New Look! New Food! Quinoa & Red Pepper Chili

There’s a new look to Life Through the Kitchen Window. I’ve been wanting to make some changes to the format of the blog for some time, and promised myself I’d get to this once we were settled into our new home. I still have some formatting to do, but I hope you like the fresh new look so far. It’s only fitting that a new look be accompanied by a recipe featuring some ingredients I’ve never used before, in this case quinoa and chipotle pepper.

After the excesses of the past Easter weekend (that big dinner! all those desserts!), I was craving some really healthy food. Still indulgent, in terms of flavour and ingredient quality, but low-fat, meatless fare. Something that I could eat (and eat), enjoy, and leave the table feeling like I had just done something good for myself.

I follow a blog called emmycooks that features a lot of appealing food, most of which happens to be vegetarian, and recently her post on Quinoa Chili with Red Peppers caught my eye. I’ve been curious about quinoa for quite some time, as I know it’s super-nutritious. The chili looked so good, it seemed like a good way to introduce quinoa into our diet.

What can I say … the Culinary Enthusiast raved about this chill.  It was fresh and light (we ate an awful lot of it and didn’t feel at all bogged down) but it was also very satisfying, being toothsome and flavourful. It had just the right amount of kick too. The chipotle peppers in adobo sauce were another new ingredient for me; they really pack a punch, and the tablespoon I put into that big pot of chill went a long way. Topped with tomatoes, avocado and cilantro, this chili made a very attractive dish indeed. Thanks to Emmy for sharing the recipe!

Are you inspired to try something new? How about this vegetarian chili with quinoa? Expand your culinary horizons without expanding your waistline or cholesterol count!

Quinoa and Red Pepper Chili

Adapted from Quinoa Chili with Red Peppers by Emmy at emmycooks

  • 1 – 2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
  • large onion, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 19 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • about 1 tbsp chipotle puree (made by blending the contents of a can of chipotles in adobo until smooth; refrigerate or freeze the rest)
  • 3/4 cup quinoa (white or red), rinsed
  • 1 lime

Garnishes

How you finish this chili is completely up to you, but some possibilities are any or all of:

  • avocado
  • fresh tomato
  • cilantro
  • salsa
  • cheese

Over medium heat, sauté the onion, peppers, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper in the oil. Stir from time to time until tender. Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, beans, and stock. Stir in the chipotle puree. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the quinoa, and cook until it’s soft and, to quote Emmy, “its little sprouty ends sproing out.” This takes another 20 minutes or so. Squeeze in the juice of a lime and taste for seasoning. Let sit to thicken and cool for a few minutes before serving. Top with the garnishes of your choice.

And, be prepared for an incredible taste sensation!

19 comments

  1. A “new look” is right! I came here very early this morning to copy your URL for this week’s post. I thought I was at the wrong blog! I do like the new format, Mar. Your photos seem to “pop” more. And this recipe is a good one to inaugurale the new you. Well done on both counts!

    • Thanks John, glad you like it. I still have some work to do on formatting and the like (I’ll be making sure the pizzoccheri post in particular is in good shape!), but I’m pleased. I felt the old design detracted from the photos. I was looking through the blog this morning, and was happy to note there’s been a definite improvement in the photography. My next goal is to work toward achieving consistently good photography. I find that pesky j-o-b prevents me from being able to take pictures in the best light a lot of the time, though. Anyhoo, thank you for your ongoing support!

    • My new house has a yard just half the size of what I had before, and we love it. It’s small, but lovely and I’m looking forward to planting some of my favourite herbs and perennials. I’m feel so lucky to be able to sit on my deck and enjoy some good food in a setting of such serenity.

  2. Love your fresh new format Mar, and agree that this was a fitting way to crack the champagne over the bow! I’ll be making this for certain…not a thing about it I don’t love the sounds of!! And I’ll also be passing it on to a relative who’s been making huge changes in diet and this snuggles in perfectly with his new ways!

    • Thank you for the compliment, Spree! I’m happy with the way the new design is coming along. Now I just need to learn about custom formatting – always an adventure!

      Hope your relative enjoys this recipe, and you too, of course! It’s wonderful how we don’t have to sacrifice flavour to enjoy the benefits of good nutrition. (But then there’s always dessert, for those of us who indulge.)

      Thank you for following my blog. I’ve been a great fan of yours, and it was a real thrill to see that you’re following mine now. I’ve been at this blogging thing for 8 months now, and what a great adventure it’s proving to be!

      • This “adventure” – it’s more than you expected isn’t it? It has been for me! Never could I have predicted ALL it would prove to be! 🙂 Congratulations & continued joy along the journey!! It’s a pleasure to follow you! 🙂

      • Yes, I feel the same way. When I started this last August I really didn’t know what I was getting into. I hadn’t even followed any cooking blogs before. I’ve learned a lot, and love the way this experience has brought my creative side to the forefront after too many years of being relegated to the back burner. Every day is an adventure now!

      • Wonderful news! It’s so satisfying to pass a good recipe along … from Emmy at emmycooks to me, to you, to your relative, and then to ?… And we probably each change it in some small way that keeps it ever evolving. When I grew up that was done in a much smaller way with handwritten recipe cards … so much more potential for sharing today!

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