Craft & Consumption

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quinoa Vegetarian Chili (Slow-Cooker Style)

I was inspired by the recipe (and photo!) of Vegetarian Quinoa Chili from Two Peas and Their Pod. I am a meat-eater but love to go for meatless mains when possible. Also I've been traveling a lot for work lately (January kicks off the spring market season for fashion accessories!), I spent last week in NYC and Atlanta, with just a day at home in between. Nonstop travel is exhausting, and I generally don't wind up nourishing my bod with healthy, leafy greens while away. Usually I'm eating rich, fabulous foods late at night at client dinners. Needless to say, I needed to whip up some quality food that was healthy and hearty at home (a little DIY detox, if you will).

I had time on Sunday night to prep some meals, but knew I'd be home late from work throughout the week catching up from my week of travel. So I hunted on the inter-web for a slow-cooker recipe and found this guy from Savvy Vegetarian. I need to become better friends with my slow cooker. In 2012 I think I used my Crock Pot exclusively for Hot Toddies and Spiked Cider. Not that there's anything wrong with that... but you know, I hear these bad boys can be pretty useful when it comes to prepping winter-soups, chilis, and what have you. So I chopped up some veggies, sautéed them to blend the flavors and get those onions sweating, and then I stored the sautéed veggies and canned, rinsed beans in the fridge until Monday morning.

In the AM I plopped everything into the crock pot and turned it on low before heading off to work.

The chili turned out amazing and we scarfed it up with some Lake Placid Pub beers while hanging out at home. Couldn't have asked for a more relaxing night after a long week of travel! Cheers to becoming better friends with my slow-cooker.


  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 3 cups water or bean cooking liquid
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked kidney beans (1 can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked black beans (1 can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup unsalted tomato sauce OR: 1/4 cup unsalted tomato paste + 3/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 Tbsp (2 - 3 cloves) minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp minced jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp gr coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried basil leaf
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaf
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram leaf
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp chipotle pepper powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp light molasses
  • 1 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos, or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • More Heat: Add more chile powder
 Crockpot Directions:
  1. Sauté jalapeno, garlic, celery, and peppers in oil for 5 minutes on med-high
  2. Add spices and herbs, stir 2 minutes
  3. Combine with water, tomato sauce, salt, quinoa and beans in a 6 qt crockpot
  4. Cover and cook on low for 5 - 6 hours
  5. Add Braggs or soy sauce, molasses, pepper
  6. Serve garnished with chopped clilantro and sour cream (optional)
*I skipped the soy sauce/molasses step and added canned corn at the end after the chili was cooked. I also cut up fresh tomato and threw that in to cook with everything else. I then topped my chili with Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, and sliced avocado. Deeeeelicious! This recipe made a TON, definitely enough to eat after work throughout the week.

Got any favorite winter recipes that you use in the slow cooker?

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