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Recipe: Sweet & Spicy Harvest Chili

Chili is one of my favorite fall and wintertime foods.  Several years ago I posted one of my favorite chili recipes made with traditional ingredients like corn, peppers, and a variety of beans (that recipe, by the way, goes great over a bed of brown rice or quinoa).

This time around, I want to share a much less conventional variety that contains a variety of vegetables and spices (cocoa powder, anyone?).  If your digestive system is particularly sensitive to beans, then this recipe is for you, since lentils are the stars (unlike beans, lentils do not contain sulfur — AKA: no unpleasant side effects).

This recipe is very high in fiber, so if you are not accustomed to large amounts, you may want to start out having a a smaller serving of this as a side dish.

PS: I have been camera-less for the past week, but next time I make this recipe, I will upload a photo of the finished product.  Enjoy!

YIELDS: 6 servings


  •  2 Tbsps oil (I like coconut, though olive also works)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup red onions, diced
  • 2 cups peeled sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups dry lentils, rinsed (brown lentils yield a chewier texture, whereas red lentils yield a softer texture)
  • 1 regular (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (preferably a variety that comes with diced jalapeños)
  • 2 cups water
  • Sliced avocado (optional garnish)
  • Chopped scallions (optional garnish)


1. Heat oil in a large pot.  Once hot, add garlic, onions, sweet potatoes, broccoli, mushroom, salt, and spices.

2. Stir for ten seconds, to ensure that spices coat all ingredients evenly.  Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add lentils, diced tomatoes, and water to pot.  Stir and increase heat to high.

5. Once contents in pot come to a rolling boil, reduce heat to medium/medium-low and cook for 20 minutes.

6. Serve in bowls and top with avocado slices and/or scallions.

NUTRITION INFORMATION (per serving, without toppings/garnish):

335 calories
400 mg sodium
13 grams fiber
14 grams protein

Excellent Source of: iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, B vitamin complex (except B12), vitamin C, zinc

Good Source of: copper, vitamin E



  1. Kelsey said on November 18th, 2011

    Awesome, I’m so excited to try this! I’ve been looking for a good vegetarian chili recipe!

  2. Kimberli said on November 18th, 2011

    Thanks for the recipe! I love chili recipes and I don’t think I have seen a chili recipe without beans.

    I do have a question as well. The recipe calls for red or brown lentils but the only ones I have are green. Is that a good substitute?

  3. Andy Bellatti said on November 18th, 2011


    Red and brown are the only two I’ve used, but green should also work just fine! They may need a little bit longer cook time if you want them to be soft and not chewy…

  4. Cameo Morningstar said on November 18th, 2011

    YUM! I have been so into beans and lentils lately. Can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks.

  5. Marilyn Weissman said on November 19th, 2011

    Making this tonight for my 20 out-of-towners. Showed them the recipe and everyone agrees this is perfect!

  6. Andy Bellatti said on November 20th, 2011

    Wonderful! Hope it was well-received.

  7. Lauren Slayton said on December 11th, 2011

    I love this recipe but I’m on the fence as to whether it’s chili. Totally trust that it’s delicious and the spices are chili-like.

  8. Andy Bellatti said on December 11th, 2011

    I see your point. Could also be a “chili-inspired casserole”.

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