Traveling to see distant family and friends during the holidays, we were touched by the care everyone showed to make sure Bill ate heart healthy! — potentially challenging since he (and me!) are still eating mostly plant-based and are now also wheat free.
Butter beans and field peas from Uncle Ernest’s garden, a hearty bean soup made especially for Bill at my sister’s home, along with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables everywhere we went kept us well fed. I carried along plenty of fresh baked Sylvia’s Ozark Cornbread making sure I had enough to share. (I’m pretty sure I converted some Jiffy cornbread eaters to this heartier bread along the way.)
Everyone’s thoughtfulness gave the holidays an extra-special warmth and feelings of being loved. What could be nicer than that?
Late one cold and windy afternoon, we arrived at the home of our friends Holly and Gary, just in time for me to help Holly finish preparing this recipe she was making especially for Bill. She’d gotten it from her sister-in-law during her own holiday travels, and it is from Two Peas & Their Pod’s blog. Quick and easy to prepare, full of beans and vegetables, with just the right amount of spiciness, it seems an ideal recipe to help with New Year’s resolutions or for just a comforting meal on a chilly night. We really liked the quinoa in it! And bonus, along with the beans the quinoa gives it an extra protein punch!
Two Peas says “Meat lovers and vegetarians will love this chili!”
Vegetarian Quinoa Chili
Yield: Serves 10-12
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 tablespoon 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
2-3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Optional toppings: green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream, Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, etc.
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and water. Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapeño, carrot, celery, peppers, and zucchini. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Simmer chili on low for about 30 minutes. Serve warm.
Note-garnish the chili with green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream/Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, if desired. This chili freezes well.
Photos by: Bill Peterson Galleries