Black Bean Quinoa Chili
People freak out over chili. What's that all about? My hand is raised...I can tell you what it's all about! Chili is warm, comforting, savory and, in my kitchen, marks the start of a cold weather season. Because I hate the Winter, chili is something I especially find comfort in. And make no mistake, it's popularity can't be denied given it's endless variations. There is literally something for everyone in a bowl of chili. If meat is your jam, chili's got you. Prefer a vegetable rendition? There you have it. Add a grain, skip a grain...you get the idea.
Here's my take this Fall. It's a warm, spicy, hearty and an easy weeknight chili that's got just the right heat and kick.
1 (14 oz) can black beans, well rinsed and drained
1 (14oz) can chopped tomatoes, and liquid
1 c. quinoa, uncooked
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chili powder (2, if you can take the heat...I could not)
3 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (1 tsp. if you can take the heat)
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of cinnamon
2 1/2 c. water
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Over medium heat, warm the olive oil and saute onion, about 2-3 minutes
Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds (don't let it burn)
Add spices and stir until fragrant (heating spices prior to remaining ingredients releases all their oils, aroma and flavor)
Add beans, tomatoes, quinoa and water. Stir to combine, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes, until quinoa has absorbed liquid.
Enjoy with a handful of chopped, fresh cilantro, slices of avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime. For some creaminess and a heat cooler, add a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream.