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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Secretly Meatless Chili

Hi everyone!

Ok, I know, long time no blog. I kinda lost my motivation but I swear I'm back now! Yay!

I decided to do a recipe post for my return because I can honestly say this is my recipe that I developed myself from McGyvering around my kitchen to make a meal for my boyfriend one day (he's my fiancee now, maybe it was the chili!) . You see I wanted to make some chili but I had no meat with which to do it so I was checking around my cupboards and found something I forgot I bought, red quinoa. I made the chili and it turned out he ate at work so I put it in a bowl on the kitchen table and my roommates started eating it with tortilla chips, they loved it! And they were shocked when I told them it didn't contain meat, they couldn't even tell!

I know what you're thinking, quinoa is such a fad food and in 2 years no grocery stores will even sell it anymore. Well yes, quinoa is a very trendy food right now along with things like chia seeds and goji berries but there is a reason for the hype people. Quinoa is incredibly nutritious, can be very affordable depending on where you get it, and is practically a food chameleon, it can be put in so many different foods and take on so many different flavors it's mindblowing all the things you can do with it. It's the perfect meat substitute in chili and you never miss that there's no meat because the protein and fiber in the quinoa fill you up just like meat. The texture even resembles ground beef, you could give your family a meatless meal without them ever knowing it!

Alrighty then now that I'm done fangirling about quinoa, on to the recipe!

This recipe will feed a few people but you can easily scale it up or down to your needs, and this freezes like a dream. I do make my chili spicy, but you totally don't have to, I just love spicy food.

2 cups of quinoa (I like to use red quinoa to keep my chili red but use what you want)
1 can of diced tomatoes with the liquid (bonus points if you can find the ones that are pre-seasoned with garlic and herbs, watch the sodium level in these ones though)
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 small can of diced green chiles
2 Tablespoons of minced garlic (ish. I really like garlic so I always dump it in, you can use less if you aren't as crazy about it)
1 medium red onion diced
1 dried ancho chile (optional)
Spice and season to taste ( I usually use a tad of garlic salt, pepper, chili powder and cayenne. )


  1. Put the garlic and diced onion in the bottom of your heated pot and let it cook on medium for a couple of minutes, just short of browning. Use a little bit of oil in the bottom of the pan if sticking is a problem.
  2. Add in your tomatoes, beans, diced chiles, and quinoa. 
  3. Stir, Pour in just enough water to cover all your ingredients. You shouldn't need much since we keep the liquid from the tomatoes. Add in your dried ancho chile to the water.
  4. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, until your quinoa has absorbed all the liquid, it should thicken considerably into a yummy stew like texture. REMOVE the dried ancho chile before serving, Nobody wants to bite into that, although that would be pretty funny.

  • You could of course use fresh ingredients instead of canned, but I find canned just as healthy and tasty and it saves a ton of time on chopping. 
  • Remember to wash your hands after handling the chiles, let's not forget and touch your eyes or (heaven forbid) your spouse or child's eyes. Even the dried ones are pretty potent.
  • You should have had enough water to perfectly cook your quinoa and get a nice fluffy texture. If you didn't have enough and your quinoa isn't done yet, add in one half cup of liquid at a time and allow it to absorb. Conversely, if you had too much liquid and you have a soupy texture, simply drop in some more quinoa, I've used this trick a dozen times it comes out just great.
  • Don't worry about overcooking it is literally impossible to overcook this chili whenever you have it at a simmer. 
And that's all folks! If you would like me to add pictures of each of the steps or elaborate more on any ingredients or preparation please let me know. I hope you enjoy!