>No, seriously. I think I do. Chili is one of those foods that’s just so easy to make, it’s full of protein and fiber…not to mention amazing flavor. While I have sorted out the perfect spice mixture, I like to change up what goes in the pot.
I was in Costco the other day…which is always a bad idea. But I got a 5 lb bag of organic quinoa for $8. EIGHT DOLLARS!! That’s less than $2/lb. Even in bulk it costs more than that, and a 12 oz box on the shelf will run you $3.99. So…I bought it. While I was in line, someone asked if I’d ever put quinoa in chili. I hadn’t but it sounded like a great idea! Look at that gorgeous red quinoa.
Vegan Quinoa Chili (gluten-free if you skip the beer or use GF beer)
I cooked 1 and 1/4 c quinoa first, with the thought in my head that adding the cooked grain towards the end of the process would result in me not having to keep adding water to the pot. Quinoa is not something I’ve always loved; it does have an earthy taste to it. I’ve found that rinsing it before you cook it, and adding a little cumin and a little lime juice to your cooking liquid really does wonders for taking away that bitter earthy taste that a lot of people dislike about quinoa. For this, I used 2 1/4 c veg broth, 1 t cumin, 2 T lime juice and cooked the quinoa as directed.
While the quinoa was cooking; I started a saute of a little peanut oil <1-2 T>, one onion, two carrots and four cloves of garlic. When the onions were soft, I added my chili spice mixture and toasted the spices for about 90 seconds. This helps develop the flavors of the spices quite a bit. I then added 28 oz diced tomatoes, 14 oz diced tomatoes with Chipotle peppers, 5 oz can of tomato sauce, 1 T tomato paste (optional) 12 oz beer (you can use veg broth/water), 28 oz water, one can of black beans, rinsed, and one can of white beans, rinsed. I let this simmer for about 20 minutes, then added my quinoa and one cup of frozen corn. I let this simmer for an additional 20 minutes, then ate it up. The quinoa really thickened the chili to the point that I didn’t need to add masa+water to thicken at the end. The red quinoa also kept the color gorgeous.