slow cooker chipotle pumpkin quinoa chili

I just love coming home to a house that smells delicious only to find a hot meal all ready to go, slow cookers rock my winter! And sure I did all the work in the morning, but still a meal that is hot and ready when we are is good stuff. I made this chili to use up some left overs from my new favourite red pepper quinoa which I made again the other night. I also keep staring at the last 4 little pumpkins in my pantry that need to be eaten… thus this pumpkin quinoa chili. Full of black beans, carrots, tomatoes, and smoky herbs topped with creamy feta cheese and some bright cilantro, all of this made for a perfect winter weekday meal.

Ohhh and the adorable new cloth napkins made our meal seem a little fancier than usual, I was so thrilled to receive my birthday present (to myself) last week from Oh Little Rabbit, a sweet print shop in the US, where they make the cutest printed organic cotton stuff. I got a whack of lovely napkins, which I am enjoying matching to my meals and table settings. You’ll see more soon… as I have been getting a little bored with my counter top / table top blog photo backdrops!

But back to the meal at hand… you could make this lovely red pepper quinoa dish first (a double batch) and use up the rest in this chili recipe, or you could just add the flavours and uncooked quinoa into the slow cooker and I’m sure the results will be just fine! either way here is what else you will need to jazz up some root cellar squash…

Soak 1.5 cups of black beans overnight.

In the morning:

Set your slow cooker to high and add the rinsed soaked black beans along with 3 cups of water and let cook for 2 hours. Strain remaining water, then add:

1 yellow onion chopped

3 cloves of garlic chopped fine

2 carrots chopped small

1 cup of corn kernels (my fall harvest freezer stash is running oh so low these days hoping for better yields next year)

1/2 of a small pumpkin / squash skinned and cubed 1/2″

4 cups of water

1 pint jar of tomato sauce

season with:

1 bay leaf

1 chipotle pepper (whole dried)

1-2 tbsp chili powder

1-2 tbsp paprika

1-2 tsp cayanne

1-2 tsp chili flakes

2 tbsp dried parsley

a glug / splash each of:

lemon juice

mexican hot sauce

hp sauce (this recipe for home made HP is all I use)

red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Allow this to cook for 6+ hours on high.

2 hours before serving:

reduce heat to low (I usually shut the machine off for a bit in between temp changes down on a slow cooker)

add 4 cups of left over quinoa pilaff or 1.5 cups of quinoa uncooked along with some some yummy seasonings including sun-dried tomatoes and red pepper etc… use the other recipe as a flavour guide. * make sure to add some olive oil and 2 cups water if your not using left overs.

Right before serving:

remove chipolte pepper and bay leaf

add a handful each of chopped parsley and cilantro

garnish with feta cheese and more chopped cilantro.

enjoy it’s easy.

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