited, and although I like to think of myself as a morning person, all this really means is I like waking up to the sun, slowly drinking my coffee, and eating breakfast at my own pace, but if it means showing up to an early AM workout I am not necessarily excited to be there. Once the class started I discovered the reason why everyone was so excited--it was a Hamilton the Musical themed ride!! The entire ride everyone was enthusiastically singing along, including the instructor, and I felt like the lone wolf because I didn't know any of the lyrics to any of the songs, so I kind of pretended to mouth silently throughout so I didn't mess up everyone's enthusiasm.
After sweating to the musical for 45 minutes, I couldn't get the songs out of my head as soon as I left. And then, I saw the live performance of one of the songs during the Grammy's. Since then, I have been listening to the songs continuously, and am D-Y-I-N-G to see the show. If you don't know anything about it, it is all about Alexander Hamilton's life and the duel with Aaron Burr, but the musical is so unique because it is a rap, hip-hop, pop infusion of amazing-ness set in colonial America!! If anyone reading this has access to tickets (even at the last row in the top) I will do pretty much anything (that fits within my moral guidelines)!! Until then, I can only sadly listen to the music from afar, until tickets became available again and at a reasonable price. Just do yourself a favor and start listening already if you haven't.
One of the most consistent things I make in our kitchen are hearty, warm, one-pot dishes. Roasted chicken, beef pot roast, soups, and chili are a few of the things I tend to lean on when I don't know what to make. They are easy, don't require a lot of clean up, and usually last a few meals which are also perfect for packed work lunches. While it seems like I make a lot of vegetarian dishes on here, I am in fact not a vegetarian, and usually make my chili with either ground turkey or ground beef. But I like to use my blog as a platform to try new dishes, ones that I don't normally make, and I love this lentil chili because I think it perfectly straddles the line between a veggie soup and a full on chili, as well as a winter-y dish and a spring one.
Lentil Vegetable Chili (serves 5-6)
- 1 lb. cooked lentils
- 1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis
- 2 - 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh herbs for garnish
In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bell pepper and garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes or until soft.
Add lentils, both types of beans, diced tomatoes, corn, and seasonings. Stir together and add broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with bread or sour cream or cheese or cornbread or none of the above because you ran out and it tastes good by itself anyway!