Chili for the Children

Earlier this week I had a moment where I felt like a champion nanny:  I got both of the girls I watch to nap at the exact same time.  So what to do with this extra time?  Cook them a delicious healthy dinner, of course!  The cans in the pantry and the vegetables in the fridge combined with the rainy, cold weather told me it was time to make chili.

Ingredients:

Hooray for cellphone pics!

1 can of kidney, black, or pinto beans

1/2 c of lentils (I used black beluga lentils in this batch, but only because they were there.  Any lentils will work)

1 can diced tomatoes (with green chilis or jalapenos if you’re not feeding this to a picky 5 year old)

1 small can tomato paste, disolved in warm water (1-2 cans of water)

1 medium onion

2 stalks celery

2 carrots or a big handful of baby carrots

1 bell pepper

3 cloves garlic

Seasonings:

oregano, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper

1.  Start by cooking the lentils for about 20 minutes in about 2 cups of water.  While they’re cooking, drain your canned beans and chop veggies.  I recommend chopping the things the kids don’t like into teeny tiny peices.  For me that meant very finely diced onion and celery, and crushing the garlic in a press.  The carrots and pepper I cut into bigger chunks, since the girls love those.

Tiny onions, giant carrots

2.  Once the lentils are tender, put everything else in the pot.  Simmer for 30mins to an hour, until the vegetable are tender and the flavors are blended.

3.  Adjust seasonings and serve to children wearing bibs, because tomato sauce stains.

 4.  Take a picture of it before the children wake up and demolish it!
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