Spicy Quinoa Chili (Vegan & Gluten Free)

The vegan chili of your dreams! Protein-rich from beans and quinoa and bursting with vegetables, this healthy meal will keep you full and warm on even the coolest winter days.

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I'm not quite sure how the eff Halloween is in 3 days and it's still 80 degrees in DC but you won't find me complaining!

What are y'all dressing up as for Halloween? I'm usually Jessie from Toy Story, but since my hair is now blonde I felt like an impostor trying on my costume. No bueno. So, we had to get creative.

Tonight, my friend Amanda and I will be donning red and white tees and various accessories to convey our joint costume, "Netflix & Chill". If you know me at all, you are currently going "omg haha that is so Jesse lol!!!" If you don't know me, hi I'm Jesse let's be friends!!

Tomorrow, I will be boarding a wine tour party bus for my friends' birthday dressed as an ASTRO-THOT. Oh yes, it is jut as glorious as it sounds. Don't @ me.

I still haven't figured out what I'm dressing as for brunch on Sunday but given the likelihood of my raging hangover I think cat ears and hastily-drawn eyeliner whiskers are in my future.

Anyway, none of that has anything to do with this chili other than that I associate chili with fall holidays like Halloween. Because what could be better to warm you up when it's ~chilly~ outside? Hahaha. I hate myself.

But for real though - this chili is packed with nutrition and protein from beans and quinoa, antioxidants from tomatoes, onions and spices, and heat from some diced chiles! Best served alongside the vegan cornbread from my post Wednesday for the healthiest comfort food you ever did see.

Spicy Quinoa Chili

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To make a big batch of this chili, you will need:
- 1 T olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 can diced green chiles (I used the rest of the can from this cornbread recipe)
- 28 oz diced tomatoes
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked (+ 2 cups water to prepare)
- 15 oz kidney beans
- 15 oz black beans
- 1.5 cups fresh or frozen corn (I used the rest of the can from this cornbread recipe)
- 2 t cumin
- 2 t paprika
- 1 t chipotle pepper
- 1 t black pepper
- 1 t salt

Begin by preparing your quinoa. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup dry quinoa with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 10-15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Set aside.

Mince your garlic and dice your onion, then heat 1 T olive oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent - 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chiles, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, cooked quinoa, and 2 cups of water. Stir, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.

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Once 15 minutes has passed and the chili has thickened, add the kidney beans, black beans, corn and spices. Stir well, then heat 5 more minutes to warm through.

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Once all components are warm, you're ready to serve! Or, if you're me, pack in several tupperwares to take to work every day! Ah, the joys of make ahead meals. I still miss you Sweetgreen.

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PS if you're not serving this up with some cornbread and also maybe avocado/cilantro/lime juice then you are MISSING OUT, my friends! Do it.

XOXO,
Jesse