The whole idea of vegan chili was always super appealing to me, but time and time again, I made recipes that turned out to be a total let down. Bland. Boring. Bleh.
I finally hit a winner with this recipe! The quinoa adds great texture the the chili, and the chipotle chiles give it a delicious smokiness. As with all chiles, it tastes better the next day when the flavors get a chance to meld together.
This recipe is also a great way to sneak in a ton of different seasonal vegetables. I used tomatoes and shredded zucchini, but you could also work in kale, summer squash, or mushrooms.
There's no need to keep this vegan if you don't want to. I've made this recipe with turkey and chorizo, which was really tasty, and made the chili extra spicy! You can also make it with vegan chorizo, which is actually really good.
Adapted from Mark Bittman's Food Matters Cookbook.
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 onion, peeled and chopped
• 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
• 6 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2-3 canned chipotle chilies, chopped
• 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
• 1 lb zucchini, shredded on the large grates of a cheese grater
• 2 14-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
• 4-6 cups vegetable stock
• ¾ cup quinoa, rinsed
• 2 14-ounce cans kidney or pinto beans, drained
• Optional for serving: sliced avocado, sour cream, cilantro, scallions, chopped red onion, crumbled feta or cotija cheese or shredded cheddar
1. Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add onion, peppers and garlic with a pinch of salt and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
2. Add tomato paste, chipotle chilies, and chili powder and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.
3. Stir in zucchini, tomatoes and 4 cups of broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes until vegetables are cooked through. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
4. Stir in quinoa, cover and cook 15 minutes until quinoa is tender. Stir in beans and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until warmed through. Let sit for 5 minutes, season with salt and black pepper to taste, then serve chili garnished as desired
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