I can honestly say that I never thought I would enjoy a vegetarian chili as much as I enjoy beef chili recipes, but this chili has completely changed my mind. The other day I had an event with a wide range of dietary needs. I decided to make this chili for the vegetarians in attendance. The chili was very well received by everyone.
I had made extra for our family and Jeffrey and I both really enjoyed it as well. It was a great way to have a hearty chili to warm our tummies with the frigid weather and we got a healthy dose of veggies as an added bonus. I will definitely be making this again and I don’t think anyone will miss the meat.
So if you are trying to increase your veggies this year, give this chili a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed. I started mine on the stove top and then finished it in the crock pot, but it will come together rather quickly even on a weeknight. I do however think that it only got better as we add leftovers. The flavors had more times to combine and blend and it was fabulous!
Vegetable Quinoa Chili
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 yellow 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, depending on your taste (we used 3)
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 stockpot, 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.
At this point you can put the cooked veggies in a slow cooker 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 several hours. If not using a slow cooker combine the beans, tomatoes, sauce, seasoning, and quinoa and simmer for at least 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.