Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chicken and Lentil Chili

I'll admit that this recipe came about when I was out of most of the ingredients with which I typically make chili. It turned out really well - I like it even better than my traditional pot. I prefer the delicate lentils. I also love that it has less calories.

I've switched to using boxed (Tetra Pak) tomatoes in my recipes. The reason being that I am trying to phase out Bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic estrogen, in my diet. Canned tomatoes are one of the worst offenders because the acidity reacts with the lining of cans. This results in BPA leaching into the tomatoes. BPA has been linked to a number of problems, included heart disease, obesity, diabetes and reproductive issues. Experts are recommending that we buy tomatoes in glass bottles or boxes.

I am using Pomi brand because it gives me an excuse to head down to my favorite Italian store, Milano Fruiterie, on St. Laurent in Montreal. I've heard that Trader Joe's carries boxed tomatoes as well, so that will be on my "stock up" list the next time I am near one in the U.S. I have seen the boxes at some grocery stores - check the top shelf near the canned tomatoes. Now, off to tackle my cabinet full of plastic food storage containers - another offender!

1 pound (453 grams) extra-lean ground chicken
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 can (19 ounces) brown lentils, drained and rinsed
1 box (26.46 ounces/750 grams) chopped tomatoes

To serve: Cornbread, grated aged cheddar and fresh cilantro.

In a large pot, cook chicken over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Use a spatula to crumble chicken as it cooks. Add chopped onion, garlic and chipotle; cook for 2 minutes. Add spices while the onions are sweating.

Add lentils and tomatoes; stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve over cornbread. Garnish with cheese and cilantro.

Serves 6

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