Thursday, November 13, 2014

Smokey Quinoa Chili

I've been on a soup kick the last few months. We almost always have 2-8 (yes, really) types of soup in the freezer for lunches or a pick-a-soup dinner. This chili has been made quite a few times - at home, at my parents, on vacation with my extended family, for a potluck fiesta going-away party for church (talk about mixing cultures there.) It's not your typical chili, it has beans and no meat so it violates the Texan definition of chili (and the fiesta was for a couple moving back to Texas, oh well, I wanted something that I could eat.) All the same, it's very good, very filling, and I've even added some suggestions in the end to bulk it up even more that start to take it away from chili-land and into Tex-Mex stew land.

This is a great year-round chili. I've made it for my parents and even my dad liked it (he insisted on a burger on side but we're not discussing his eating habits...)

Barely Adapted from Quinoa Chili from D- Delicious

 You Need:
- drizzle neutral oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced (optional)
- 2 t chili powder
- 2 t cumin
- 1.5 t paprika (regular or smoked, smoked is ideal)
- 1.5 t sugar
- .5 t cayenne
- .5 t coriander, ground
- 1 t liquid smoke
- pinch kosher salt
- .25 t black pepper
- 30 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 4.5 oz fire roasted green chiles, diced
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (or 1.5 cup cooked)
- 2-4 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1.5 cups or 15 oz kidney beans, cooked or drained/rinsed
- 1.5 cups or 15 oz black beans, cooked or drained/rinsed
- 2 cups roasted sweet corn (or 1-2 ears, which ever is easier to obtain)
- 1 lime
Toppings: avocado, sour cream, cheese, scallions

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion and jalapeno for 2-3 minutes then add the garlic. Saute until onions are soft and garlic is fragrant.
2. Add the seasoning (down through black pepper) and saute another minute or two to toast the seasonings. Careful to not let another burn (you want smokey, not charred)
3. Add the tomatoes, sauce, chiles, and uncooked quinoa. Reserve the quinoa if using cooked. Add 2 cups of veggie broth or water. If it looks too thick, add more liquid. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes (you can reserve the quinoa for the last 20 minutes if you want to ensure slightly firmer quinoa.)
4. Add the cooked quinoa if using, beans, corn, and lime juice. Gently cook until everything is heated through, about 5 minutes.
5. Serve with your favorite toppings and side of cornbread.

- Many of these vegetables, I call for fire roasted, regular will be okay, I just think the extra smokiness is a nice bonus. Alternatively, you can broil or roast your own chiles and corn.
- To make in a slow cooker, follow directions 1-2 then transfer to slow cooker. Follow directions for step 3 but cook on low for 4 hours.
- To bulk it up even more, add a couple handfuls of hearty greens (Russian Red Kale, Collard Greens, etc), maybe saute some chopped bell pepper too.
- This freezers really well. See my above comment on how much soup we have in the freezer.

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