Chili is literally my FAVORITE thing to meal prep during Fall and Winter. I make one huge pot on a Sunday to enjoy for lunch or dinner daily through the rest of the week. I usually stick to a vegetarian chili because it lasts longer and is easier for me to make, but you can totally add ground beef, chicken or turkey to this recipe if you prefer and it tastes great! This also freezes well if you have extra or want to prep in advance for a busy following week.
What makes this recipe unique?
- It has a LOT of great plant protein! The chickpeas and quinoa are two great protein sources.
- It packs tons of greens- in fact just as much as eating a salad. I use a whole large bunch of kale which is about as much per serving as I would use if making a salad.
- It is flavorful but not too spicy. Spicy stuff can hurt my stomach so if you are like me, you would find this spice blend perfect. If you are like my husband, you may add some chili powder or hot peppers to yours!
- It is thick and creamy tasting because of the pumpkin. I have made this same recipe with and without the pumpkin. When you use the pumpkin the texture and flavor is incredible!
- It does not use onion. Onion is a trigger for many people's digestive issues including myself. I use garlic, but not onion. If you can't tolerate either, eliminate the garlic. If you can tolerate them well, you may add some onion in the step where you heat the garlic and spices in oil until they are translucent.
- Using the toppings I have recommended, you not only get a great source of protein, but also great healthy fats: pepitas, coconut/cashew cheese and avocado.
Ingredients (about 6 servings):
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups whole tomatoes
- 1 small can tomato paste (170g)
- 1 cup pumpkin
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 cans chickpeas (15 oz each)
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1 bunch curly kale
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp oregeno
- 1 tsp coriander
- salt/pepper to taste (it will differ if you used unsalted or salted tomatoes and tomato paste)
- Cooking oil of choice
- Optional garnish/side ideas: avocado, pepitas, coconut/cashew cheese or "cream" (try coconut yogurt), chips or bread of choice
- Prep: dice the garlic, deseed and chop up the pepper, destem/rip up the kale into small pieces
- Heat your cooking oil on medium in a large pot, then add the garlic and toss around for about 1 minute. Add the spices and stir around, adding more oil if it starts to stick to the pot.
- After another minute, add the remaining ingredients except for the chickpeas and kale. Stir to combine then increase heat to bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover for about 30 minutes or until the chili has thickened and the quinoa is completely cooked.
- Add the chickpeas and kale. You will need to add the kale handful by handful, folding it into the chili. It will cook down quickly.
- Stir and let sit for another 5-10 minutes. Add water if it is too thick.
- Enjoy with your favorite toppings/side like the ones mentioned above. Will keep in fridge for up to 5 days and freezes well.