Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

My plan to post twice this week doesn't look like it will work out. Instead I will leave you with this delicious vegetarian chili made with the super grain quinoa. I enjoy a hearty meaty chili but this veggie version is still hearty without being as heavy. This recipe is also well suited to the warmer weather we are having and hopefully continue to have.

Don't forget that quinoa must be cleaned prior to using in a recipe. To clean, place the quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and run water through it. Repeat the process until the water runs clear.

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili
recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

½ cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
½ tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Optional toppings: green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream, Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, etc.

In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and water. Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Spray the stoneware insert of a 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine the onion, garlic, jalapeƱo, carrot, celery, peppers, and zucchini, black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Stir well and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours until the vegetables are tender.

Serve warm garnished with the toppings of your choice.