Sunday, February 28, 2016

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili

This recipe showed up in my Facebook feed. You don't have to have a slow cooker, you can use a dutch oven instead. Using the quinoa helps give this recipe a punch of protein even though it's all vegetarian.

Total time - 8 hours 15 mins
Serves: 6 - 8 servings


2 medium poblano peppers (about ½ pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups)
1 medium green pepper, diced (about 1½ cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
4 cups cooked cannellini (white kidney) beans (or 2 15-ounce cans, drained)
¾ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed under cold water and drained
5-6 dashes Tabasco sauce (optional)

Fresh lime wedges and other optional toppings such as fresh cilantro, sour cream or Greek Yogurt, or shredded jack cheese


First, roast your poblanos. Turn the oven on to the high broil setting and move the rack to about one-third of the way from the top of the oven. Wash and dry whole peppers and place on a cookie sheet. Place in the oven and broil for 2-3 minutes, until the tops are blackened, then turn carefully with tongs and continue broiling until most sides are blistered and blackened. But watch carefully! Ovens can vary greatly, so keep a close eye on the peppers and remove them if they start to smoke more than just a little.

Remove blackened peppers from the oven and carefully tent a large piece of foil over the top. This helps the peppers to "sweat" and will make the skin easier to peel off when it's time.

While the poblanos are cooling, assemble the rest of the chili. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the diced onions and green peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5-6 minutes.

Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, cloves, and salt. Cook, stirring, for one minute.

Add a cup or so of broth and stir to make sure all the bits of flavor are scraped up into the broth. Carefully pour into the slow cooker along with the remaining vegetable broth, cannellini beans, quinoa, and Tabasco if using.

Carefully peel the skin off of the poblanos and remove the stem. Remove the seeds for a milder chili; keep them for a hotter chili. Finely dice and add to the Crock Pot. Stir gently to mix all of the ingredients together.

Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours, or on high for 3 - 4 hours until the quinoa is tender and the chili is relatively thick. Taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop into bowls and squeeze a lime wedge over each serving. Garnish with additional toppings if desired.

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