Let’s talk chili. First off, red chili, your typical All American chili. I hate it. Never liked it. Even when I have made it, don’t want it. I don’t know what it is. I like everything in it, besides cumin – which kind of makes chili, chili. I made a batch of lentil chili this winter, made it in the jumbo crock pot and everything. Was super excited this was going to feed us for a few days and it was pretty damn healthy. Then I lifted the lid… smells like chili… tastes like chili… well damn! I still hate chili. Thankfully Logan LOVES him some chili so he devoured all forty gallons. So at least it fed him. Me, I starved.
So green chili. I can’t remember a time I’ve had chili verde before. Anytime I saw it though I always knew if there was a chili for me it would be chili verde. And for some reason I’m oddly determined to like A chili in the world.
The main flavor ingredient in chili verde is salsa verde. WHOA! Crazy. And anytime there’s salsa involved in a recipe I’ve taken it upon myself to make it from scratch. So one batch of salsa verde, and half a bag of tortilla chips later (whoops), it’s chili making time.
Chili verde is normally made with an obscene amount of piggy and fat, which may taste great to those interested. For me though I’d rather save a piggy and opt for a healthier take. And if healthier is involved quinoa can’t be far behind. Quinoa’s great because it doesn’t have a lot of flavor just a little nuttiness to it. But when cooked in broth or other flavors (like a soup/chili) it easily adapts and takes on the flavors of whatever it is being cooked with/in. I’ve only have one bad quinoa experience and it involved a banana and breakfast. We didn’t speak for a long time after that. But it’s made it’s way back into savory dishes around here. And it was kind of missed.
The only other tidbit I will leave about quinoa, is to make sure you rinse it REALLY WELL before using. Quinoa comes with a coating call saopnin, which pretty much tastes like soap. Yes soap. Don’t screw you and your dinner over by avoiding the rinse. Plus who knows where that quinoa has been. Rinse it!
This version is kind of beany with three whole cans. If that’s too bean intense and you want a higher qunioa ratio, well that’s a simple fix! Nix your least favorite bean, and just add 1/4 – 1/3 cup more RINSED quinoa. Sometimes I go with two cans. It kind of just depends on my mood and desire for heartiness, with three beans feeling a bit more hearty. Logan loves the three bean, if his opinion makes a difference, hehe.
I feel like there should be an ode to soup. Oh soup you glorious meal you. You who are so simple and easy, yet flavorful. You fill my belly. Make me full. And give me leftovers for tomorrow. I really suck at writing odes. I was also atrocious at poetry in high school. Some things don’t ever change.
I love chili… chili verde.
- 1 tablespoon butter (vegan, if desired)
- 1 medium sweet or yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 1/4 cup salsa verde
- 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, undrained
- 1 (15 oz.) can great northern beans, undrained
- 1 (15 oz.) can navy beans, undrained
- 4 cups vegetarian chicken broth
- 1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- optional toppings: fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro, avocado, tortilla chips
- In a large pot or dutch oven, over medium-high heat melt butter. Once melted add onion and cook until translucent and tender, approximately 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients stirring to combine. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce and let simmer for 45 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve warm with choice of toppings.