January 12, 2015

Superfood Quinoa & Three-Bean Chili (Vegetarian)

Oh, to be a kid again and wake up to find you have a two-hour delay from school!  When I was a kid, winter was my favorite time of year, and everything seemed to be magically followed by a hot cup of cocoa.  Now?  Not so much.  Right now, you could ice skate on my driveway, my car is covered in ice, the air hurts my face, and I really don't want to know what my electric heat is doing to my electric bill.  It's days like these that I am so thankful I work out of home.  After about the second week of January, I'm daydreaming about spring.  

Enough with the negative talk.  One of my favorite things about winter is all of the hearty soups and stews that we get to enjoy.  Now that it's the New Year, my husband and I have resolved to eat healthier than we did in 2014.  For dinner last night, I decided to make chili sans meat.  Instead of beef, I used quinoa and three different types of beans to make it healthy and hearty.  This chili is packed with flavor and rich in protein and fiber, so it will fill you up faster and keep you satisfied longer.  My non-vegetarian husband loved it and said he didn't miss the meat at all.  Score!

Yields 8 servings

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil 
  • 1/2 c onion, diced 
  • 1 celery stalk, diced 
  • 1 carrot, diced 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced 
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced 
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 can kidney beans, undrained 
  • 1 can chili beans, undrained 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (I use Frank's) 
  • 1/16 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium tomato, diced 
  • 24 oz tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought 
  • Pinch ground cinnamon 
  • 2 c water (or as needed), divided 
  • 1 c quinoa, uncooked 
  • Toppings:  Green onion, sour cream, cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, and/or crushed crackers


Heat a large pot over medium heat.  Once the pot it hot, add the butter and avocado oil.  Add the onion, celery, and carrot to the pot and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.  Add the garlic and jalapeno, and cook for 1 minute longer.  

Pour in the black beans, kidney beans, chili beans, chili powder, cumin, Worcestershire, hot sauce, pepper flakes, diced tomato, tomato sauce, cinnamon, and 1 cup of the water.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Stir in the quinoa.  Turn down the heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked and the chili is thick; stirring occasionally.  

Adjust the thickness of the chili to your preference.  Add additional water if a thinner consistency is desired.  At this point, I add 1 cup of water.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Garnish with green onion, sour cream, cilantro, cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, and/or crushed crackers.


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