This week was one of those “let’s see what’s in my kitchen and throw something together” kind of weeks. Luckily I had lots of scraps around and only had to run out for toppings, which made for a colourful, gluten-free, vegan and healthy chili.
I feel like a lot of people see chili as a “cold weather” kind of food, but as a vegetarian it’s got tons of vitamins and nutrients that might be difficult to fit into other meals, and you can serve it cold depending on your preference. I ate some at dinner with cheese and avocado on top; then the next day I took it for lunch and ate it as-is.
Quinoa in chili is something new I tried because it gives that extra boost of protein without using soy. Although soy is a really versatile and good-tasting product, I’ve heard a lot of things about the negative effects that can come from eating too much of it. So I try to limit my soy intake and use other sources of protein. In this case, two kinds of beans and quinoa do the trick. I saw the idea for using quinoa in chili from Two Peas and Their Pod, then I just adapted the recipe from there.
Makes 6 servings
- 1/2 cup royal quinoa (red and white quinoa mixed), rinsed
- 1 cup water
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1 (540mL) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (540mL) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 (796mL) cans diced tomatoes— keep the liquid
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup frozen corn
Place quinoa and water in a small pot, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. The water should be completely absorbed at this point. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium-high heat, then add onion and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then add sweet potato, zucchini, bell pepper, carrots and celery. Cook for another 5 minutes once onions are just lightly golden, then add in both kinds of beans, canned tomatoes and broth. Then add cayenne pepper, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and then lower heat down to a simmer. Cook, simmering, for 25 minutes—partially covered. Add in corn, then cook (still on a low simmer) for another 10 minutes. Once finished, the sweet potato should be easily piercable with a fork.