Kale-Lentil-Squash Chili / Homemade Vegetable Stock

Kale-Lentil-Squash Chili / Homemade Vegetable Stock

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In just a few days my bag was stuffed with carrot ends; onion scraps and peel;  cucumber and zucchini peel and pieces leftover after spiralizing them; half an orange bell pepper that was ready to turn; an entire jalapeno also ready to turn; the big stem from a bunch of broccoli + a few broccoli florets; kale stems and a few leftover leaves. I tossed all of the frozen veggies into the crock pot, with a little olive oil.  I added half an onion, chopped; 3 cloves of garlic, diced; 4 sprigs of dry thyme (that I dehydrated); iodized sea salt; black pepper corns; two bay leaves. I poured filtered water over the veggies, until they were just covered, and turned the crock pot to low. After a few hours I pulled out the jalapeno and sliced it up and tossed it back in, seeds and all. I poured the stock and veggies into a large bowl through a cheese cloth.  I squeezed the excess broth out of the veggies through the cloth and tossed the veggies (you can compost them). Look at that colorful stock!  I gallon bag of frozen vegetables = 8 cups of delicious vegetable stock! It was incredibly flavorful and it definitely had a kick from the jalapeno. Perfect for a chili.  I started dreaming up a recipe for my first chili made out of my very own homemade vegetable stock.  Simultaneously I was reading blogs and the January Iron Chef Challenge blog post from Vegan MoFo popped up in my reader.  This month’s secret ingredient:  squash!  So I added squash to the chili recipe I was creating. Add onion, garlic and green pepper and saute for a few minutes. Add squash and cumin, stir and saute for 3 – 5 minutes. Stir in lentils and tomatoes. Add vegetable stock, enough to cover everything, then a bit more.

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