sweet potato & quinoa chili

If I haven't mentioned enough times already, I love using quinoa as a substitute in recipes. And this time, on numerous occasions, it's made its way into my chili. See ya ground meat, hello protein-packed quinoa. I have a bit of a raw meat phobia, so I'll take any excuse not to cook it. This recipe is great for vegans too as there's no dairy in it. And as a student with very little time or patience to spend hours in the kitchen, this one-pot recipe that's done in about half an hour works perfectly for me. The whole batch could feed an army and because I'm cooking for one, I divide it in half. Even then, I'm still eating the stuff for a week.

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili (found here)

one 29 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
one 6 oz can tomato paste
32 oz vegetable stock
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 cup dry quinoa
salt and pepper to taste
avocado, cilantro for garnish (optional)

Heat the oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium low heat. Add onions and cook until soft and they start to turn brown (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chill powder, cumin and oregano and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the beans, stock and potatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the quinoa. Continue cooking for about 15-30 minutes, stirring frequently until quinoa and potatoes are cooked and the chili has thickened. Add a bit of water if the chili becomes too thick for your liking. Top with avocado and chopped cilantro.

Avocado Chipotle Sauce from fresh

Makes about 2 cups

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon minced chipotle pepper or 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 clove garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 cups chopped avocado (about 2 medium avocados)

Purée water, cilantro, lemon, lime juice, chipotle, 1/4 tsp sea salt and garlic in a blender until liquefied. Add avocado and blend. Taste and add remaining 1/4 tsp sea salt if needed.

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