As I discussed in this space last week, we’ve been trying to incorporate a number of meatless dishes into our weekly meal plan. Recently, Manwich asked me to come up with an original recipe using their products for their Case of the Mandays campaign to help promote family meal time, so I decided to see if I could create a Meatless Manday.
It was definitely a risk, as one does not typically associate a meatless dish with Manwich, but it definitely worked out great. Craving chili I went with my gut and decided to see how I could transform it into a meatless dish using Manwich Thick and Chunky as a base ingredient.
For the longest time I’ve been making my wife a curried lentil stew for her to take to work for lunch. And the first thing I did when learning to prepare meatless dishes was to expand my lentil repertoire, as they are hearty and chocked full of protein. So, working from lentils as a substitute for the standard ground beef, I set out to make what would become my lentil and kale chili.
It came out rich, hearty, and flavorful. I garnished the bowl of chili with some shredded cheddar cheese and some thinly sliced scallions to add both a different color to the plate and texture to the meal. Surprisingly, it was even a moderate hit with our children.
To encourage consumption by our two children under the age of five, I did tone down the level of spice in this chili to make it a little more family friendly. So if your kids are older, or more accustomed to spicier fare, you’ll probably want to make some adjustments to suit your families’ taste.
Overall, this lentil and kale chili was a crowd pleaser and will become part of the regular rotation at our family dinner table. As if that wasn’t enough, there are three other reasons why this dish makes for a great weeknight meal:
First, it is a one pot deal, so clean up is a cinch. Even though I do the cooking while my wife does the cleaning, I do whatever I can to limit the mess I make. This way we have more time between dinner and the bath time struggle to spend together as a family.
Second, a single batch makes roughly eight to ten servings, so depending on how big your family is you can scale it to make more, or be ready with several meals in advance. You could have dinner for multiple nights already prepared, or, since it freezes well, have a single meal you can grab whenever you need a lunch in a pinch.
Finally, it was very economical. All of the ingredients to make a single batch cost me less than $15, or $1.88 per serving based on eight servings.
Manwich would like to help you get over your Case of the Mandays and get your family together at the dinner table. After the recipe below you can enter to win a Manwich Manday Survival Kit, which includes:
- 1 Calphalon skillet ($80 value)
- 4 Manwich bibs
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 mini canister of handiwipes
- $50 grocery gift card
- Manwich product
This great prize pack is worth more than $150, so enter from now through March 25, 2013. And, for even more Manwich Mandays ideas, be sure to check out all the entries in the Case of the Mandays campaign.
Lentil and Kale Chili with Manwich
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 bell peppers, finely chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 6oz can Hunt’s tomato paste
- 2 cups brown lentils
- 2 15oz cans Manwich Thick and Chunky
- 1 10oz can Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles
- 4 cups veggie stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 bunch kale, sliced into ribbons
- salt and pepper, to taste
- scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish)
- shredded cheddar cheese (for garnish)
- In a large saucepan or dutch oven heat the olive oil, then add the chopped onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until translucent
- Stir in the garlic, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, then add the chopped green bell peppers
- Add the chili power, cumin, oregano, and paprika, then stir to coat the vegetables
- Mix in the tomato paste and cook for three or four minutes until the paste turns a deeper shade of red
- Add the lentils and stir to combine, then add the can of Rotel and both cans of Manwich
- Lightly season with salt and pepper, then cover the mixture with the vegetable stock and water and bring to a boil
- Once boiling reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the lentils are at the desired tenderness
- Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary
- Ladle the chili out into a bowl, garnish with cheese and thinly sliced scallions, serve and enjoy
Disclosure: I am a compensated Weeknight Meal Expert for Manwich. Also, I was provided Manwich products to develop my recipe, as well as a prize pack similar to the one being given away. The recipe, ideas and opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.