Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Veggie Cooking: Quinoa Chili

When it comes to the rigorous rights of passage that is required to count oneself among the Grain Guild, a.k.a the people who know which grains make good eating, I have fallen a bit on the shy side.  The first time I saw the word Quinoa I tried to pronounce it qwa-know-ah.  A very nice co-worker, who knew way more about mother grains than I, was kind enough to teach me the right way so I didn't sound silly when I tried to purchase said item from my Whole Foods.  That was several years ago, I have since learned about brown rice, wheat kernels, and barley, I have even cooked with them.  Epic, I know.  Enter the Dragon, ok not the actual Dragon, but what is now my grain foe: the bulgur wheat.
Ho Ho, you sassy minx, I thought I had you all figured out.  I wrote it down before I even went to the Whole Foods, 3/4 cups bulgur wheat, that's what I needed for my recipe.  Two words: bulgur wheat, how hard could this be? Well my friends it was quite a fiasco.  Did you know that the word "cracked" in front of the "bulgur wheat" term could send a well educated woman into fits of self doubt?  I was a quivering mess.  Ok, get it together, the nice Whole Foods girl will know what to do, NOPE. She didn't know if it was the right stuff either.  A friend who was with me even googled the grain, but we didn't see the word "cracked" in the definition so we though it was different.  Out goes bulgur wheat and in comes Quinoa.
Well, grain confusion is the birthplace of culinary creativity.  Thus we are given Quinoa Chili!

Quinoa Chili
3/4 cup dry Quinoa, cooked to package directions
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red pepper
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp minced garlic
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15oz can pure pumpkin
1 diced zucchini
1 can corn
1 can rinsed black beans
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
your favorite chili fixin's

In a large non-stick skillet, bring on the big one here this makes a lot of chili, heat the oil and saute the onion and pepper for five minutes.  Add in the chili powder, garlic, and cumin and saute until fragrant.  Add in 2&1/2 cups water, tomatoes, pumpkin, zucchini, and corn and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender.  Stir in beans and Quinoa and heat through.  Stir in cilantro right before serving.  Top with your favorite chili fixin's.  This chili freezes well.

This chili is very fresh and clean tasting.  You can't taste the pumpkin and the fresh cilanto is wonderful. You aren't weighed down by it and a touch of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt on top is excellent.  Oh yeah!
What kind of veggie recipes are you eating right now? Any asparagus avenues we need to be exploring? Any green gardens we need to visit? Let us know, we would love to try your meat-free recipes!

Keeping it grainy,
Kelly, the cilantro ninja


  1. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I need to join the ranks of the Grain Guild!

  2. that looks so yummy, love that it has a ton of veggies in it. thanks for sharing this at my party!

  3. I just saw this on another linky party. It looks so yummy!

  4. My husband and I love quinoa! Thank you for sharing this. I can't wait to try it!

  5. Love this idea! Never thought to use quinoa in chilli! I share your quest for grains and know what you mean about the cracked wheat bulger and just plain bulger debackle.... They are different. Wheat bulger is for tabouleh, the non cracked wheat bulger is the kind you will find in turkish cuisine and has a texture more like barley.

  6. This looks great...we went through a big quinoa phase about a year ago...and then stopped...thanks for the reminder so I can put some more into our recipe rotation again! :)

    Thanks so much for linking to "20 Below Thursday"! :)

  7. This is such a nice chili recipe. I would never have thought about pumpkin puree and quinoa being in a chili.

  8. I have never tried quinoa, but I have some in my cupboard and I have been looking for the right recpie and I think this might be it. I am going to give it a try. Thanks,

  9. this looks delish! Seriously I cannot wait to make this and since my family doesn't like quinoa all for MEEE!

  10. This sounds sooo delicious. I love quinoa. I'll have to try this!

  11. YUM! We LOVE quinoa in this household--this one is definitely getting scheduled into our weekly menu plans soon! Especially since I am trying to force a vegetarian dinner once/wk into my meat loving family! Found you on Fun For Kids Friday! Thanks for sharing :)

  12. I have never tried Quinona. I bet this turned out to be a great way to try it!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

  13. Kelly, your adventures in grain gophering 'cracked' me up! I have a few types of Quinoa in my pantry, but I have to admit that I've been a little afraid to venture out and actually cook with them. Your veggie chili sounds great and is perhaps just the right motivator to coax my quinoa from the cupboard to the dinner table!

    Thank you so much for always having something of quality to share on "A Little Birdie Told Me..." Tuesday at Rook No. 17!


  14. Wheat is crap. Quinoa is queen. I am a part of the "grain guild" as well.

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Juice. Hope to see more of the Rhinestone Beagle this week!

  15. I am excited to try this...I am always looking for new ways with quinoa - I will not let it get the best of me! YUM!

  16. It's been rainy = I definitely need to make this!

  17. Hello. this dish appears yummy and deliciousand moreover very spicy and i have never tasted it before.but it looks so luring that i cannot stop myself to ask my mum to prepare it for me this
    Chili and spicy dish.

  18. This looks awesome! Going to have to try this for my next cookout or tailgating chili party .