Vegetarian Lentil and Quinoa Chili

It is officially winter time! Today is the twenty-first of December, the first day of the winter solstice… however if you live below the equator it is the first day of the summer solstice! In Buenos Aires it has been between 32-40ᵒC (90-104ᵒF) so far, while in New York it has been mostly cold at between -9-1ᵒC (16-34ᵒF). Although, oddly enough it is currently 15ᵒC (59ᵒF)! It seriously fluctuates over there. While if you are up here in Europe (at least on the coast), we have yet to experience both snow and negatives. Which of course usually go hand in hand.

But to begin the winter season, I thought to make a nice vegetarian chili.

Vegetarian Chili

Daddy came home the other day from Angola and when that happens I need to kind of cut my type of cooking to a bit of a minimum. He loves food with a kick, but it is more standard than my style. So I thought of making my chili because to me this tastes like the beef chili mom used to make when I was a meat eater some three years ago.

This is a super hearty meal that hits all the right spots, keeps you warm, while makes you hot from enough spicy flavouring. Honestly truly delicious. The recipe I followed can be seen below:

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock or 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • Avocado, if desired (to garnish)

Directions:

1.  Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add garlic and cook for a minute or until fragrant and slightly golden.

2.  Add onion and pepper and cook for a few minutes or until onion is translucent.

3.  Add in tomatoes, cumin, chili, cinnamon, curry powder, and pepper; bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until tomatoes begin to break down.

4.  Add broth, quinoa, and lentils, and bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until lentils are tender and quinoa has expanded.

5.  Stir in black beans, kidney beans, salt and cilantro. Chili will continue to thicken.

6. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Simmer a few more minutes.

This recipe can be found here. If you go to that link you will see the first time I made this chili. I am so happy that they used my photo as their cover photo. Makes me almost feel like a real chef.

And yes, I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but it is a quick make. Takes just an hour and ten minutes if made properly. The first time I made this recipe I used canned lentils, which obviously makes things go a lot quicker, while this time I allowed the tomato, lentil, and quinoa mixture to simmer on a higher heat than usual. This allowed everything to cook for 20 minutes. So depending on the elements you use, you can shorten your cooking time.

Regardless of how you make it, it is a delicious meal!

Flashless Photo

You know, the reason behind my making of it is rather cheeky. The reason for that is that Daddy is not a fan of quinoa. I am not quite sure why, but it is the truth. I thought that making a chili with lentils, beans, and the almost secret ingredient of quinoa would be perfect. I mean who honestly needs meat when you’ve got those three protein packed foods? And you know what? He loved it!

So for his first homemade meal back home I think this was a proper hit!

I really hope that you all try making this chili once. It could quite possibly be my favourite.

¡Que aproveche!

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