Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili

So, as my Mama used to say, it is time to "get back in the swing of things."  Summer is coming to an end! My wonderful vacation in Charleston was just what I needed to transition to this busy time and my time away was fabulous. In Charleston, you can always count on great food, a beautiful beach and amazing weather. But this time, it also included meeting awesome, new people.

Like most of the rest of you, my life is about to become busier, but that is not bad. I am a girl that kinda loves a good routine. For years, I saw patients on a set schedule and taught school at given times. I kinda prosper in that schedule and if nothing else, it makes fun times more appreciated and anticipated.

For me, with that more regular schedule comes more organization and preparedness. Most nights, that includes a lunchbox ready the night before. This recipe is one of my go-to lunch staples!! It is so healthy and full of veggies and protein and it freezes so well!! I also have to note that you will not miss the meat in this chili! It is hearty and delicious! If you are a bit more of a healthy, traditional chili eater (what???) give my Turkey Pumpkin Chili a try. I will admit, I have slipped that one by several chili afficiandos and they had no idea it was good for them! What they don't know.... I won't name names!!

I have to admit, I have been making this recipe for about 3 years and have not shared!  Shhh... Shame on me!!!!  (And some of my vegetarian meals are my most popular!)

Sometimes a girl needs a secret!

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili

As usual, I made this recipe in a large quantity and plan on eating some in the next few days, but also will freeze smaller quantities for lunches. This will serve multiple purposes: I have an awesome homemade lunch and I have a built in ice pack! Heat, eat, (check teeth for spinach) and back to work!!!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 hot pepper, diced or one can of chopped chilis
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 yellow or red bell pepper, diced
5 – 6 garlic cloves, pressed
2.5 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano or a handful of fresh oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 can (15 oz)  diced tomatoes or 1 1/2 cup diced fresh tomatoes
4 cups (32 oz) vegetable broth, more as needed
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained 
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained
1 and a half large sweet potato, peeled and diced 
1 cup dry quinoa
A bag of fresh spinach or large bunch of kale, washed and chopped

In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions all peppers, cook until soft (about 7 – 10 minutes). Add garlic, cook for another minute or so. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cook for 2 more minutes stirring constantly. Add tomatoes, broth, beans and sweet potato, stir until combined. Add quinoa, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover slightly ajar and cook for 30 -35 minutes, stirring often as this may stick. At this time, add spinach or kale and cook until wilted. No more than 5 minutes. Chili is ready when sweet potatoes are tender and greens are soft. Add additional water if chili is too thick for your liking. This chili is great right after it is finished or you can use in later in multiple ways. As I stated, I like to freeze individual portions for lunches. I have also used it as a side dish with fish or chicken.

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