My family was going to be outside at a @Grace Estate Winery listening to my brother and his friends play music on a particularly chilly Friday evening.

It’s the kind of event where you can buy food from the food truck or bring a picnic dinner.  Since I can’t eat pretty much anything most places sell, I always happily bring my own food.

And, since it was going to be a chilly evening it seemed fitting to make some Chili.

I’m pretty much a wimp when it comes to spice (and that is putting it mildly) so I think It is a bit spicier than I like BUT everyone else thought it was fine.  If you like the heat, feel free to turn it up a notch.

AND–this makes a HUGE Batch.  I like to cook 1x and eat many times–feel free to make it how it is and then put some in the freezer or make half the batch.

What’s Smart and Sexy About This Dish?

Quinoa–Talking about Fiber isn’t so sexy but when your body is getting enough fiber it certainly feels sexy.  Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains, which helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes.

Black Beans--Balancing blood sugars is always a smart decision.  The protein and fiber in Black Beans helps to keep the rate of movement in the digestive track steady and stable, keeping our blood sugar levels balanced.

Red Kidney Beans--Like Black Beans, Red Kidney Beans are also great for keeping blood sugar levels stable.  The soluble fiber in kidney beans decreases the metabolism rate of the beans carbohydrates, which prevents blood sugar levels to spike.

Quinoa Chili (Vegan)Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 4.22.45 PM

[Serves 20-24]

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water

1 Tablespoon sesame oil 
or extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, sliced into rounds (like coins)
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 green pepper, seeded and diced
½ red pepper, seeded and diced
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup frozen organic corn (defrost by running warm water over)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup water
Sea Salt and black pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, bring the 2 cups of water to a boil then add in the quinoa.  Bring back to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until all liquid is absorbed.

In a large pot, on high heat, add olive oil and onion.  Add the onion and sauté’ for 2-3 minutes.  Add in the garlic and sauté’ for another 2-3 minutes.

Add in the carrots, celery, green & red pepper with a pinch of sea salt and sauté until the veggies are soft, approximately 10 minutes.

Add in the black beans, red kidney beans, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, organic corn, cooked quinoa, corn, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, water sea salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for 30-45 minutes on low heat.

***Garnish with scallions, gluten-free crackers or avocado.

Crock Pot Instructions:

After sautéing the veggies, transfer them to the crock-pot and add in the remaining ingredients.  Keep on low until ready to serve.