After a long afternoon at our Ask a Vegan table at Whole Foods, I came home to a warm bowl of French Lentil Chili that I had put together in the morning and left to simmer in the crockpot. I’ve been trying to incorporate more lentils into my diet since they are so good for you, and have made many soups and loaves over the last few years. I don’t love lentils, but I don’t mind them as long as I don’t have to eat them too frequently. Usually, I buy the brown lentils, because they’re cheaper, but the French lentils were on sale yesterday, so I thought I’d give them a try. The first recipe I happened upon was this one from Vegan on the Cheap. It’s pretty much what I would have put in a crockpot soup anyway, except I did go heavy on the chili powder and the cumin to emphasize the chili aspect. I think it turned out well; the little green firm French lentils are a nice change from the brown lentils, as they don’t get as mushy. I’ll list the ingredients per the recipe here; of course, I adjusted the quantities and cooking method to accommodate my crockpot. I also left out the sugar and the vinegar. I might try adding some vinegar to a bowl tomorrow to see how that changes the flavor.
French Lentil Chili
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 medium carrot, minced
1 celery rib, minced
3 garlic cloves
1½ cups French lentils
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 cups water
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (optional)
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, about 7 minutes.
- Add the lentils, tomatoes, chili powder, salt, cumin, thyme, sugar, pepper, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
- Cover and simmer until lentils and vegetables are soft, about 50 minutes, adding more water if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar, if using. Serve hot.
Weekly goal recap: Goal – Go to bed by 10:30 p.m., get up by 7:15 a.m. every weekday for a month. (This started out as 10:00 p.m. & 6:30 a.m., but I revised it to be a little bit more realistic for my current sleep cycle and commitments.)
- In bed by around 11:45 p.m. Jan 13, Up at 9 a.m. Jan 14.
- In bed by around midnight Jan 12, Up at 8:15 a.m. Jan 13.
- In bed by 11 p.m. Jan 11, Up at 8:15 a.m. Jan 12.
- In bed by 1 a.m. Jan 10, Up at 9 a.m. Jan 11.
- In bed by 11 p.m. Jan 9, Up at 7:15 a.m. Jan 10.
Obviously, I’m having a bit of a hard time going to bed early. And this doesn’t take into account when I’m actually going to sleep, which could be up to an hour after I’m in bed, depending on how engrossed I am in my reading. I still think 10:30 / 7:15 is possible and realistic, so I’ll go for it again next week. I also know that I have a busy week ahead, with our All Things Vegan radio show to finish up for airing on Friday. Hopefully that won’t produce too many late nights. My co-host is a night owl too, and we both have day jobs, so we do tend to work on the show in the evenings and into the night.
One drawback to slipping back into a later schedule, is that I lost the time in the morning that I had been using to read, write, and meditate before work and other things take over. Those habits are important to me, so I will renew my efforts Monday.
I also noticed that if I don’t put something down in my calendar, even something fun, that I will forget about it or not make plans to go. I missed out on two events around town this week that I would have liked to attend and could easily have gone to, if only I had scheduled them.
Weekly goal recap: Goal – Be 15 minutes early for everything for an entire month. This means leaving 1/2 hour early to anything around town.
I didn’t have too many appointments this week; most of them were meeting my co-host at the radio station to work on the show and do some interviews. I made it on time or was early for most of them. I did fail abysmally today though. I had agreed to meet at 1:00 p.m. to set up for our Ask a Vegan table at Whole Foods. But because I didn’t adjust the time in my calendar, I remembered 1:30. And then I arrived at 1:40, thinking I was only 10 minutes late. It didn’t even occur to me until after the event that I had done that.