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Eating Clean: Quinoa and Black Bean Chili

Man, I love Quinoa. As a carb, I’ve always used it to replace brown rice and pasta for a clean, protein-packed, nutritionally dense side dish but… just a few nights ago my lovely Lady-Friend (Coach MC, of course) gave Quinoa a whole new life with a meat-free chili recipe. It’s obviously higher in carbs but they’re clean, fibrous and protein rich. To boost the protein in the meal, I wash it down with a serving of whey. In the mean time, this recipe is so refreshing (no meat!) and surprisingly tasty the love must be shared:

What You Need

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water


1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (19 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

Moderately Easy Prep:

If you don’t already have quinoa made…. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin; cook and stir 1 minute to release the flavors. Stir in the tomatoes, black beans, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, zucchini, jalapeno pepper, chipotle pepper, and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, stir in the reserved quinoa. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cilantro to dish out a 1 cup serving. Add a salad and nosh on.

The (Macronutrient) Breakdown:

Calories: 233
Fat: 3.5g
Carbs: 42g
Protein: 12g (with a serving of whey protein as a drink: 36g)

*Thanks to and Shauna for the tastiness. 

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10 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Karen says:

    yum! I love quinoa and can’t wait to try this recipe!

  2. Jim says:

    I’ve tried that recipe and it’s great, you’ll never believe your eating healthy. The chipotle peppers are the way to go.

  3. Danv says:

    Jim– I know, surprisingly good, right? I did forget to mention I rinse the beans to avoid excess sodium but man… it’s some good stuff.

  4. Romall Smith says:

    gonna have to give this a try. Have not cooked quinoa yet

    • Danv says:

      Quinoa is awesome, Romall. Definitely give that stuff (chili or not) a try. Haven’t touched brown rice in ages.

  5. john goodbar says:

    What a great recipe! I’ve loved the Q since I went vegetarian. And a quick fact, black Quinoa is grown right here in Southern Colorado. I’ve heard it has a different flavor than the white Quinoa, so I guess it’s time to order some. :)

  6. Dan says:

    I’ve heard the legend of San Luis Valley Black Quinoa and that it’s actually tastier…. definitely let us know how it is if you get a hand on it before we do.

  7. Tess Elliott says:

    Been adding quinoa to soups a long time, and it really fills out the meal. Red quinoa goes into anything with tomato because it disappears, and natural quinoa goes into anything with cheese like a super cauliflower baked au gratin. MMM! You really don’t need to cook it first. I slow cook my soups, and there is plenty of time to just add the cup or so of quinoa right from my five pound bag. It does not stick together because the soup is nice and hot before I add it.

  8. Laurie Endicott Thomas says:

    This looks like a great recipe! Of course, I would fry the onions without the olive oil!

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