From desperation to delight: Hearty Beef and Lentil Chili (new recipe)
Chili was on the menu for dinner. I busily went about my day, helping children with homeschooling. I folded clean laundry from the weekend (I wash everything on Sunday, minus diapers and wet bedsheets), and tried once again to clear off the kitchen counters. During Moshe's nap, Ruth and I napped in the living room (being pregnant is a great excuse to get plenty of sleep!).
I got back up a few hours before dinner time. "For once," I thought, "I'll have dinner just simmering on the stove, waiting to be eaten on time, rather than rushing around at the last minute like usual."
I started browning some meat for chili, and rummaged through the freezer for some cooked beans. Surely there was at least one container left in there! But I came up empty, after going through both the small freezer and our chest freezer.
I decided to check the pantry cupboard to see if there was a stray can of beans... any kind of beans... lurking in the back. There were no cans of beans. (A pressure cooker was the only way I could have made fresh beans in time for the chili, but I don't have a pressure cooker.)
Then I thought of... lentils! I've heard of lentil chili. Lentils cook fast enough to be ready in time for dinner. But... would we like lentils in our chili?
I debated just making beef chili. After all, when you're only serving 3 things, the main dish should be something that's good, not a flopped experiment due poor planning. But the beef chili in my pot just wasn't very much. Enough for 1 meal for us? Maybe. But still, one of the best things about chili is that the beans help stretch the meal into 2 or 3!
I decided to make the chili with lentils. When Joshua came home, he said "Hmmm, this chili looks different from normal." So of course I said,
"Oh, well, it's a new recipe. Lentil Chili. Haven't you heard of lentil chili before?" ;)
Eliyahu (5) helped me make the cornbread
Much to my delight, the whole family loved my lentil chili! The lentils had a nice texture, it didn't taste lentil-y, and it was easy to eat. I was amazed by how well we liked it! Joshua had thirds. Moshe (the 1-year-old) had seconds!
Okay, so, it was dinner after all, and thankfully a very successful one. We've had lentil chili several times since, and I made sure to measure all the spices so it could be shared. ;)
The only way to improve this lentil chili? Have some fresh cilantro on hand to sprinkle on top... :)