Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bon Appetit: Quinoa Chili Over Spaghetti Squash

One of my friends/coworkers brought to lunch one day a wonderful dish one day.  Everyone in the office had a little bite and we all LOVED it.  She was sweet enough to share the recipe and on Tuesday night, after Stephen had had one of those kind-of days, I made it for the first time.  Let me tell you, it was DELICIOUS and easy...a little time consuming (involves a lot of chopping up veggies), but totally worth it!

Cast of Characters:
*1 tbsp olive oil
*small white/yellow onion, diced
*2-3 stalks of celery, chopped (Stephen loves celery - I used 5)
*2 cloves garlic
*green pepper, diced
*red pepper, diced
*hot cherry peppers, chopped with juice (we don't do "hot" - I omitted these)
*can of red kidney beans
*can of chicken or vegetable broth
*can of tomato sauce
*can of diced tomatoes with juice
*1 cup of quinoa (red or white)
*1 medium spaghetti squash
 *Mexican shredded cheese (Mozzarella was all I had, so that's what I used)
Chili Powder

What next?

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Pierce the spaghetti squash with a metal skewer or knife; you want to get all the way through the skin to the center of the squash so that it does not explode.  Cook the squash for at least 60 minutes turning every 15 to 30 minutes.


2. Heat olive oil in a deep pot and add onion, celery and garlic and cook on low heat until transparent without burning.  

3. Add the peppers (*I had hot cherry peppers in the fridge, but you can use any hot pepper to add spice, or omit them if you don't like your chili spicy), and cook for a few minutes.  

4. Add broth, sauce, diced tomatoes, spices, salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, then add quinoa.  Cook for about 30 minutes or until the outer layer of the seeds have separated from the body of the seeds.  

5. Remove squash from oven and let cool (at least 10 minutes).  Cut it in half and scrape out the "noodles" with a fork. 

6. Distribute evenly and top with the chili.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Garnish with avocado, green onion or cilantro (optional).  Enjoy with cornbread!
(With the entire chili having been made of vegetables, I'm guessing that there's no more than 4 WW points for a bowl of this Quinoa Chili)

Let me know what you think!


  1. This looks so good and healthy Kari! Everyone seems to be cooking with quinoa lately. Somehow I have never tried it!

  2. I found this on Tasty Tuesday, and I'm making it right now. Everything is in the pot, the squash is cooked. We should be eating in about 20 minutes! Thanks for the great suggestion ... full of good foods and flavor.


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