A hearty Fall and Winter stew. It’s meatless, though the beans and quinoa combine for a potent protein hit. If you want to add some ground meat, add in after the onions, peppers, and spices and herbs have been sautéed and before the beans, cooking until the meat has lost it’s pinkness. Quinoa usually needs to be rinsed before cooking, though many companies are now rinsing it before packaging, obviating that step. You can use other grains here, just make sure you give them enough time to cook; or if using already cooked grain, add after the beans and tomatoes have simmered, just to heat through.

2 T vegetable oil or butter or a combination
2 c or so chopped (sweet) onion
2 1/2 c or so chopped bell peppers, stemmed, halved, seeded
4 – 5 garlic cloves, minced
1 T chili powder, or to taste
1 1/2 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano or basil or cilantro or other herb; or 1 – 2 T fresh, chopped herb
salt and pepper, to taste
4 c cooked (kidney) beans
4 c chopped (canned) tomatoes or tomatillos; undrained if canned
1 fresh hot pepper, stemmed, seeded, ribs removed if you like; or 1 – 2 canned chipotles in adobo
2 c vegetable stock or meat broth, or tomato juice, or bean stock, or water
3/4 c quinoa
cilantro, for serving
sour cream or yogurt, for serving
lime wedges, for serving, optional (stir in 2 T lime juice if not using wedges)
diced avocado, for serving, optional

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, herb, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, another minute or two.

2. Add the beans, tomatoes, hot pepper, and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about half an hour.

3. Stir in the quinoa, cover and cook over low heat until the quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Stir in lime juice, if using. Allow to stand, covered, for about 20 minutes. The chili will thicken. Or not. If you like serve it at once, with cilantro and sour cream, and avocados, too. If using lime wedges, squeeze the juice into the individual servings.