This post is regarding an adaptation I make of the Quinoa Chili recipe by Damn Delicious.
I don’t really measure things when I make food, so it’s a little hard for me to put recipes on my blog for people. For this chili I might at some point, because it’s one of those really great heavy heartwarming dishes perfect for cold winter nights. It’s hearty enough that it’s really easy to forget it’s vegetarian.
I’ve always been a picky eater and my dad makes the BEST chili, but I don’t like meat that much. I’m not vegan or vegetarian, though I’ve considered it, but I hate having to fight my way around the bits of hamburger when all I really want is the beans and sauce.
The quinoa chili is perfect for me because I don’t have to pick my way around it at all. I just throw a little cheese on top and go to town.
If you’re interested in the changes I make I’ll explain the way I cook a bit. Generally, I just throw things together by instinct; I cook like my mom and my grandma, I guess. New recipes I’ll measure most things unless I know I can eyeball. I just don’t see the point in dirtying measuring cups if I don’t have to. Recipes I’ve made more than twice I don’t often measure unless it’s something like a cake.
In regards to the chili, I don’t always use onion or garlic, though I do love the flavor when I brown them in olive oil and then mix them into the chili. Sometimes I’m just lazy. I don’t always cook the quinoa beforehand; it depends on quickly I want the chili to pull together. More often than not I just add a little extra water to the broth and throw the rinsed uncooked chili in. Sometimes I use canned beans, sometimes dry. It depends on what I have on hand and whether I remember to soak the beans or not. I prefer using dry if possible because I don’t like being restricted to the canned portions. I like to add about a half a can extra of black beans in particular.
I store my dry goods like rice and beans in large Mason jars for ease of access and also because I like Mason jars. They’re easy to clean, glass, and you can put just about anything in them. Just ask Pinterest.
So I usually end up using about 2/3 a jar of black beans for the chili. I use about a packet to a packet and a half of packaged chili seasoning because I am lazy and can’t remember to buy chili powder. And, most importantly, I use brown sugar in my chili.
Friday night I cooked the quinoa and just tossed all the other ingredients in the pot at the same time. I generally like to use more than one packet of chili seasoning, so I improvised and used some Tapatio. Then I added probably 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar. This time it was organic because that’s what I had on hand.
Without a little brown sugar chili tastes a little too sharp to me, a little too tomato-y. It really makes a difference. The seasoning and the brown sugar I usually just add to taste as the chili cooks.
That’s pretty much it.
It’s a very simple recipe to begin with and I’m not going to go out of my way to make it any harder.
It's also pretty hard to screw up. And it is so delicious.