Tag Archives: quinoa

Spicy Vegetarian Chili

17 Mar

This is a new version of the Best Vegetarian Chili and it may be even better than the original. You could make it in the crock pot or on the stove – either way, it’s delish!

Start with these ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pepper, any color, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato (or regular potato), chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) spicy black beans
  • 3 Tbsp quinoa, any color
  • 1/4 cup lentils, any color
  • 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Muir Glen diced tomatoes – Fire roasted with medium green chilis
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 packet vegetarian chili seasoning mix
  • water
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Then get down to business:

  1. Put a bit (maybe a Tbsp) of olive oil in a large soup pan and heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Let cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped pepper, carrots, jalapeno and sweet potato to the pot.
  3. Add the two cans of tomatoes and stir well. Fill one of the cans with water and add that as well.
  4. Rinse the spicy black beans just a bit and add them to the mixture. Add the quinoa and lentils.
  5. Next add the can of tomato paste and stir well.  Tomato paste can be sticky so make sure to get it distributed throughout the mixture.
  6. Toss in the chili seasoning mix.
  7. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 45 minutes.
  8. Add the cup of frozen corn, stir, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  9. Top with shredded cheese and enjoy.

You could easily make this in the crock pot – just omit the olive oil at the beginning and pile everything in the crock pot, stir, and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, adding the corn in just about 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat.

What’s great about this chili is that it’s so flexible – I’ve added or omitted vegetables depending on what I have on hand and I’ve used sprouted legumes or chickpeas instead of lentils. Any version is great!

Spicy Veggie Chili

Quinoa Collard Wraps

20 Jan

Andrew thought it’d be fun if this year we tried to make one new recipe each week. This was our first attempt and it’s three weeks into the new year, so we’ll see how this goes…

The original recipe is called “Quinoa and Collard Leaf Dolmas” and is from The Moosewood Restaurant: Cooking for Health, which has all vegetarian and vegan recipes. We made a few small changes and although the finished product was tasty, the recipe was a little cumbersome to make.


1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped small

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pepper (any color you want, but I like red or yellow), chopped small

3 stalks celery, chopped small

1 small zucchini, chopped small

1 tsp dried oregano

3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

3 tbsp lemon juice

8 large collard leaves

1 cup pasta sauce


Preheat oven to 375. Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet and add the chopped onion. Cook until the onions become translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, peppers, celery, zucchini, oregano, and mint.

Veggies on stove

Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the cooked quinoa and lemon juice to the vegetables and stir well.

Quinoa on stove

Cut the large part of the stem out of each collard leaf. Steam the leaves until they soften enough to manipulate easily. Let them cool and then lay them, one by one, on a cutting board and slightly overlap the leaf where the stem was removed. Add 1/2 cup of the quinoa/vegetable mixture on top.

Quinoa on Leaf

Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling and then roll it up, making a neat package. Place the little package, seam down, in an 8×8 pan. Repeat with the rest of the leaves, using the rest of the quinoa/vegetable mixture. All eight leaves will fit perfectly in the pan.

Wrapped in Pan

Top the 8 leaves with your favorite pasta sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until hot. We ate these with a salad topped with feta and they were delicious!

Finished with Salad

Quinoa Burgers

19 Sep

This summer we ate a lot of burgers – black bean, chick pea, and quinoa. Sitting at the small table in the back yard, eating fresh tomato and mozzarella, sipping craft beers – it was a lovely summer.

Quinoa Burgers

(adapted from Eating Well Living Thin)


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (cook according to package directions)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese + a little water
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup spinach, finely chopped (you can try out other vegetables too – just make sure to grate or shred them well)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 /4 teaspoon sugar
  •  1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar and feta cheeses, onion, spinach (or other vegetable), egg, flour, sugar, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder. If the mixture seems a little too watery, add some more flour. Our biggest battle with these burgers was them starting to fall apart during cooking so getting a good consistency will help with that.

You can cook these on the grill (on aluminum foil) or fry on the stove, using a bit of olive oil and keeping the heat at medium. We topped ours with fresh avocado and ate them with a side of pasta salad.



Quinoa and Corn

4 Feb

I feel like quinoa has become really popular all of the sudden. I first heard about it from a coworker at my previous job and her description was that it was kind of like a super nutritious version of couscous. We sat in the office kitchen and struggled over how to pronounce it – QUI – NO – A? Nope. KEEN – WA we learned.

We thought quinoa was a whole grain, but I recently learned that it’s really a seed and is related to leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard. It’s often prepared as you would prepare whole grains like rice or barley. What’s unique and cool about quinoa is that it is a complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids.

My  aunt gave me a great recipe for quinoa and corn, which I love. I also found a similar recipe in The Really Whole Food Cookbook. I kind of mixed the two recipes together, and came up with this combo, which I think is just perfect.


1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups frozen corn

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne (or more if you prefer spicy)

1 small chopped onion

1 chopped garlic clove

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 8oz can tomato sauce

shredded cheddar cheese


Rinse the quinoa with water and then combine with 1 and 3/4 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand.

Meanwhile, cook the onion with the olive oil in a skillet. When onion is getting soft, add corn. Stir well and then add garlic, cumin and cayenne and stir completely. Saute for 4 or 5 minutes.

Add the cooked quinoa to the corn/onion mixture and stir together, adding in the can of tomato sauce.


Spoon the mixture into a square pan. Top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and wonderful. Enjoy!



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