Tuesday, March 8, 2016

7-Layer Chipotle-Chocolate Chili

Thank you to Sprouts Farmers Market for partnering with us for this post! We have been compensated for our time, but as usual, all opinions are our own. 

The most common question that's asked when the subject of vegetarianism comes up is definitely this one: "So, where do you get your protein?" The question is asked with a tilt of the head and an abundance of concern as if the person is trying to figure out how you're standing upright in front of them with, they figure, no protein at all in your diet. After all, according to Janet Little, Sprouts Farmers Market's Director of Nutrition, "Proteins are the main functional and structural building blocks of every cell in your body and help rebuild and repair muscles and tissues."

Well, believe it or not, many plant-based foods, particularly seeds, nuts, and grains, are great sources of protein, and there are benefits to getting at least some of your protein from vegetable sources. "Clean, plant-based protein provides easily digestible, nutrient-dense fuel for optimal performance and health," Janet told us. Quinoa is at the top of her list of plant-based protein sources because this gluten-free grain contains healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and is a complete protein.

This week, we decided to make a simple vegetarian dish that uses quinoa as the base and is topped with a protein-packed chili that's made using lentils and walnuts. The dish gets its depth of flavor from two sources: smoky chipotle chilies and dark chocolate. This chili is so easy to make -- you seriously won't believe it. There's no sautéing and almost no chopping. All the ingredients were found at our local Sprouts Farmers Market, and most of them are organic to boot. 

7-Layer Chipotle-Chocolate Chili

1 16-ounce jar fire-roasted salsa
1 cup dried green lentils
2 cup vegetable stock
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
1 chipotle chili from a can (minced)
1 ounce 72% dark chocolate (1/3 of a bar)
1 teaspoon cumin
Coriander Quinoa (recipe follows)

Cherry Tomato Pico De Gallo (recipe follows)
No-Fuss Guacamole (recipe follows)
4 ounces cheese shredded cheddar cheese

2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup Greek yogurt

Into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the salsa, lentils, vegetable stock, water, walnuts, chipotle, chocolate, and cumin. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce mixture to a simmer for 40 minutes or until lentils are tender. (Most of the liquid will be absorbed by the lentils.) 

While the chili cooks, make the Coriander Quinoa, Cherry Tomato Pico De Gallo, and No-Fuss Guacamole. Assemble each serving by adding 1/2 cup of Coriander Quinoa to a medium bowl and top it with 3/4 cup of the 7-Layer Chipotle-Chocolate Chili. Layer one quarter each of the cheese, lettuce, yogurt, and No-Fuss Guacamole. Finally, top it all off with 1/4 cup Cherry Tomato Pico De Gallo. Repeat the same pattern in 3 bowls. (Makes 4 servings.)

Coriander Quinoa

2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup white quinoa (rinsed under cold water)
1 teaspoon coriander

Into a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the stock to a boil and add the quinoa. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover a fluff with a fork. (Makes 4 servings.)

Cherry Tomato Pico De Gallo

1 small shallot (finely diced)
1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 cup cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
1 small Serrano pepper (finely diced)
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)

Rinse the diced shallot under cold water. (This will keep it the onion from overpowering the mixture.) In a medium bowl, combine the shallot, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, and Serrano pepper. Add Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste. (Makes 4 servings.)

No-Fuss Guacamole

2 ripe medium-sized Haas avocados
juice from 1/2 orange
1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste 

Peel and dice the avocados and place them in a medium bowl. Add the orange juice, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper and then stir. (Makes about 1 1/2 cups.)

1 comment:

Bianca said...

YUM!!! I'm totally gonna start adding quinoa to my chili. That sounds delicious.