Spicy Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa

For a little over a month, I have been eating vegetarian meals for breakfast and dinner. I’m considering becoming a vegetarian, but I have to figure out how to make most dishes that I regularly eat vegetarian-friendly. It’s been a little difficult, but I like the challenge.

Recently, I made a spicy vegetarian chili. One of my favorite comfort foods is chili. Chili can be eaten by itself or put on a hot dog. I think it’s important to have a good chili recipe on hand, because it’s not very expensive to make and it can feed a lot of people. If I am honest, it has taken me a while to create a good chili recipe. I’ve made chili’s with little to no flavor,some were too spicy or they didn’t taste like other vegetarian chili’s I’ve had in the past.

When you try this recipe, please note how much spice I added. If you like your chili to be mild, cut back on the the cumin and cayenne pepper. If you like it really spicy, add more cumin and cayenne pepper. Make it your own and I hope you enjoy.


Spicy Vegetarian Chili
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Servings
6 people
Servings
6 people
Spicy Vegetarian Chili
Print Recipe
Servings
6 people
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 3 cans fagioli beans kidney or black beans are okay
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 2 bell peppers diced
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, oregano,cayenne pepper and paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lime juiced
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a large pot on medium heat, add the grape seed oil and swirl it around the bottom of the pot.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the the onion, garlic, carrots, bell pepper, corn and quinoa to the pot. Sautee the veggies and quinoa for five minutes.
  3. Next, add the spices, salt, pepper, sugar and lime to the pot. Cover the veggies with the spices and lime.
  4. Then, add the vegetable broth to the pot. Allow the broth to come to a simmer.
  5. After the broth comes to a simmer, add the beans and diced tomatoes. Stir the ingredients around and place the top on the pot. Allow the chili to cook for thirty minutes.
  6. When the chili is done cooking, place a serving in a bowl and add the toppings.
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Vegetable Fried Rice (chǎo fàn, 炒飯)

Fried rice is one of the quickest Chinese dishes to make; it’s also one of the cheapest. When making fried rice all you need is rice and vegetables. You can make it with beef, chicken or top it with scrambled eggs. It’s very easy to make, especially for beginner cooks, and it gives me a chance to try some new Chinese ingredients.

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Although I am not a vegetarian, I prefer to eat vegetarian Chinese dishes. I think that most of the sauces and spices used in Chinese cooking compliment vegetables and tofu well. Plus, Chinese vegetables are different from the ones we use in the U.S. The Woks of Life, a blog that focuses on traditional and non-traditional Chinese dishes has a whole glossary dedicated to Chinese vegetables. For this recipe, I decided to keep it simple with carrots and broccoli. However, in the past, I have used bok choy, scallions, bean sprouts, edamame and many other vegetables.

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If you are going to try to make fried rice at home, I suggest that you have everything mise en place. This is a fancy French word meaning “putting in place”. Since you will have to work quickly when cooking the ingredients, it’s almost necessary to put all of your ingredients in separate bowls. If you don’t have everything in place, your food can burn and it will be disastrous, trust me.

Don’t be afraid to make fried rice at home. It’s simple to make and doesn’t require much time or money. Even in Nanjing, it’s cheaper for me to make friend rice at home than buying it at a restaurant. Lastly, it’s an easy way to start exploring the world of Chinese cooking.

fried-rice-collage

Vegetable Fried Rice
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Vegetable Fried Rice
Print Recipe
Ingredients
  • 6 Chinese spoons soy sauce
  • 2 Chinese spoons sesame oil
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 head broccoli cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tablespoons oil sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch white sugar
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix the sesame oil, soy sauce, white pepper, salt, and sugar together. Set the bowl to the side.
  2. Heat your skillet or wok on medium heat and add the oil.
  3. Next, add the onions and garlic to the skillet and allow them to cook for two minutes. Make sure to consistently move them around the pan so they don't burn.
  4. Then add the carrots and broccoli. Cook for another two to three minutes.
  5. Finally, add the rice and sauce. Mix the ingredients together well. Allow the rice to cool for a minute before serving.
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