Squash and Quinoa Chili – Cooking for the Week

After all the overindulgent holiday eating, it can be nice to enjoy something warm and filling, yet light. Looking at all the gorgeous fall squash still at the store, I wanted to create a healthy vegetarian chili highlighting this yummy veggie. I used quinoa, since it is packed with protein and fiber and has a lovely chewy texture that compliments the chili well. Add some beans, veggie broth and spices and you have a simple dinner that takes approximately 35 minutes to put together.

This is the first recipe in a series I’m calling “Cooking for the Week.” It’s a simple recipe that you can put together Sunday night and get a whole bunch of meals out of all week. I plan on taking this for lunch every day this week. The leftovers are delicious (the flavors intensify in the fridge) and are so easy to heat up and enjoy. It can be so challenging to prepare a meal every night after coming home from work, this is a simple solution that ensures you have something healthy and filling to reach for.

Full recipe after the jump!
Also: after seeing the exploits of my friend Kim Bee over at Cravings of a Lunatic, I decided to take some proactive steps to organize my pantry and fashion some convenient storage solutions. So I organized all my grains and beans in mason jars. So simple, so easy and soooo cute! Not only do I now have a visual inventory of what I have and what’s running low, but the arrangement makes cooking so simple and looks adorable. See for yourself.

As an FYI, those are, left to right: wild rice; farro; green lentils; red lentils; pearled barley; brown rice, black lentils and quinoa. Anyway, back to the chili recipe!

Ingredients: makes 6 servings
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalepeno, seeded and diced
2 medium delicata squash, washed and seeded
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
12 oz tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 cup water
1 cup dry (or 2 15oz cans) black beans, rinsed

Step by Step Instructions:


1. Saute garlic, onion and jalepeno in olive oil on medium heat until softened, 6-8 minutes

2. After seeding, slice squash into long strips and chop into 1″ chunks

3. Add squash, quinoa, tomatoes and veggie broth to the pot

4. Season with cumin, chili powder, chipotle, and cilantro

5. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes, until quinoa is cooked and squash is softened

6. Add beans (soaked if dried) and water

7. Cover, reduce heat to med-low and simmer for an additional 10-12 minutes

8. Serve with jack cheese

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6 Responses to Squash and Quinoa Chili – Cooking for the Week

  1. Ann December 6, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    Hi Dara! It looks delicious and a GREAT way to use quinoa! I saw what happened with Kim as well. I've been storing a bunch of things in glass jars, but now I'm thinking it's time to use more!

    P.S. I LOVE your glass tile back splash – absolutely stunning!

  2. Anonymous December 12, 2011 at 3:51 am #

    Awesome recipe! Taste great and super easy to make.

  3. Sydney December 16, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    Making this for dinner tonight… it's smelling wonderful already!

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