Weather: 48 degrees, rain for days and fall colors everywhere
What I’m listening to: You Are the Best Thing, Ray LaMontagne

Although the calendar always disagrees with Alaska, autumn has been surging in. Wild mushrooms are growing plentifully in the yard, the rain puddles are full of yellow leaves, and the smell of wood stoves burning is in the air. Here, the seasons are fierce, and it’s one of my favorite things about this massive state I get to call home.

quinoa chili

Chili and football are always on the menu at our house in September and this year is no exception. Except, this time I opted to bypass my favorite go-to Black Bean Chili and try a new meatless recipe with quinoa, black beans and corn. Holy smokes this stuff is good and nobody missed the meat. Be sure to have your favorite toppings ready to go. Mine include gobs of cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese, minced red onions (or green onions, if you prefer), slices of ripe avocado, and a generous handful of corn chips (like Fritos). If you’d like your quinoa chili on the spicier side, add thinly sliced fresh jalapeño slices to the mix.

Quinoa Chili

A smoky and delicious meatless chili with quinoa, black beans, and corn. Adapted from [Cooking Classy|http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/07/quinoa-chili/].

Yields: 6-8 servings

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken/beef broth if not going vegetarian)
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained(I used one dark red, one light red)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn, rinsed and drained
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Topping options:
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • cilantro, chopped
  • corn chips (like Fritos)
  • red onion, finely chopped
  • ripe avocado, chopped
  • sour cream

To a large pot over medium heat, add the oil. Saute the onions 1-2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute until fragrant. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, cocoa, paprika, cayenne (if using), and salt, toasting the spices in the oil for one minute. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, quinoa, broth, adobo, beans, and corn. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (add more broth if needed for consistency).

Stir in the lime juice. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Serve with toppings of your choice. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Makes great leftovers.

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