I must say hubby was the last person who I would turn for healthy eating, but he introduced me to this Southern American crop-like grain, quinoa (pronounced kinwa), and I’ve been obsessed ever since. This healthy grain seed, that when cooked has an al dente pasta zest to it, is packed with high proteins – the protein that is complete with 9 essential amino acids making it a great added choice to any vegans’ diet.

Not only that, but this tiny grain is a great source of magnesium that helps relax blood vessels, so improves cardiovascular health and lessens migraines. See why I love this grain so much and I am glad hubby loves it too, since heart problems do run in his family. Better to eat healthy now to prevent future problems, that’s for sure.

Ever since I had a little taste of this quinoa, I’ve been researching into different types of recipes that I could use it in. First one being chili – my first ever chili recipe as well as using quinoa for it. I adapted this recipe from Two Peas and their Pod and added my spin to it.

Ingredients:

1/2 lb ground turkey (optional)
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 package of chili mix
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and water. Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapeño, carrot, celery, peppers, and zucchini. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
3. In a skillet, add your turkey over 1T of olive oil and brown. (optional)
4. Add the black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir in the cooked quinoa and turkey. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Simmer chili on low for about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

The best thing about cooking in a big pot is that you can freeze half of it for the following week. I hope you enjoy this and if you do try, please let me know in comment section.

Thanks for reading and bon appetit!