Mary Beth Johnson is a photographer, blogger, and journalist with a passion for finding beauty in unexpected places and celebrating the everyday. Originally from the east coast, she now lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three children (dubbed “schooners”). From an office full of fingerprints and walls scattered with imperfect artwork, she’s writing her first book, a memoir of her parents’ journey in raising 14 children, and her own lifestyle blog, Annapolis & Company.
I have been on the hunt for healthy, mum-friendly meals that can translate from lunch to dinner lately. This is the time of year that gets hard. I’m completely over winter and I find myself daydreaming of bare feet, summer sangria, and fresh salads with produce from the garden, but winter is so not over with me. With these last few weeks of cold left, I decided to get out of my soup rut and make a chili I had tried at my friend’s house. It’s hard to find a filling vegetarian version, but this one takes the cake! I promise you won’t even miss the meat and the texture of the quinoa more than makes up for it. It asks for a lot of ingredients, but they are all common ones and you will find this is more of an “assembling” type recipe than anything else. Looking back, I wish I had had some avocado to put on top, because I think that would have taken it to the next level. So take it from me. Splurge and get some!
Here’s to surviving the last of winter!!!!
//VEGETARIAN QUINOA CHILI
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
(1 3/4 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 – 2 cups water (or chicken broth if not making vegetarian)
1 (7 oz) can diced green chiles
2 1/2 Tbsp chili powder (More or less…it had quite a kick!)
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used one dark red, one light red)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Once oil is hot add onion and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes, adding in garlic during last 30 seconds of sautéing.
Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, cooked quinoa, water (start with 1 1/2 cups then add more later if desired), green chiles, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, paprika, sugar, coriander, cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot and allow to simmer 30 minutes.
Add in all beans, corn, cilantro and lime and cook until heated through.
Serve warm with optional toppings and sides (cheddar, sour cream, diced avocados, saltine crackers or tortilla chips).