Saturday, January 5, 2013

Quinoa and Black Bean Chipotle Chili

Having lived in Minnesota for about ten years, I'm quite conscious of the fact that a high temperature of 39 degrees is nothing to write home about.  And yet, here I am, writing about how the cold, windy mornings and the dark, crisp evenings make me long for a warm bowl of chili.

Here's a recipe for Quinoa and Black Bean Chipotle Chili--a hearty, protein-filled dish that will warm you up in an instant. 

Chili garnished with scallions
Quinoa and Black Bean Chipotle Chili
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 - 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 chiles from a small can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • green onions, chopped, for garnish

First, heat the oil and garlic in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook until it begins to brown, about 6 or 7 minutes.  Then add the chili powder and coriander, and stir.  Cook for another minute.

Next, stir in the tomatoes, beans, chiles, oregano, salt, sweet potatoes, and quinoa.  Add 2 cups of water, cover, and bring to a boil; then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes and quinoa are cooked through.  (Add more water as needed if the chili becomes too thick.)

Serve hot with green onions as garnish.  Yields 4-5 servings. 


We all thoroughly enjoyed this dish.  The addition of the chipotle chiles--with their smoky, spicy flavor--really makes a difference.  The incorporation of the quinoa right into the chili also gives it a nice thickness, while the sweet potatoes help vary the texture.  With all of these components together in one dish, it's a one-pot meal.
We had no trouble finding these ingredients.  Fire-roasted tomatoes can be found among the cans of diced, crushed, and other tomatoes.  We found chipotle chiles in the grocery store's hispanic food section.
 Ease of Preparation:       
This straightforward recipe is also pretty quick to make.  Just make sure you have the ingredients chopped in advance, as always.
Non-vegan friendliness:           
Chili-lovers of all kinds would enjoy this filling, flavorful dish (I might even make this again for a chili cook-off later this month.).  As a pretty customizable dish, chili is a crowd-pleaser.  Rachel and Simon both added a dollop of sour cream to their bowls; you could also serve it with chopped cilantro or vegan cheese as added garnishes.

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