Chili is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods and one of the reasons fall is my favorite season. Chili reminds me of lazy fall Sundays falling asleep on the couch while watching football. When I decided I didn’t like beans, my mom would make me my own little batch with no beans, and when I later decided I was a “vegetarian,” she’d make me a little batch with no meat. As long as I could crush up an entire sleeve of saltine crackers in my bowl of chili, it was fine by me.
This is a healthy take on chili, and it’s gooooood. It’s meat-free (vegan even!) and full of veggies and definitely not lacking in flavor. I especially liked the addition of quinoa, because it reminded me of the saltine-cracker-filled chili bowls I loved growing up. The pic was taken on our balcony with the first of the fall colors starting to come in — aka chili season!
QUINOA BLACK BEAN CHILI (slightly adapted from All Recipes)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 19-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (or unseeded if you want it hotter)
2 tbsp minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn
1-2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Cover and let simmer over medium-low heat until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, and cumin, stirring to combine. Add tomatoes, black beans, green pepper, red pepper, zucchini, jalapeno pepper, chipotle pepper, oregano, garlic salt, and onion powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.
- Stir in reserved quinoa, corn, and lime juice, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the cilantro to serve.
I served this with some more cilantro and some shredded gruyere cheese. Delish!