Eat More Vegetables
The phrase that sums up my theory of eating healthier and happier (other than I love quinoa, of course!) is eat more vegetables.
I think we would all do better to get our 5 a day every day and then some, and not insist on animal flesh at every meal.
Each I week I send out a tweet:
And each week I get interesting suggestions. Recently, @Krazy_Kris suggested I try kohlrabi. Her endorsement was so enthusiastic that I went out that day to buy them.
Kohlrabi prep work takes a little time, because you must cut away the thick rind on the outside of the bulbs. You can’t cheat by buying bigger bulbs because the tasty ones are no bigger than a tennis ball.
I cut off and saved the kohlrabi greens for another meal.
I cut the kohlrabi into in little sticks and roasted it in the oven following these instructions on A Veggie Venture.
My sons and I tried the kohlrabi both raw and roasted. We all enjoyed the taste. J described it as “a little onion, a little cucumber, and a little sweet.” I will definitely add fresh kohlrabi “chips” to my next vegetable dip.
Who’s Coming to Dinner?
I have been planning to do a vegan chili quinoa for some time on this blog, and then while I was roasting the kohlrabi, the opportunity was thrust upon me.
I was rolling the filled tortillas for chicken enchiladas, when J walked in with two vegan friends. Fortunately, I had everything on hand to throw together a quick (and tasty) vegan chili.
My omnivorous sons loved the enchiladas and everyone raved about the chili.
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup rinsed quinoa
- 1 28 0z can of whole tomatoes
- 1 14.5 oz can of black beans
- 1 package of chili seasoning (I used McCormick’s Chili Seasoning.)
- ½ cup thinly sliced carrots
- 1 cup of frozen corn
- cayenne to taste
I cooked my chili in a separate pot from the quinoa (mostly because I started the quinoa before I was sure what I would serve with it), but you could easily throw it all in one pot and serve a filling and tasty stew in about 20 minutes time.
If you cook the quinoa separately, then you should bring the water to a boil in a small sauce pan, add quinoa, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. If you are going to cook everything in one pot, then start with the tomatoes and add the quinoa and the water with the beans.
Place the tomatoes and their liquid in a medium saucepan. Use a wooden spoon to break the tomatoes up into bite size chunks. Drain and rinse the black beans and add them to the pan (with the quinoa and water if they are not cooking in their own pot). Add the chili seasoning and the carrots, and bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer fifteen minutes.
I add frozen corn at the very end and then I taste and season with cayenne pepper.
Make This Dish Your Own
The chili seasoning I used is not gluten free. I think it is vegan, at least the ingredients appear to be. There is a low sodium version online, but I don’t see it at my grocer. You can shop around for a chili seasoning mix that suits your needs. And then keep extra packets on hand for last minute dinner guests!
The carrots will not cook up soft in this stew, I have grown to prefer them a little bit crunchy. You could chop up onions and peppers as well or instead. I would have if I hadn’t been so pressed for time.
Really, this chili will accept any vegetables you want to add.
If you prefer your vegetables softer, you can let the chili simmer for 30 minutes or longer, but then you shouldn’t add the quinoa until the end because it swells up and gets mushy if you cook it that long.
I hope you are getting your 5 a day and are open to meatless meals. Download Keenonquinoa’s Favorite Quinoa Recipes here, to get my Ground Beef Chili Quinoa recipe and other tasty quinoa ideas.
Do you have a go to meal in your pantry for unexpected guests? I would love to hear in the comments how you make it special at the last minute.
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