Lentil Balls and Bad to the Bone Chili

Both of these recipes are from My Beef With Meat:  The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet by Rip Esselstyn.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,  I LOVE this book.  The first half of the book is all about the reasons why eating a plant based diet is the best choice for your health.  The second half is full of delicious recipes.

Lentil Balls


I served these “meat”balls over pasta with marinara sauce.  I think they definitely needed sauce.  By themselves, they were a bit dry.  They would be good in BBQ sauce over rice too.


Bad to the Bone Chili

This chili was awesome!  It has tons of veggies and lots of beans.  You could certainly swap out any of the veggies for those you like best…corn would be a great addition.  I left out the yellow summer squash because we didn’t have any.    And I left out the mushrooms because M doesn’t like them.  I used ketchup instead of barbecue sauce and did not add any salsas.  If you like things spicy, add some green chiles.  Like I said, you can really make this your own, but I’m telling you, you will NOT miss the meat!  All three kids LOVED this too and devoured their entire bowls.  That’s a winner!  Next time I will serve it up with some vegan cornbread, but this time we were in a hurry and had no sides.

Serves 10-12

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cubed
  • 2 medium zucchini, cubed (I shredded mine)
  • 1 8oz package mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 28oz can crushed or diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 40oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 tbsp barbecue sauce, your favorite
  • 1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2-3 tbsp salsa, your favorite

Combine lentils with 2 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil.  Turn down heat and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 20 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

In a pot over medium-high heat, simmer together the onion, peppers, celery, squash, zucchini, mushrooms and carrots.

Once all the veggies are soft, decrease the heat to low.  Add the tomatoes and their juices.  Add the chili powder and cumin.  Increase the heat to medium, add the cooked lentils, kidney beans, bbq sauce, maple syrup and salsa, and cook together for 2-3 minutes.

Simmer on low for 30 minutes.  Taste it toward the end and add extra salsa, maple syrup or chili powder according to your taste.




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