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Winter has definitely hit South Carolina!
No snow, but brrrr is it cold out.
This cold weather usually calls for a piping hot bowl of soup (like my delicious Italian Wedding Soup), but if we are being honest, I'm kind of souped-out already. Luckily, yummy winter meals don't end with soup. There is also...drumroll please...
Usually chili calls for kidney beans and/or meat, and I'm not really a fan of either. I kind of gave up on chili long ago.
But one day, I set out to make meatless sloppy joes. They were super delicious, but they didn't taste like sloppy joes at all...the "filling" tasted just like chili. You could say I accidentally found my one true love when it comes to chili ingredients - lentils!
Lentils are a fabulous meat-substitute in so many dishes - I love them in shepherd's pie and tacos. They have a delicate but substantial texture, much like a tender piece of meat. Lentils are also very easy to make super flavorful. And they're totally healthy!
Put chili into a biscuit cup and it becomes fun, too! My toddler loves anything he can pick up with his hands and take a big bite into.
Lentil chili cups are sure to be a hit as party food. Set out a spread of toppings like sour cream, guacamole, cheese, tomatoes, and lime wedges and let your guests create their own little chili cups. This recipe makes a dozen chili cups but is super easy to double or triple.
Lentil Chili Cups - A Healthy Vegan Recipe
First, get your chili started. Throw lentils, veggie stock, tomato paste, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika, chili flakes, and oregano) right into a pot. Bring it to a boil and then turn it on low to simmer, with the cover on. Let it go for about 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Occasionally stir the chili to keep everything incorporated. The lentils really take in all those delicious flavors! If you're an omnivore, you won't even miss the meat.
Add salt if needed after the lentils are finished cooking.
Let's back track a little. While you're waiting for your lentils to cook, prep your biscuit cups.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then, cut in cold and solidified coconut oil (you'll need unrefined coconut oil to achieve this) until the mixture gets crumbly. This is really simple to do if you have a stand mixer and is one of my favorite kitchen shortcuts. Just toss the coconut oil into the bowl with the other ingredients, attach the whisk, and let that baby whirl on medium speed for a couple of minutes. It's so much easier than using a pastry cutter - but the old fashioned way works just as well!
Next, add in your milk of choice (we like using almond or flax milk - flax milk has a really neutral taste). Stir in until just incorporated.
Grease and flour a muffin tin - you definitely want to make sure these cups won't stick in the pan. Even if you have a non-stick, some reinforcement won't hurt!
Form discs with the dough, about the size of your palm. I measured the perfect biscuit size in a measuring cup and it was about ¼ cup worth of dough.
Press the discs into the muffin tins. Don't worry if you end up with a hole in your dough somewhere. Grab a little extra dough and fill in the hole. Problem solved!
Add some of that delicious lentil chili into each biscuit cup.
Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
And then get creative - melt some cheese on top, dollop a little sour cream or guacamole on there.
Don't wait another second...dig in! I use a fork, my husband and son like to just them up with their hands. Do whatever keeps your taste buds happy and your mouth full.
Lentil Chili Cups
- 2 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup cold solidified coconut oil solidified coconut oil
- ¾ cups non-dairy milk - I like using flax milk because it is neutral-tasting
- Add all ingredients to a pot except for the salt.
- Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Simmer for about 40 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Prep your biscuit cups while you're waiting.
- Season with salt to taste if needed.
- Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Using a pastry cutter or the whisk attachment on your mixer (medium speed), incorporate the cold coconut oil until the dough mixture is a crumbly texture.
- Stir in the milk until just incorporated.
- Grease a muffin tin and then sprinkle with flour to insure the biscuits won't stick to the pan.
- Form discs with the dough, about the size of your palm, and press into the muffin tin to form cups. (Each disc should be approximately ¼ of a cup if you were to smush some dough into a measuring cup.) Bonus points if they aren't perfect!
- Fill each biscuit cup to the top with some lentil chili.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Add on desired toppings. Delicious optional toppings could include: tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, scallions, jalapenos, a little lime juice, etc. Or, just eat 'em as they are - these chili cups are packed full of flavor! Dig in.