Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

A couple of weeks ago we decided to have a menu of meat-free dinners. It was chilly outside and chili sounded good, so we went on the search for a good vegetarian chili. This is one of the first recipes I came across and after reading the ingredient list, my search was over! It was the first time we had ever made quinoa and Van wasn’t so sure about it. He’s not crazy about the look of it when cooked, but I thought it added the perfect amount of texture and protein to the dish. You can probably make it without the quinoa, but I’d highly recommend keeping it in. I especially liked this recipe because it didn’t have to cook for several hours. Once all of the vegetables cook for a few minutes, it just simmers for 30 minutes, and voila! Dinner’s ready! Leftovers are delicious the next day as well.

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili - A Little Bit of Me

Ingredients:
1/2 cup quinoa (Mine came pre-rinsed, but if your package doesn’t say that, you’ll want to rinse it)
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. 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 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Optional toppings: green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream, Greek yogurt, cornbread, etc.

Directions:
1. Combine the water and quinoa in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large pot. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, jalapeño, carrot, celery, peppers and zucchini. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

3. Add all canned ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in the cooked quinoa and season with chili powder, cumin, salt and black pepper. Simmer the chili on low for about 30 minutes. Add toppings and serve!

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Original recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod.

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