This delicious vegetarian chili has tons of protein and a "meaty" texture that even my most devoted carnivores have found satisfying. It is also easy to vary the ingredients if you don't have everything on hand, or want to add something that you do. Try adding sliced fresh mushrooms with the sauteed vegetables in the beginning, or some fresh spinach at the end with, or instead of, the corn. This also tastes good topped with some chopped almonds.
1In a large pot, warm oil and saute onions, carrots, celery and sweet potatoes until vegetables begin to soften, aprox. 10 minutes.
2Add cumin, chili powder, cayenne and garlic powder. Stir and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add a few drops of water or oil, if necessary, to keep spices from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
3Add the tomatoes, black-eyed peas, raisins, Italian herbs, tomato paste and cinnamon. Stir in broth, lentils and quinoa. If you like your chili a bit thinner, add more broth. Cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, until lentils are cooked.
4Add corn and cook about 5 more minutes until corn is heated through. Top with your favorite cheese if desired. I like the mildness of mozzarella to compliment the sweetness and spiciness of this chili.