Lentil Stew with Fried Mushrooms

Packed with protein, this stew is richly-flavored and so perfectly spiced that no one will care how great the lentils are for their hearts. They will just know that they love this dish!

Makes About Servings

Ingredient List: 

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
½ red onion, cut into small diced
Sea salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 small jalapeño pepper, minced, seeds, spines removed
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, diced
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1½ cups green or brown lentils, rinsed well
¼ cup red lentils, rinsed well
¼ cup quinoa, rinsed well
3 to 3½ cups spring or filtered water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Fried Mushrooms
4 tablespoons avocado oil
12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
3 to 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely minced, for garnish

Step By Step Instructions: 

Make the chili: Place oil, garlic and onion in a soup pot over medium heat. When the onion sizzles, add a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, chili, bell pepper and a pinch of salt and sauté for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and stir to dissolve paste. Add lentils, quinoa, water, bay leaf, paprika and cocoa powder and stir well. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until beans are creamy and soft, about 45 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt or less and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes more.

While the stew cooks, prepare the mushrooms: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mushrooms are golden brown and the edges are beginning to crisp, about 15 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt or less and black pepper. Stir to distribute seasoning. To serve the chili, spoon into individual bowls and garnish with fried mushrooms and parsley