Sometimes recipes can take on a life of their own. A while ago I came across a three bean chili recipe which sounded good and this week it made it onto my meal plan. It started out as a pretty simple bean chili but as the week went on I thought that it would be nice it there was some quinoa in it. Then I thought that some bell peppers would add some colour. As it came time to cook it I noticed that I had some zucchini in the fridge that needed finishing. And then there was that last cob of corn... Before I knew it my pot was full and I had only added one of the beans. What had started out as a three bean chili had quickly turned into a nice vegetables chili. Chilies like this are really easy to make and full of flavour. As far as the vegetables go, you can add whatever you want or whatever is in season. In the winter I like to add squash and in the summer there are so many options. I am particularly looking forward to fresh tomatillos as they add a ton of flavour. You can garnish chili with lots of different things and this time I went with some monterey jack cheese and green onions. One of my favorite things about making a chili is that there is a lot of leftovers that are convenient to bring to work for lunch.
Black Bean and Quinoa Chili
A healthy, hearty and tasty vegetarian chili with back beans and quinoa that does not sacrifice anything in flavour.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin, toasted and ground
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or 3 cups cooked beans, from 1 cup dry)
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into bit sized pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into bit sized pieces
- 1 zucchini, cut into bit sized pieces, optional
- 1 tablespoon chipotle chili in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup corn, fresh, frozen or canned
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- Simmer the quinoa in the water until absorbed, about 20 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic, chili powder and cumin and saute until fragrant, about 1 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, beans, peppers, zucchini, chipotle, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the quinoa and corn and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
Slow Cooker: Optionally implement steps 2 & 3, place everything except the quinoa and cilantro in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or high for 2-4 hours before adding the quinoa and cooking on high until the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes, and mixing in the cilantro.
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