Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili

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Hi, I’m John from Kitchen Riffs. My blog is all about discovering great-tasting dishes that make our tongues happy! I want to thank Wendy for asking me to do a guest post for Cooking Quinoa. She writes a terrific blog, and I’m honored that she wants me to contribute.

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up soon, which means party time for many of us. Are you looking for a hearty dish to serve—and one that’s relatively healthy? Well, this Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili may be it. The good news is, this dish is vegan, so it will work for almost everyone. Better news? This dish has so much flavor, carnivores won’t even notice they’re eating—and enjoying!—meatless.

You say football isn’t your thing? No problem. When you make this great-tasting chili, you’ll be a winner, no matter what!

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Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili

Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili

The major flavor in this dish comes from chile powder (which is made from nothing but dried, powdered red chilies). Chile (with an “e”) powder differs from chili powder, which is a mix of chile powder, plus cumin, coriander, and other flavorings. See Notes below for a discussion of chile powder possibilities for this recipe.

Prep time for this dish depends on how fast you work—it’s probably 20 to 30 minutes on average. Cooking time is a bit more than an hour (see Notes for one strategy to reduce it). This recipe yields a lot—at least 4 quarts. So it will feed a crowd. Leftovers freeze well if stored in airtight containers. And it’s quite easy to cut this recipe in half by reducing ingredient quantities appropriately.

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions (2 cups—maybe a bit more—when diced)
  • 3 - 5 garlic cloves (to taste)
  • 2 - 3 jalapeño peppers (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt (if using regular table salt, us about half this amount; see Notes)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 sweet potatoes (2 - 3 pounds)
  • 3 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or substitute other beans of your choice)
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons mild or medium chile powder, or a mix of the two (I like Hatch chile powders; see Notes for discussion and alternatives)
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons dried chipotle chile powder (optional; see Notes)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • water (at least one 28-ounce canfull)
  • jalapeño pepper slices for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Peel and dice the onions. Peel the garlic cloves and dice them finely.
  2. Wash the jalapeño peppers and cut them lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the ribs and seeds (be careful, the oil on these is hot; keep fingers away from your eyes). Chop the peppers into very small dice (or use a mini food processor). Place the peppers in a bowl until you’re ready to use them, then wash your hands with soap and water to remove the hot jalapeño oil from your skin. You may want to reserve a slice or two of the pepper for garnish.
  3. Place a Dutch oven or a large cooking pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. When heated, add the oil.
  4. When the oil is hot (it will shimmer; this takes just a few seconds), add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium-low and sauté the mixture until the onions are soft and translucent (about 8 minutes).
  5. Meanwhile, wash and peel the sweet potatoes; then dice them into cubes of about ½ inch.
  6. Drain the beans in a strainer and rinse them off.
  7. When the onion is soft (5 - 7 minutes), add the sweet potato cubes to the mixture and stir to combine.
  8. Add the chile powder(s), cumin, and coriander. Stir to coat the sweet potatoes, then sauté for about a minute. (Note: If you’re concerned that the chili may be too hot for your taste, add half the recommended amount of chile powder in this step, then see Step 10).
  9. Add the tomatoes, beans, and quinoa. Using one of the empty tomato cans, add a 28-ounce can of water (increase if you prefer a more liquid chili). Bring the chili to a simmer, then reduce the heat so the mixture just continues to simmer.
  10. After 10 minutes, taste the chili. If you added only half the recommended amount of chile powder in Step 8, add more chile powder at this point if the chili isn’t spicy enough for your taste.
  11. Simmer the chili for a total of 1 hour (or longer if you wish; this recipe also holds well on low heat for an hour or two). By the end of an hour, the quinoa and sweet potatoes should be tender—and the chili should be tasty. Adjust the seasoning and serve, adding a garnish if desired (see Notes).
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Notes

  • Tomatoes are acidic, so they tend to increase the cooking time of both sweet potatoes and quinoa. If you want to speed up the cooking process, you can partially pre-cook both these ingredients before adding them to the chili. Here’s how: After dicing the sweet potatoes, place them in a covered microwave-safe bowl, then nuke for 5 minutes (this will soften them, but won’t cook them through). Likewise, prepare the quinoa separately according to package directions, then add it to the cooking pot in Step 9. If you precook both the sweet potatoes and the quinoa, you’ll need to cook the chili for only half an hour or so, rather than a full hour.
  • Chile powders: As noted in the ingredient list, I like to use Hatch chile powders, along with chipotle powder, in this recipe. But feel free to vary the type and amount of chile powder you use. For example, you don’t need to use both mild and medium Hatch powders; you can use one or the other if you don’t want to buy both. Or if you’d like to try something less spicy, you can find ancho chile powder in most supermarkets; it has great taste and is fairly mild. You may have trouble finding chipotle powder; if so, you can substitute cayenne—but use only half as much (or just leave it out). Chipotle powder has a nice smoky flavor that adds an interesting dimension to this dish, but it’s not essential.
  • The amount/strength of chile powder specified in the ingredient list produces a batch of chili that I regard as reasonably mild in flavor, with just a slight ping of heat to it. But that’s my palate—your taste will differ. You may know from experience that the quantity of chile powder I call for is too much or too little for you. As noted above, if you’re concerned about the heat level, start with half the amount specified, then taste after the chili has been simmering for about 10 minutes; this is a good point to adjust the chile powder level. Don’t wait until the end to adjust, because chile powders need time to simmer in order to develop the full depth of their flavor.
  • You can substitute chili powder for the chile powder(s) in this recipe. If you go that route, use 3 to 5 tablespoons of chili powder. Reduce the cumin and coriander by about half, or eliminate them altogether (since these flavors are already incorporated into chili powder). The taste of the finished dish won’t be as crisp if you use chili powder, but you’ll still be pleased with it.
  • Kosher salt is more coarse than regular table salt, so it’s less salty by volume. If you’re substituting table salt for Kosher, always use less—about half as much. If the dish isn’t salty enough, you can always add more to taste.
  • If you like thick chili, cook it a bit longer to evaporate more of the liquid. If you prefer a thinner, soupier mix, you can add some water at the end to achieve the consistency you prefer.
  • There are many garnishes for chili that not only look great, but add a flavor boost. A slice or two of jalapeño pepper, a handful of oyster crackers, some grated cheddar cheese, a sprinkle of diced raw onion, or a dollop of sour cream all work well.

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Thank You, Wendy!

I enjoyed creating this Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili for you and your readers. If anyone would like to read more of my recipes, please visit my blog, Kitchen Riffs.

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Quinoa Apple Cheddar Soup

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I don’t make soup often, but when I do I am always caught off guard by how much I love it.

This Broccoli Spinach Quinoa Soup is still one of my favorites. (And you guys liked it too! It’s been Pinned over 13,000 times.)

I suppose living in warm environment is partly to blame for my infrequent soup making, but that certainly wasn’t a problem this week.  Even here it was time to put my flip flops up and break out something warmer.  (What I would give for just one more warm sunny day!)

It wasn’t all bad though.  I took advantage of the cold and made this amazing Quinoa Apple Cheddar Soup.  It was so rich and creamy and packed with flavor.  Perfect comfort food for the dreary weather.

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I got the idea for this from Rachel Ray, though my recipe looks quite a bit different from hers.  I love the apple cheddar combo, but I wasn’t sure if the sweetness was going to throw me off.  I am happy to say that it didn’t.

Do make sure that you use unsweetened apple juice though, because I am pretty sure that had I used sweetened apple juice it would have been too much.  (Bonus points if you juice your own apples.)

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In other news, I am really excited to have started a Quinoa community on Google+. Even if you haven’t jumped on the G+ bandwagon yet (I know I am late to the party!) I hope that you will come join the group. You can do so here:

Join the Quinoa Conversation!

If you aren’t familiar with a community, you should understand that it is a bit different that a Facebook Page. A community is not just a place for me to share with my followers, but also a place for you to share with each other. Cook a quinoa recipe? Snap a pic and share it with everyone. If you come up with a recipe you’d like to share that would be great too. You can ask questions and give support to others who are working towards healthy living. By the way, other bloggers are more than welcome. Please come and share.

Lastly, in case you missed it, I just launched my latest ebook, Quinoa Strong. Take a sneak peak:

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If you are feeling off track, stalled or just in need of a little more inspiration, be sure to check out my latest e-book, Quinoa Strong. With over 50 recipes including everything from breakfast to dessert, you are sure to find the motivation you need to stay on course!

Quinoa Apple Cheddar Soup

Rating: 51

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 303g

Calories per serving: 227

Fat per serving: 6.2g

Quinoa Apple Cheddar Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 large apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces cheddar or Daiya cheese
  • 3 slices gluten free bread
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • Chopped Chives

Instructions

  1. Spray a large pot with olive oil and add onion and apple. Cook until the apple is soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add quinoa, broth, apple juice, thyme, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add all but 1/4 cup of the cheese and cook over low until melted. Allow to cool slightly then working in batches, puree in a blender.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Spread mustard on bread and top with remaining cheese. Cook until cheese is melted and then cut into 1” squares.
  3. Ladle soup into bowls and then top with croutons and chives.

Notes

Servings 6, Calories 227, Fat 6.2g, Carbohydrates 29.3g, Protein 14.7g, Cholesterol 8mg, Sodium 1095mg, Fiber 3.2g, Sugars 10.5g, WW Pts 6

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Curried Butternut Squash Quinoa Soup

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Do you guys have your holiday menus planned?

I’m still working on ours.

This year is going to be really simple because it’s just the five of us. Since the boys are such picky eaters and Skye’s diet still super simple, I am focusing on what I am going to make the grown ups.

One thing I know we will be having is Curried Butternut Squash Soup. This recipe, from The Holiday Quinoa Cookbook (ebook), is one of my favorite soup recipes of all time. It has a kick to it that I just can’t resist. I love it topped with a little Greek yogurt and sprinkled with pistachios.

I am sharing this recipe today over at Healthy Blender Recipes.  Check it out HERE.

 

Quinoa Corn Chowder

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You guys know that soup isn’t something that I make a lot, especially in the summer.  The idea of snuggling up with  bowl of hot soup when it is 110 degrees outside isn’t even a little bit appealing, is it?

So you know if I tell you that you need to make this one now, I’m pretty serious.

This dish started with the bounty of (organic) corn that was in the refrigerator from our CSA.  I love corn but I hate cleaning it, so I am embarrassed to say that I built up a bit of a stash.  By the time I got around to using it it was clear that I was going to need to do a little better than just grilling it for the family if it was all going to get used before it expired in the back of the produce bin.

Enter this corn soup, which was inspired by a recipe in Fine Cooking magazine.

The hubs was more than a little skeptical when I told him we were having soup for dinner and  really, I got it.  He’d just spent two hours with the boys in the pool and a piping hot bowl of soup was hardly what he was hoping for.  In the end, though, the amazing taste of this hearty soup won him over – not only did he ask for seconds but he also requested it for breakfast the next day.  Score!

 

 

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If you can’t  find fresh organic corn,  frozen organic would work just find.  I do recommend that you steer clear of conventional corn since it is most always GMO in the US and GMOs have no place in a healthy diet.

 

Spicy Quinoa Corn Chowder

Rating: 51

Yield: 12

Calories per serving: 240

Fat per serving: 10g

Spicy Quinoa Corn Chowder

Inspired by Fine Cooking

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces tempeh bacon or bacon of choice
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 5 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (dairy or nondairy)
  • 2 cups milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 russet potato, grated

Instructions

  1. Spray a large Dutch oven with olive oil spray and cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and allow to drain on a towel. Add onion, celery, red pepper and thyme to the pan and cook for 8 minutes. Add quinoa and corn and cook for 3 minutes longer. Add chipotle chile powder and salt and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together yogurt, milk and cornstarch. Add milk mixture and broth and bring to a boil. Add potato and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 12 minutes, or until the potato is cooked through.
  3. Garnish with bacon and serve.

Notes

Servings 12, Calories 240, Fat 10g, Carbohydrates 25.4g, Protein 13.6g, Cholesterol 24mg, Sodium 745mg, Fiber 2.9g, Sugars 5.6g If you are vegan and soy free just skip the bacon garnish...it will still be delicious.

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Cream of Broccoli Soup with Quinoa

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cream-of-broccoli-recipe-lgI’m excited to have Joanna from GreenReset.com here with us today!  Today she is sharing a simple Cream of Broccoli Soup with Quinoa.  I think you will agree with me that it looks amazing and is one of those dishes you simply must try.  If you are looking for more healthy soup recipes or some amazing ideas for smoothies, make sure you stop by her website.

~

I’ve been following Wendy’s blog for quite a while, and I noticed that she rarely posts soup recipes. Soups, next to green smoothies, are my favorite meals to prepare; therefore, it surprises me when people tell me they never (or rarely) make soup. Soups are so easy to make and are very forgiving – even for inexperienced cooks, or people like myself – who never follow a recipe to the tee, always experimenting and trying something new.

There are so many varieties and possibilities. I probably make soup 2-3 times per week and every time it’s something different. Even during the hot summer months, there are soups that are just excellent when served chilled or lukewarm, that are refreshing and satisfying.

However, I know many people who are intimidated by the idea of making soup. For them, it’s akin to practicing alchemy. It just isn’t so, though. There is nothing complicated or mysterious about making a soup.  Think of it as a bunch of ingredients thrown together in a pot and cooked through. Nothing to be intimidated by.

So here is a super-easy recipe for you to try. This soup can literally be prepared in under 30 minutes from start to finish.

It’s a variation on the classic cream of broccoli recipe that is high in nutrients, low in fat, and cholesterol free. It is thickened by the cooked, pureed potato, but if I want to add more creamy texture, I use some cashew cream (see instructions below).

I always keep a bag or two of frozen broccoli in my freezer, so I can make this soup even at the last minute when hunger strikes. (Wendy calls it freezer cooking.)

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Cream of Broccoli Soup with Quinoa

Rating: 51

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 251

Fat per serving: 9.1g

Cream of Broccoli Soup with Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 4 cups broccoli (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 medium potato, peeled, cut into one inch pieces
  • 2 ounces of raw cashews (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • nutmeg to taste (optional)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (I assume that all Cookingquinoa.net readers always have some quinoa leftovers on hand. If not, you will have to pre-cook 1 cup of quinoa for this soup or simply add uncooked quinoa with all the vegetables and additional liquid to the pot when making the soup.)

Instructions

  1. If using fresh broccoli, remove and discard tough lower stalk, and peel remaining stalk. Chop stalk and florets into small pieces.
  2. I like to eliminate all unnecessary fats from my cooking, so I sauté my onions without oil. To do that, simply heat a few spoonfuls of water in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and sweat until soft and translucent, about 6-8 minutes (you may need to cover the pot to keep water from evaporating and prevent burning). Add water or vegetable stock, broccoli, potato, and some salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove soup from heat and save a few florets for garnish. Purée with a hand-held blender until smooth. Or, working in batches, transfer to a standing blender to puree. Never fill your blender more than 1/2 full. Also, remove the center cup on the two-part lid and cover the opening with a kitchen towel to allow hot air to escape and prevent pressure from building up. Hold the lid down tightly with a towel. Return the soup to the pot and season to taste.
  4. To make cashew cream (optional step), blend 2 ounces of raw cashews with about 1/2 cup water in high-powered blender until very smooth, and pour into the soup. Bring to boil.
  5. To serve, put a few tablespoons of quinoa into each serving bowl and pour the soup over. Garnish with broccoli florets or fresh dill or parsley. This recipe serves 2-4, depending on the portion size (side dish versus main dish).

Notes

Servings 4, Calories 251, Fat 9.1g, Carbohydrates 31.7g, Protein 12.7g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 798mg, Fiber 5.4g, Sugars 4.4g

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About the author:  Joanna is a green smoothie enthusiast and the founder of GreenReset.com website, dedicated to spreading the message about how healthy and compassionate food choices can help heal our body and the planet. For more tasty recipes of healthy soups, as well as green smoothies, juices, salads, desserts and other dishes, visit GreenReset.com, follow her on Facebook.com and on Pinterest.com.

Broccoli Spinach Quinoa Soup

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If you caught my post early last week, you may remember the chocolate craving that got in the way of me making this soup. I can’t say the craving ever really went away – I ate all of those chocolate covered apples and am wanting more – but I did finally get around to making this soup.
I hope you will agree that is was worth the wait!

I rarely make soup and when I do I want it to be packed with flavor. This soup delivered and also scored big in nutrition. It’s packed with Vitamin C, Manganese, Vitamin A and Phosphorous.

You know what else? It is absolutely fantastic on top of baked potatoes.

I know this because I’ve been completely obsessed with baked potatoes lately. I’ve had five or six in the last week alone. One of my favorite ways to enjoy them has been topping them with this soup and a little Greek yogurt.

I should mention that this is a pretty thick soup, because that is how I like soup. If you prefer your soup thinner, just add additional vegetable broth until you reach the desired consistency.

Broccoli Spinach Quinoa Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 10

Calories per serving: 212

Fat per serving: 10.3g

Broccoli Spinach Quinoa Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 5 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 6 ounces Spinach
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (more or less to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese or Daiya cheddar shreds

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pan. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until tender. Add quinoa and garlic and stir for one to two minutes. Add in vegetable broth, broccoli and potato. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 35 minutes. Remove cover and add spinach, tahini, salt and peppers. Cook until spinach is wilted.
  2. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, transfer to a blender and puree in batches. Return to the pan and heat to low, add cheese and cook until melted.

Notes

Servings 10, Calories 212, Fat 10.3g, Carbohydrates 19.7g, Protein 11.4g, Cholesterol 12mg, Sodium 1010mg, Fiber 3.7g, Sugars 2g, WW Points 5

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Another Quinoa Soup Recipe: Roasted Tomato and Tortilla Quinoa Soup

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This weekend, the weather took one last turn to cold.  Although I was really wishing that Saturday was warm so I could be outside with the boys, I decided to make the best of the rainy cold day by making this quinoa soup recipe.  I never ate much soup until this past winter  – Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood is what really got me started making quinoa soup.   (It’s also got a lot of other great quinoa recipes!) I’ve had the inspiration for this recipe torn out of a magazine for a while – so long that I don’t remember where I got it from.  I actually made quite a few changes to this recipe, because the first time that I made it it was a little bland for my taste.  The final result, however, is spicy enough to warm up the chillest of afternoons!

Quinoa Soup Recipe

 

Another Quinoa Soup Recipe: Roasted Tomato and Tortilla Quinoa Soup

Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • 5 tomatoes cut in half
  • 2 Anaheim chilies
  • 2 jalapeno chilies
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced into thick slices
  • 6 cloves of garlic, halved
  • Olive oil spray
  • 8 6 inch white corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • 2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup of quinoa, soaked for 30 minutes and rinsed
  • 32 ounces vegetable broth
  • Avocado, diced
  • 2 ounces queso fresco

Instructions

  1. Preheat broiler and line a baking pan with foil. Place halved tomatoes cut side down in pan. Cut Anaheim chilies and jalapenos in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and membranes. Arrange cut side down, flattening if necessary. Broil for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven and allow to sit for another 15 minutes. Peel and place in a bowl. Place onion and garlic in pan. Cover the garlic with foil to prevent it from becoming black and hard. Lightly coat onion with olive oil spray. Broil for 20 minutes.
  3. Arrange tortilla strips in a single layer. Spray with olive oil. Broil for 7-9 minutes, turning half way. Be careful to watch carefully to avoid burning. (Trust me, I didn’t and I set off the fire alarm the first time)
  4. Place chilies, tomatoes, onions and garlic in a food process.
  5. Blend for a minute or until smooth. Move mixture to a pot and cook for two minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and cook another 7 minutes. Stir in cilantro, spices, quinoa (uncooked) and vegetable broth. Bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 18-20 minutes until the quinoa is tender. Serve with tortilla strips and top with avocado and cheese.
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More Quinoa Soup Recipes:

Recipes for Quinoa and Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Lentil Soup

I must confess that I had never even tried lentils until I saw them in Clean Eating magazine – which is where I got the inspiration for this lentil soup recipe.  At first lentils  seemed like a weird uber-healthy food that must taste bad.  (Kind of like I expected quinoa to be the first time I tried making quinoa recipes….LOL)  Once again, I was pleasantly surprised.  I actually really like lentils (and lentil soup) and have been trying to include them in my diet as often as I can!

Many of you who are super busy will love this easy lentil soup recipes.  And, if you are looking for a quinoa recipe easy enough for after a tough day at work, this is a great one to try.  Buy your onions, carrots and celery pre-chopped (or chop on the weekend) and used a jar of minced garlic.  Then, throw everything into the pot when its time and you can be off to enjoy a good book or a glass of wine and come back to a hearty and delicious lentil soup!  Best of all, there will be plenty left over for lunch or to freeze for another night.

Now, if you have never prepared lentils before, here are some things to keep in mind.

Tips for Cooking Lentils

  • Lentils should be rinsed and picked over prior to cooking
  • Add in an onion, thyme or bay leaf to improve flavor.
  • Ladle off any white foam.  These are protein impurities.
  • Wait until the last 10 minutes to add in salt.  This gives it enough time to be absorbed but prevents the lentel from getting tough.
  • If you have used the onion, etc in cooking save it!  It is great as a vegetable broth.
  • Lentils will freeze for up to three months.

 

Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups green lentils (dried)
  • 1 cup quinoa, soaked for 15 minutes and rinsed
  • 12 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, sliced thin
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • Mineral sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • Juice of two lemons

Instructions

  1. Place lentils and broth in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Add in quinoa, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, tomato sauce, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for another 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in lemon juice just before serving.
  3. If desired, this soup can be frozen for up to three months. Allow to cool first!
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Stay tuned because I have a number of other lentil recipes (and more easy lentil recipes) to share with you!
Other Quinoa Soup Recipes to Try:
Recipes for Quinoa and Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa Soup!

Quinoa Tomato Soup

Don’t you love fall?  It always gets me in the mood to cook!  This week I’ve been working on developing more recipes for quinoa!  I must admit that how much I like this quinoa recipe really took me by surprise.  I am not the biggest soup eater, with the exception of my roasted garlic soup that I make every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It really is not that I don’t enjoy soup but I just never got into the habit of making it.  Since I learned how to cook quinoa, I can honestly count on my hands the number of times that I have made soup.  Well – now I’m hooked!

The inspiration for this recipe came from Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood which is without a doubt the best quinoa cookbook on the market.  I really only have two complaints with Quinoa 365.    The first is that I think butter and cream are used in too many places where a healthier alternative could be substituted.  The second is that some of the recipes (but not all) can be a little too bland for my taste.  Still, the cookbook is loaded with recipes that you will never see a re-do of here because they are good just the way they are and I would never print a quinoa recipe that was 100% someone else’s.  (Unless, of course I had permission.)

Anyways, the original recipe called for 3 tablespoons of butter and a cup of cream.  I just didn’t think that was necessary and I am happy to report that it was a big hit in my house.  I also added garlic,  (tomato soup without garlic?  It should be illegal J) and crushed red peppers to give it a little kick.

You know what else I’m proud of?  I just finished my latest e-book, Quinoa Strong!  It is a follow up to last year’s super successful Quinoa Fit, and I gotta say I think it is my best book yet.

quinoa-strong-cover

If you are feeling off track, stalled or just in need of a little more inspiration, be sure to check out my latest e-book, Quinoa Strong.  With over 50 recipes including everything from breakfast to dessert, you are sure to find the motivation you need to stay on course!

Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa Soup!

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4

Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa Soup!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cane suger
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté for 10 minutes or until the onion is tender. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for a minute. Add in tomatoes, roasted red peppers, basil, crushed red pepper, pepper, sugar and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, wish together the vegetable stock and flour. Add to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Puree in a blender or food processor.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together the milk and yogurt. Return the soup to the heat over low and add in the yogurt mixture. Season to taste.
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Minestrone Soup with Quinoa

QuinoaCookbook2

Quinoa Spaghetti with Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce

Rating: 51

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 350

Fat per serving: 12.1g

Quinoa Spaghetti with Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3/4 c. onion, diced (preferably white or yellow)
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, depending on size (about 3 tsp.), minced
  • 5-6 tomatoes,* quartered
  • 3 Tbs. white cooking wine
  • 1/2 c. vegetable broth
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) quinoa spaghetti noodles
  • 1 lb. lean ground meat (I use deer, but any lean meat works.), OPTIONAL

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil, onions, and garlic to a large, deep skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high, and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent.
  2. Add the tomatoes, cut side down, to the skillet, along with the wine, broth, herbs, and salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour, until the tomatoes have softened. Gently stir occasionally.
  4. When the tomatoes have about 15 minutes remaining, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa noodles, and cook according to package directions.
  5. While the noodles are cooking, brown the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, if using. Turn heat to low when cooked.
  6. Next, pour the tomato mixture into a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth.
  7. Run the sauce through a mesh strainer. Use a spoon or spatula to help push it through.
  8. If you're using meat, stir the sauce into it when it's cooked. Drain the noodles when they are done cooking, and serve either topped or tossed with the sauce.

Notes

With Meat (I used ground turkey for calculations): Servings 8, Calories 350, Fat 12.1g, Carbohydrates 41.7g, Protein 20.9g, Cholesterol 58mg, Sodium 190mg, Fiber 4.2g, Sugars 2.5g, WW Pts 9

Vegetarian: Servings 8, Calories 240, Fat 5.9g, Carbohydrates 41.7g, Protein 5.4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 129mg, Fiber 4.2g, Sugars 2.5g, WW Pts 6 *I love using heirloom tomatoes, but Roma and Beefsteak work as well. You can even add some cherry or grape tomatoes if you like.

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I have always found that soup is a great way to help be control my diet.  Since it takes so long to eat, if I have it before a meal I find that I eat so much less.  One of my favorite kinds of soup is minestrone soup.  It is both healthy and filling!  Turn it into quinoa soup and you have got a real winner.  Between the quinoa and the beans, this dish is protein packed meaning that you don’t have to worry about getting hungry five minutes after you eat.  In fact, minestrone soup is one of the few soup recipes that I consider a meal in and of itself.

While most minestrone soup recipes use canned beans, I like to make minestrone with dried cooked beans.  To do this you need to soak the beans in water over night in the refrigerator.  Drain and cover with fresh water.  Simmer uncovered for 45 – 55 minutes, adding salt in the last five minutes.

If you want to cook the broth a bit longer to let the flavors combine, you can cook it for an hour and just add in the quinoa in the last 20 minutes.  But, if you are pressed for time, this recipe is great as written.

Quinoa Spaghetti with Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce

Rating: 51

Yield: 8 servings

Calories per serving: 350

Fat per serving: 12.1g

Quinoa Spaghetti with Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3/4 c. onion, diced (preferably white or yellow)
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, depending on size (about 3 tsp.), minced
  • 5-6 tomatoes,* quartered
  • 3 Tbs. white cooking wine
  • 1/2 c. vegetable broth
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) quinoa spaghetti noodles
  • 1 lb. lean ground meat (I use deer, but any lean meat works.), OPTIONAL

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil, onions, and garlic to a large, deep skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high, and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent.
  2. Add the tomatoes, cut side down, to the skillet, along with the wine, broth, herbs, and salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour, until the tomatoes have softened. Gently stir occasionally.
  4. When the tomatoes have about 15 minutes remaining, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa noodles, and cook according to package directions.
  5. While the noodles are cooking, brown the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, if using. Turn heat to low when cooked.
  6. Next, pour the tomato mixture into a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth.
  7. Run the sauce through a mesh strainer. Use a spoon or spatula to help push it through.
  8. If you're using meat, stir the sauce into it when it's cooked. Drain the noodles when they are done cooking, and serve either topped or tossed with the sauce.

Notes

With Meat (I used ground turkey for calculations): Servings 8, Calories 350, Fat 12.1g, Carbohydrates 41.7g, Protein 20.9g, Cholesterol 58mg, Sodium 190mg, Fiber 4.2g, Sugars 2.5g, WW Pts 9

Vegetarian: Servings 8, Calories 240, Fat 5.9g, Carbohydrates 41.7g, Protein 5.4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 129mg, Fiber 4.2g, Sugars 2.5g, WW Pts 6 *I love using heirloom tomatoes, but Roma and Beefsteak work as well. You can even add some cherry or grape tomatoes if you like.

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