Vegetarian quinoa chili with chocolate. Oh ya, this just happened.
Any idea what happens when you thrown a handful of dark chocolate into quinoa chili? Neither did I, but I had a hunch it would be a very good thing. I was not wrong. The chocolate adds a luscious creaminess to the quinoa chili and gives it a depth that is hard to explain. Have you ever had mole sauce? If you have, you'll know what I mean.
You don't necessarily taste the chocolate, yet it brings something to the table. Something you can't quite put your finger on, but you know you like it. It's almost like adding salt to a dish; you may not be able to taste the salt itself, but you sure know something's missing if it's not there.
You know what else makes this chocolate chili amazeballs? Quinoa. Yep, this is a 100% vegetarian chili (vegan chili, actually) that's every bit as hearty and filling as a traditional meat-based chili. While the chili cooks the quinoa swells and takes on a texture similar to ground beef. It's awesome.
This, my friends, is the perfect, healthy, Meatless Monday Meal. Chili doesn't get better than this. Mmm …
I have to apologize for the picture you're about to see. In the bowl of chili there's a buttery, flaky, delicious scone that's just begging to be picked up and eaten. But … I didn't include the recipe here. Please don't be mad!
You see, it was my handsome man who made them, not me. He's always the one on buttery scone making duty around here. I don't know how he does it, but he seriously makes the best scones ever. They flake apart in layers, like a croissant does, but are hearty enough to scoop up delicious quinoa chili.
One day I'll convince him to share the recipe. Remember when he shared his recipe for Spicy Mexican Rice with you? It happened one, so I know it can happen again. I'll get on him.
If you make this Vegetarian Chocolate Quinoa Chili make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1-2 tablespoon chili powder (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 - 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cans beans
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
- 1 cup quinoa
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until it is soft and brown. Add the carrots, celery and bell pepper and continue to cook until the vegetables are all soft and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add the cocoa powder, chili powder, oregano and chili flakes to the pot and let them cook until they are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and let it cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to caramelize, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, beans, molasses and brown sugar or honey and 4 cups of water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
- Add the quinoa to the pot and let the pot simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked. Add the chocolate and stir the pot until it melts.