Tag Archives: best friends

Lentil Chili

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One my best friends, Allison, lives 752 miles away in Oxford, MS (home of Ole Miss, the Manning’s and my Rebels. Hotty Toddy!). She and I have been friends since we were 12 years old when training bras were a big deal, school supplies translated to Lisa Frank, three-way calling was the “in” thing,  and our crushes on boys only lasted one week.

I hate that she lives so far away! It’s pretty dumb. Then again, she probably thinks it’s pretty dumb I chose to live in a state shaped like a mitten where it gets colder than ever, while she gets to maintain a garden in February like it’s no big deal – pretty badass if you ask me.

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The point is, she’s one of my rocks. I talk to her every. single. day. You heard that right.

Friends are essential. Especially ones you’ve known more than half your life. I was in her wedding, she was in mine. She’s heard me cry, I’ve heard her cry. She’s vented to me about what upsets her and I’ve vented to her (sometimes multiple times a day) about what’s bothering me.

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One thing she and I definitely do is exchange recipes. We’re both big foodies and literally spend hours talking about food, coming up with recipes, giving each other tips or suggestions on how to alter a recipe, what flavors would work and more. We’ve even thought about starting a blog together. She’s all classic-southern-comfort-cooking-but-also-healthy-ethnic-dish (or feasts as I call ‘em) gal, and I’ve got the vegetarian-health-nut-freak-thing on my end. Together, our kitchens are unstoppable!

So this lentil chili was born as a result of one of our chats. It’s her lentil soup recipe and my vegetarian chili recipe. Together they’re married in soup harmony. Equal soup rights, y’all. Support it.

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It turned out boss, and made enough to feed an army. And if I could, I’d fly her up here to eat it with me. Then we could laugh, eat good soup together, talk for hours and it wouldn’t seem like she’s 752 miles away.

Lentil Chili
 
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My best friends lentil soup recipe combined with my vegetarian chili recipe. Together, it’s an unstoppable force of flavor.
Author:
Recipe type: Chili, Soups
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 15-oz. can fire roasted diced tomato
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz. can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4½ cups unsalted vegetable stock
  • 1 cup brown lentils, picked through, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 15-oz. can peeled, crushed tomato
  • ½ cup meatless crumbles (Boca brand or similar)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Start by heating olive oil in a large stock pot.
  2. When heated, add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
  3. Then add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Next add carrot, green and red bell peppers and cook until peppers and carrot are tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the drained beans and vegetable stock and cook another 10 minutes.
  6. Then add in the lentils, cover and let the soup come to simmer, another 8-10 minutes.
  7. Add your spices: cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and also add in the frozen corn kernels. Give the whole soup a good stir.
  8. Finally add the crushed tomato, meatless crumbles, salt and pepper and stir well.
  9. Cover and bring to small bubble and then simmer 30-35 minutes.
  10. Top with your favorite garnishes and enjoy!

 

Memory Lane


This is Humphrey the Hippo. He was Gryff’s very first toy (aside from his puppy Kong).

Humphrey is more than a friend to him though. He was Gryff’s companion, compadre, his bestie.

We decided to see what it would be like if Humphrey and Gryff were reunited after months of separation.


Gryff was pretty stoked to his pal back in his life. After taking this picture, something happened.

I started to cry. Well, almost. OK, I was tearing up and didn’t want REB to see, so I hid it.


I know I shouldn’t be upset that he’s grown up into the best dog ever (seriously), but I always think of him as that little bean we got over a year ago.

if you observe on the left, Gryff used to be the size of Humphrey. He couldn’t even pick him up. All he could really do was gnaw on his tail with his puppy teeth. On the right, is today. Over a year later.

sniff sniff…as he’s all…sniff…grown up…sob..

Humphrey has seen some better days. To be real honest, I think he was used more as a teething toy than a companion.


It’s so dirty and chewed up! It’s pretty gross to think his mouth was kind of gross and made things dirty. Yuck!


He not only nommed all over Humphrey, but he also pulled out the stuffing. I think that’s the reason he got put back into the Gryffy toy box. Not joking.


Another reason why we probably put Humphrey BACK into his toy box was because of how filthy he is… This can’t be sanitary. o_O

I don’t want to get rid of the hippo. Like Mr. Bear to me, I want Gryff to always have the first toy he ever had. This toy used to spend many nights with him in his crate, helping him through his first night away from his birth mommy -tear-, helping him cope with spending a few hours alone each day while REB and I were at work, and helping him teeth comfortably. He’s an important part of his life!

Who am I kidding? He’s part our of lives too. Call that lame, but whatever.


They’ve both mellowed out over the months, but they’ll always be best friends. That much is true.

Together, these two can conquer the world! …or the living room at least.