A healthy twist on chili you don't want to miss!
by Lindsay Evans
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Sure spring is around the corner (thank goodness), but there is still a chill in the air most days. Which means, you're over craving those hearty and robust chilis, stews, soups and casseroles (read: filled with meat), but you're not quite ready to break out the salad spinner either. If this sounds like you, boy have we got the perfect recipe for you: A Mexican Quinoa and Veggie Chili.
While brainstorming clever ways to use up leftover quinoa last week, we came up with this genius idea—why not add quinoa to chili? After a little experimentation, we got it right. This vegetarian chili recipe is flavour-packed and spicy (thanks to a healthy dose of smoked paprika and chili powder), while also being insanely healthy thanks to the addition of loads of veggies and quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa)—a mighty superfood grain—is a complete protein which means it contains all nine amino acides, and it adds a healthy dose of vitamins and nutrients including omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium and iron. We promise, you will not miss the meat in this one.
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, trimmed and diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tbsp (15 mL) ground cumin
1 tbsp (15 mL) smoked paprika
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
6 ripe plum tomatoes, diced
2 cups (500 mL) crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
3 tbsp (45 mL) tomato paste
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup (250 mL) frozen corn niblets
2 cups (500 mL) cooked quinoa
2 tbsp (30 mL) freshly chopped cilantro
1 cup (250 mL) grated cheddar or Monterey jack
1 large avocado, diced
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
4 tbsp (60 mL) sliced green onion
Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until softened. Add carrot, celery and red pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add cumin, paprika and chili powder; stir for 1 minute to release flavours.
Stir in tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and black beans. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, stir in quinoa and corn and continue to cook for 10 minutes to heat through and reduce liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon into bowls and top with your choice of grated cheddar or monterey jack, sour cream, diced avocado and green onions.