I fell in love with making this dish, from prepping the ingredients to putting it all together. I love, love chili! Especially a hearty bowl of it with either corn chips, tortilla chips or the multi-color tortilla strips to put on top of the chili. Chili is just full of flavor goodness and oh so comforting on those cool nights at home. Also one of my favorite one pot dishes to make in the fall and winter seasons. After prep time, it’s quick to put together in the pot and only takes no more than hour to cook. Yes, ya’ll chili is the BOMB.com!
I will be honest to say that I am not a fan of quinoa. However, since the fiance is a vegetarian it made finding things to cook that would also satisfy my taste buds a bit challenging. I came across a recipe awhile back for quinoa chili and had to try it out for myself. Not to mention, I just knew that he would like it. After making this recipe my own, that included incorporating my own Creole flavors to it, he didn’t just like it, but loved it. I loved it, too! This one will be made over and over again in our house.
The ingredients are whole kernel corn, try-blend beans, black beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, vegetable stock or broth, quinoa (usually sold in a package or box), lime juice and an avocado (for garnish). You will also need yellow onions, green bell peppers, red peppers, garlic and jalapeños. The jalapeños are added if you really want a spicy kick to your chili.
Cook a cup of quinoa with boiling water (add dash of salt) for 30 minutes. Once quinoa is cooked, set aside.
Next, splash olive oil around your stock pot (works best for soups and chili). Add your diced yellow onions, bell peppers, red peppers, chopped garlic and chopped jalapeños. Let all of the onions, garlic and peppers to simmer in the pot on low for 5-10 minutes. You can cover the pot if you choose to sweat down the onions, garlic and peppers to keep them moist. I usually use the sweat method to allow all of the flavors to marinate without drying out quickly in the pot.
A quick tip for covering the pot while the seasonings are simmering on low, is allowing me some time to prep my other ingredients that need to go in the pot as well. Such as opening cans that need to quickly get thrown in after you uncover the pot.
Here’s another secret for adding great flavor while sweating your seasonings is adding a splash of red wine for chili. Now, I don’t judge when it comes to how much wine my friends choose to add in their pot while cooking. One of my motto’s when I’m cooking with wine is this, “A little wine in the pot, will never hurt anybody.” Let the wine do it’s thing and sweat it out, just like your other seasonings because it will add even more flavor to your chili. You can also cut in half a lime and add that to your chili.
After all of the seasonings have simmered, it is time to add your tomato sauce (preferably 14-oz or two 8 oz. cans), diced tomatoes, beans (rinse them out of the can first), corn and the whole carton of vegetable stock or broth. Let this cook on medium covered until everything starts boiling, then change to low to allow everything to simmer.
You want to add your cooked quinoa once your chili begins thickening and stir it in well in the chili. It should no more than 30 minutes to an hour for the chili to completely cook. A little bit of chopped cilantro, scallions, or even sour cream can be used as your garnishment. One of the great aspects of cooking chili is the versatility to making it how you want it. The key for having a successful chili that will woo your family is incorporating that flavor.
Recipe for Quinoa Chili
- 1-Cup of Quinoa (or follow package instructions)
- Olive Oil
- Green Bell Peppers
- Yellow Bell Peppers
- Red Bell Peppers
- (1) 14-oz can Tomato Sauce
- (1) 14-oz can Diced Tomatoes or 14-oz can Rotel
- (1) Can Kernel Corn
- (1) Can Tri-Blend Beans
- (1) Can Black Beans
- (1) Carton Vegetable Stock or Vegetable Broth
- (1) Avocado
- (1) Lime
- Corn Chips or Tortilla Chips