Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Vegan Quinoa Chili

It's the beginning of a new year. 

Resolutions are to be made. Often mine involve food. I can't help it.

Eat more vegan food. Eat more vegetables. Save money on groceries. Don't get stuck in food ruts. Eat things that the kids won't necessarily eat (they will grow to like it). Try new foods, new recipes. Grow more food. Focus on family, not meal preparation. But in all this- Simplify.

In this spirit, I share a recipe that I found here and have made many times this season. I have shared it many times and it hits almost all my resolutions (with the exception of exercise!)

It is vegan, simple, can be prepared in minutes, hits all our nutritional needs and can be modified to make it exciting to your tastebuds.

People who know me well are likely shocked that I have posted a recipe with mushrooms, but here they fall into the backdrop, with the stars being the quinoa and beans. Mushrooms? My resolution to try things I don't usually make. 

I hope you also try new things and find happiness in simplicity in this coming year.

Happy New Year, Happy New Eats!

Vegan Quinoa Chili
Serves 4-6
This recipe is so simple, yet so perfect. We find the perfect amount of spice when we remove the seeds from the jalapeño, but if you love heat, add some of the seeds. Cayenne pepper makes a perfect substitute for jalapeños in a pinch. 
A delicious accompaniment are these cornbread muffins.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups rinsed and chopped button or cremini mushrooms (one small package)
2 medium onions, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced (or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper)
2 tbsp chili powder
1 can (796 ml) diced tomatoes (about 3 cups homemade processed peeled & diced tomatoes)
1 can (540 ml) mixed beans (about 2 cups cooked beans, or 1 small can black beans & 1 small can white beans)
1/2 cup quinoa

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onions for about 5 minutes, then add mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5-8 minutes.
2. Stir in jalapeño (or cayenne) and chill powder, cook 1 minute longer, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes with juices, beans and quinoa and 1 cup water.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Season with salt and pepper if desired (not needed if using salted tomatoes and beans).
4. Optional (vegetarian) garnishes include: plain yogurt, grated cheese, or chopped cilantro.