This Week’s Lunch: Black Bean & Quinoa Chili

Packing lunch is such a struggle for me, and I got into the habit of eating crap–fast food, gas station filler, and (worst of all) school lunch food. I’m not a fan of cold cut sandwiches, PB & J, or any of the typical lunch fare. I need real food. Last week I made a black bean salad with brown rice, as well as a red cabbage salad. I wanted to go for something warm this week. I pulled this from the archives of my noggin. It’s not my own recipe, but I am not exactly sure where it came from. I first made it when I was on a quinoa kick a couple years ago.


1 cup of quinoa (prepare as directed by box)

1/2 of a large onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of cumin

1 red pepper, chopped

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

2 cans of black beans, drained

1 cup of frozen corn

2 tablespoons of oregano

2 teaspoons of ground chipotle

1.5 cups of water

1. Prepare the quinoa as directed by the package.

2. In a medium sized pot, cook onions in a couple tablespoons of olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cumin, mix and allow the seasonings to blend–almost creating a paste.

3. Add the red pepper, tomatoes, black beans, corn, water, oregano, and chipotle. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Add quinoa to the pot after the 15 minutes.

I like the way this turned out, even though I had a couple issues while cooking it. I accidentally dumped my entire contained of oregano into the chili (about 1/5 of the container), it seems to be okay though. I wish I had some chopped green chile thawed. I think it would really add to the meal. This is exactly the kind of lunch I am looking for. It’s hearty and filling. It’s healthy and packed with protein.

P.S. Nico devoured a food sample we had sitting around today, so I whipped up some avocado. I guess we are eating solids!


One response

  1. I make something similar to this but it is more like a salad. I cook red quinoa with a chili spice rub (I make my own similar to a chili powder) and then add lime and grated garlic after it is done cooking. Then I add thawed frozen corn, tomatoes, cilantro, peppers (sweet and hot to taste) red onions and black beans.
    I heat with a little cheddar if you want it hot but it is good cold too.

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