2 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small eggplant, diced
1 small red or green bell pepper, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 cups lentils
1 cup 7-grain mix, such as Rice Select’s Royal Blend
1 cup chickpeas, cooked and rinsed
1 cup black beans, cooked and rinsed
5 cups vegetable broth
Kosher salt (if needed)
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium flame. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent and slightly starting to brown. Add eggplant, pepper, celery, carrot, jalapeño, tomatoes, chili powder and cumin, stir well and allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Once the vegetables have softened and are beginning to brown, add the lentils, grain mix, chickpeas and black beans, and stir well to ensure even coating. Add broth and mix well, bringing mixture to a boil and then subsequently reducing heat to low and simmering for about 30 minutes. Do a taste test about halfway through, adding salt (or a bit of vegetable bouillon) if needed. There is no need for stirring while the chili is simmering; just make sure to check up on the pot every now to see if you need to add some extra water.
Once the time is up (pencils down!), allow chili to sit and thicken for about 5 minutes before serving. Or, better yet, pack that baby up and serve it next day. Yes, this is one of those dishes that’s even better reheated. And don’t forget to have fun with the toppings! I like mine with shredded sharp Vermont cheddar cheese and chopped scallion greens. Ok, ok, and a dollop of sour cream. Yum!