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Quinoa Chili over Spaghetti Squash

November 22, 2010

Some nights I really just have no idea what to make for dinner.  I don’t want to go to the grocery store, but I want some thing easy and hearty.  Enter Quinoa Chili!  Over the years I’ve shifted the ingredients from the original recipe in Jennifer Darling’s “Fresh and Simple Vegetable Dinners” so that they are only things that I always have in my pantry and fridge.  I always start light on the spices and add more once I taste it.  (Especially since I like a lot more heat in my food than my husband does.)  We love it over something starchy and topped with creamy cheddar cheese.

1 1/2 cups onion, coursly chopped (I like the chunks…if you’re not a fan, chop it smaller)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons olive oil (for sauteeing)
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
4 oz canned green chilis (Hatch brand is the kosher brand.  I’ve often left these out when I don’t have them on hand)
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce (whatever you have in the fridge or pantry)
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup quinoa (I like to use the red quinoa because it looks pretty, but when I only have white on hand, I use that.)

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil on a low temperature until they are tender.  Then stir in the broth, tomato sauce, undrained green chilis, cumin, chili powder and coriander.  Make sure they’re super combined.  Then add the quinoa.  (It will sink.)

Bring to a boil, then reduce and let it simmer for half an hour, covered.  Check to make sure the quinoa is cooked through (the curly parts will be separating from the main part).  Turn off the heat.  If, after a few minutes, it looks liquidy, stir in some sifted flour.

Quinoa chili is delish over pasta, potatoes or on its own, but to make it heartier, lower the carb content of our favorite dish, and incorporate something seasonal, this time I made it over spaghetti squash.  This also makes it gluten free!

Spaghetti squash is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C.  The farmer in the farmer’s market explained to me that it should have even color and no soft spots.  It should also feel heavy for its size.

It’s really easy to prepare!  Use a metal skewer to poke holes throughout the squash so that it won’t explode in the oven.  Bake it for an hour at 375 degrees.  Let it cool so that you won’t burn your fingertips when you touch it (I always try this step too early!).  Cut it in half and scoop out the pits.  Use a fork to scrape at the remaining flesh until it turns into stringy.  Scoop some into a bowl and top with the quinoa chili (info below).

For a fun snack, when you remove the pulp, keep the seeds.  Rinse them off, then put them on a greased cookie sheet and sprinkle them with some seasoned salt.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  Yummy and crunchy.

Really this is 3 recipes in one post…how excellent!  Hope you enjoy my go-to meal!


One Comment leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    January 9, 2011 4:27 pm

    Try this recipe–it is great! I used feta instead of cheddar, which was delicious.

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