Vegan Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili

IMG_0913Last week I wrote about goals and resolutions and thinking about the question: how do I want to feel? Perhaps some of your answers included feelings like energized, healthy, vital, balanced, or grounded. If that’s the case, and even if that isn’t the case, here is a simple delicious recipe to get you started on your path to feeling any and all of the above. Packed with sweet potatoes, quinoa, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and onions, this chili is a one-pot superfoods meal that is pleasing to the tastebuds, easy to put together, versatile, and an excellent return for your kitchen time investment: you put in an hour, you get fed for two weeks. So think of this as a way to sneak a few extra positive feelings into your life and your lunch.

IMG_0889The basic facts you need to know are these:

  1. Does this chili take a fair amount of chopping and dicing? Yes.
  2. Does this chili make a huge amount? Yes.
  3. Does this chili freeze well? Yes.
  4. Does this chili taste great? Yes.
  5. Can you put whatever you want in this chili? Oh you betcha. I know I did!

And for those of you who like to know a little about the foods in your meals, so you can imagine their powerful fortifying and health supporting effects on the way down (I can’t be the only one!), here is a quick summary:

  • Mushrooms: full of beta glucans (immune-boosting compounds) that have anti-tumor and white blood cell supporting properties. Also rich in selenium, zinc, and copper (oh my!);
  • Carrots: Vitamin A (beta carotene), fibre, antioxidants;
  • Quinoa: gluten-free, high in very digestible complete protein, fibre, B vitamins;
  • Tomatoes: Vitamin C, beta carotene, key minerals, and lycopene (the carotenoid pigment that gives tomatoes their colour), which is more accessible to your body in cooked tomatoes, and helps prevent certain cancers, protect your heart and eyes, and support skin collagen;
  • Sweet Potatoes: calcium, chromium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A (beta carotene), and B vitamins;
  • Onions: anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant compounds, and powerful immune-system boosters;
  • Beans: fibre, protein, B vitamins, antioxidants (in the black beans).

Vegan Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili

Note: while I’ve supplied the basic quantities I used, I really think you could put almost anything you want in here – you might just have to add more/less tomatoes/broth if you add significantly more/less vegetables.

  • 14 oz can black beans (drained and rinsed well)
  • 14 oz can pinto beans (drained and rinsed well)
  • 14 oz can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed well)
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (or water and vegetable bouillon – approximately 4 cups water plus one cube)
  • 1 large onion, diced      IMG_0892edited
  • 1 to 2 cups, fresh or frozen corn
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms (roughly 1 – 1 1/2 cups chopped)
  • 2 lb bag carrots, diced
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, chopped into small cubes (and peeled if not organic)
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • avocado, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium low heat.
  2. Add onions, and cook until soft and browning (about 8-10 minutes).
  3. Add the mushrooms and spices and stir for a minute or two until all are coated.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, dry quinoa, chopped carrots, diced sweet potatoes, and vegetable broth.
  5. Stir, and simmer for about 25 minutes or until quinoa is cooked, and carrots and sweet potatoes are almost soft.
  6. Add beans, corn, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cocoa powder, and continue cooking until vegetables are tender and chili is the thickness of your liking (feel free to add some water if it is getting too thick).
  7. Garnish with avocado and enjoy!
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