Kwi-NOH-ah? QUEEN-wah? KENO-ah? The mystery behind Quinoa.

I’m pretty sure every one of us has heard someone butcher the pronunciation of quinoa. Is there even a right way to pronounce it? Not sure about the name, but I do know that it’s super yummy. And what do you do with something yummy? Probably should incorporate it into one of your favorite dishes! So tonight we were able to enjoy Buffalo-Style Quinoa Chili (via: Epicurious, Stacy McCann 2015). It was full of flavor with nice heat that makes even your biggest meat lover not even miss the meat! (This is vegetarian friendly and can easily be made into vegan-friendly.)

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There are A LOT of ingredients and it is fairly time consuming but worth it in the end. First, you want to dice up 1 white onion and 3 celery stalks. Put into a pot with olive oil on medium heat and cook until soft (should be about 3-5 minutes). Then, add the vegetable broth, the can of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, bring to a boil and then put on low heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. While it is simmering, start to cook your quinoa.

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Bring the water to a roaring boil and then add the quinoa – which you need about 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa. Lower heat and simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Once the little grains start to have a white spiral starting to pop out, that’s when you know they are cooked. Once the quinoa is cooked and the onions and sauce have simmered, it is time to add the fun stuff. Add the cans of black beans, hominy, franks hot sauce, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper to taste, and the cooked quinoa. Make sure to have all your spices properly measured out and don’t measure them over your dish because it may or may not drop into your chili and then get cumin everywhere which forces you to start scooping out cumin….

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I also transferred everything into a way larger pot because my original pot was about to overflow – so make sure you are using the proper cooking pots! (Do as I say, not as I do?) Let everything simmer for about another 15 minutes until all the flavors have started to mix together. Stir occasionally to prevent any burning or bubbling. I topped mine with avocado, sour cream, and dark cocoa sugar (courtesy of the tea and spice exchange store) and enjoyed!

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Overall, the dish ended up great. Full of flavor, texture, and was a hearty meal even without any meat. I had a few blunders along the way, but the end product was delicious. There was heat from the hot sauce but the sour cream and dark cocoa sugar really cut into that heat and gave it a nice warm flavor. The recipe originally called for a blue cheese topping, but since I think blue cheese is super gross, I chose to use the avocado instead which added a nice creaminess and also cut into the heat as well. I previously made a quinoa chili that did not develop flavors from the ingredients as much as this one did, so I think this will be my new go to vegetarian chili recipe! Perfect for such a cold night like tonight 🙂

*Comment here for full recipe and directions. 

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