One of the things I love about quinoa is its versatility. It has made its way into salads, main entrees, cookies and in this case, a chili. This whole grain (actually a seed) is a great gluten free option and substitute for its carbohydrate counterparts such as pasta and rice. Quinoa provides a whooping 8g of protein and 5g of fiber in 1 cup of cooked quinoa and is also rich in magnesium, b vitamins, and iron. It is also a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids, which is rare to find in a plant food. For quinoa newbies, don’t fret- it only takes about 20 minutes to cook 1 cup of quinoa on the stovetop! An easy rule to remember is that for every 1 cup of quinoa, add 2 cups of water (1:2 ratio).
Tip: Cook a big batch of quinoa in the beginning of the week and use it as your “base” for meals throughout the week. Phew, one less thing to worry about
Combat those cold winter days with this easy chili recipe with quinoa in it. This dish is a protein powerhouse thanks to the beans, chicken, and quinoa, packing in 37 grams per serving. Another plus: you can just cook everything in one pot, so less for you to wash!
Chicken & Black Bean Quinoa Chili
Total time: 60 minutes
1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
15 oz can of black bleans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
8 oz tomato sauce
15 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
1 cup water
2 cups spinach
1 cup of frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large skillet or dutch oven on medium-high heat and add olive oil, minced garlic, chicken, 1 tbsp chili powder and 1/2 tsp salt and season with black pepper. Cook and stir around for 10 minutes, coating chicken with spices.
- Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms and tomato paste. Saute for 5 minutes.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients, except for the frozen peas and spinach.
- Bring the pot or skillet to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes.
- Add spinach and frozen peas, simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let the chili sit for 5 minutes so the quinoa can absorb the liquid. Check to see if the quinoa is ready- it should be easy to fluff it with a fork.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Calories per serving: 390 calories, 39g carbohydrates, 9g fiber, 37g protein