Saturday, October 26, 2013

BBQ Quinoa Chili

One of my favorite things about fall and winter is, of course, the food! I mean, isn't Thanksgiving about the food?? I know, I know...it's about being grateful. For food. Anyway, soups, stews, chowders, chilis, hot chocolate, ciders...all things that seem silly to eat in the summer, right?

This recipe is my favorite chili recipe. I made it this year for our church's chili cookoff and Halloween party. I've never added quinoa to it before, but while I was cooking it up I was looking through my pantry for another can of beans and my bag of quinoa like *jumped* at me. Literally. It was kinda scary but hey! It is Halloween, right? My husband, who is the unofficial official taste tester said it was a fabulous addition, so I'll be keeping it as part of the recipe from now on.

If you haven't tried quinoa before, you are missing out! I love the texture it adds to food, and it's so much healthier than rice or potatoes. Once you use it a few times, you start realizing you can add it to so many things - salads, soups, stews, sauces, etc. I actually crave it. Weird, I know.

Feel free to change things up! Omit the beef for a vegetarian option! Add more beans, less beans, different kinds of beans. Add more spice. Whatever! It's all up to your palette. I have little kids, so I have to hold back on the spice, and we use the beans we prefer, but in the end it's your chili. So do what you want!
BBQ Quinoa Chili
Girls in Aprons

1 pound hamburger
1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 15 oz can black beans, mostly drained
2 15 oz cans kidney beans, mostly drained
1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes (I used petite diced tomatoes with garlic)
1 28 oz can tomato sauce (I actually really like Progresso Recipe Starters Fire Roasted Tomato, so if   you have that on hand you can use that)
1 T chili powder (you can omit the chili powder and cumin and use a chili seasoning packet too)
1 tsp cumin
Salt to taste
1/3 cup bbq sauce (I recommend Sweet Baby Ray's Original)
1/2 cup quinoa

Brown the hamburger in a large sauce pan. About halfway through the browning, add the pepper and onion. Cook until hamburger is done and peppers and onions are no longer crunchy, about 5 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Add spices and BBQ sauce. Let simmer for about 30 minutes on low, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook 1/2 cup quinoa according to your package directions. Make sure to rinse your quinoa or it will clump together! Once it is cooked, add it to your chili. Serve chili with sour cream, green onions, avocado, shredded cheese, or chips!

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