Quinoa & Black Bean Chilli

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The last two weeks were the kind I’d like to forget quickly. We have a very iffy air conditioning at work and I’d been sitting in a draught for two weeks suffering from what I call ice arm and stiff neck. It all ended with me being on sick leave this last week because my icy surroundings resulted in me getting a major cold. I was really ticked off about this because I’ll be going on vacation at the end of next week, and I know from experience that flying with even just a residual cold can be quite painful; also spending my annual vacation having a cold would really suck.

After feeling a little better towards the end of this week, I found myself – like so often – scouring the food cupboards to see what needed to be used up and what could be thrown together to make something nice. I had no idea why I’d bought a huge bunch of coriander the week before but it had to go. The first thing that popped into my head was chilli but I never have meat in the freezer so I scoured some more and found white and red quinoa. Open another drawer and – voilà! Black beans. So quinoa & black bean chilli it would be.

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Black beans aren’t very common here, and whenever I happen upon some I buy an almost unreasonable amount of cans because who knows when I’ll find some next. What I also find very hard to get here are jalapeños that are actually hot. I had bought three recently in the hope that at least one of them would be hot and luckily it was. So I mixed that into the chilli as well as some shop bought spice named Southwestern Seasoning.

I also had some mushrooms that needed to be used up, and I fried those separately with some diced bacon and added both at the point of serving. So if you wanted to make this dish vegetarian you could just leave out the bacon.

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This pretty much spontaneously thrown together dish turned out very well. The jalapeño gave it a nice, gentle heat, the earthy taste of the quinoa went well with the beans, and sprinkled with coriander and some sour cream it was quite a nice creation. I still have what seems like tons of quinoa left in the bag, so I might revert to making this again if I’m short of ideas.

I won’t be cooking much, though, for the next three weeks because, as I mentioned above, I’ll be on vacation. This is one I’m really excited about, and if it turns out as well as I hope it will you will get to read about it here as part of it is kind of a foodie vacation.

So if you don’t get any reaction to comments from me, I’m not ignoring you but will likely not be online a lot. I’ll catch up with you in October!

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Black Bean & Quinoa Chilli

  • Servings: 3-4
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1 onion
1 large garlic clove
250 g white quinoa
250 g red quinoa
750 ml water
Southwestern seasoning [or anything else of your choice]
½ fresh jalapeño
2 cans black beans in chilli sauce
fresh coriander
sour cream or crème légère

6 large mushrooms
9 bacon strips

Finely dice onion and garlic clove and fry in oil for a few minutes. Add the quinoa and water, then season with salt and Southwestern seasoning, and add the finely chopped alapeño.

Bring to a boil, let bubble for 15 minutes, then reduce heat and cook until quinoa is soft (about another 15 minutes). Add the beans and cook for 10 minutes more.

After adding the beans, thickly slice the mushrooms and dice the bacon, and fry both in a little butter.

Divide chilli into bowls, top with mushrooms and bacon, if using, and serve with chopped coriander and sour cream/crème légère.

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