This is the perfect recipe to share on the blog this week because we’ve been enjoying #SLEETSHOW2015! It started icing here in Dallas Sunday night and continued on through Monday. The whole city pretty much closed down, including the clinic where I work so I got to spend all day Monday stranded in my apartment. The weather cleared up Tuesday, then today it started “snowing” (aka .00005 of an inch that barely stuck). People joke about how whiny Texans are when it comes to bad weather, but when it only ices 1/365 days of the year, we don’t have much experience dealing with winter weather! #itstoocold

*Side note: voting opens today for a gourmet food review for Marx Foods that I participated in last week! Please check out the voting here and vote for Zen and Spice, I’d greatly appreciate it!*

Beef and Lentil Chili 1

Poor Linky didn’t like the ice. When I sat him down outside to potty he tip-toed around and his whole body shivered. He’s too little of a puppy for this kind of weather! I tried to get a cute “puppy’s first snow ice picture” but the second he was done going potty he’d race back towards the door.

How can you warm up during this bad weather? Make chili and cornbread! It’s the ultimate cold weather food, right? Topped with sour cream and melty cheddar cheese. I like to crumble up the cornbread and mix it in with the chili. Does anyone else do this?

I took an old chili recipe that I had in my recipe binder and adapted it to make it healthier. The original recipe calls for 1lb of ground beef, so I reduced that by half and added in green lentils to keep it hearty. 

Beef and Lentil Chili 2One bowl of this chili only has 230 calories! Plus tons of fiber from the lentils, beans, tomatoes, and the finely minced carrots and bell peppers. All the veggies and beans create a hearty bowl without all the calories usually found in chili. I used low sodium beans, tomatoes, and broth to lower the salt content of this dish. Instead of using regular table salt, I like to use Morton’s Lite Salt because it’s half sodium and half potassium. Creates the same flavor with half the sodium.

[Tweet “Warm up with this Skinny Beef & Lentil Chili from Zen & Spice!”]  Beef and Lentil Chili 4 Here’s the recipe for Skinny Beef & Lentil Chili: 

Skinny Beef & Lentil Chili
Serves 6
  1. 1/2 lb 93/7 ground beef
  2. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  3. 2 cups shredded carrots
  4. 2 large red bell peppers, diced 5 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 5 tsp chili powder
  6. 2 tsp onion powder
  7. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  8. 1/2 cup green lentils
  9. 2 (14.5 oz) cans no-salt diced tomatoes
  10. 1 (14.5 oz) no salt added kidney beans
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. 1 32-oz carton low sodium chicken broth
  13. 1/2 tsp salt (I use Morton's Light Salt)
  14. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  15. Toppings: sour cream, cheddar cheese
  1. Cook the ground beef in a large pan until browned-- season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Add the carrots and red bell pepper to a food processor-- pulse until finely minced.
  3. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, minced carrots and bell pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, or until soft. 4. Stir in the chili powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, lentils, tomatoes, kidney beans, bay leaf, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the beef, and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, discard the bay leaf.
  5. Top with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and serve with a cornbread muffin!
  1. Approximately 230 calories per bowl!
Zen & Spice
What’s your favorite cold weather meal?


  1. I love chili and this looks so delicious. We are getting hit with the same kind of weather here in Charlotte so all I want to eat are warm foods like this

    1. Yep there’s a giant storm hitting the deep south! Stay warm!

  2. I love chili! I usually make mine vegetarian with loads of beans. Love the combo of lentils and beef in yours. Oh, and I can totally relate to the cold dogs in the snow. My westie doesn’t like it either. Poor puppies!

    1. Hahah I wonder if it’s a small dog thing? Or its just too dang cold?

  3. Aww, poor puppy! _>)

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