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Quinoa and Lentil Chili

Quinoa and Lentil Chili

We’re entering the third week of the Virtual Potluck Tasty and Healthy New Year Challenge featuring products from Bob’s Red Mill and California Olive Ranch. Once a week for the first four weeks of the year, we’ll be pairing a flour or grain with an olive oil and creating a dish using both. Our third course challenge is to create an entrée with Quinoa (say “KEEN-wa”) and Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil. You’ll have a chance to win both products, but more on that later.

I decided to create a vegetarian entrée in the spirit of being “tasty” and “healthy.” I found a stash of dried chile peppers in the pantry and knew this dish wouldn’t require a trip to the store. Plus, who doesn’t love to eat chili in January?

This version of chili is thick and earthy, yet very smooth. I usually add chunks of tomatoes, meat and other vegetables, so this was a nice change of pace. (I know I’m supposed to be going vegetarian here, but this chili – minus the beans – would be perfect for slathering on hot dogs.) I love the way the quinoa provides a caviar-like “pop” in your mouth.

Arbosana EVOO is a “complex, nutty oil with flavors of fresh tomato and almonds.” I’m not sure my palate was able to discern the tomato flavor, but the nuttiness was certainly there. COR is absolutely right when they say Arbosana is fabulous drizzled on stews. Chili is stew, right?

Homemade Tortilla Chips

Cut the whole stack at once with a pizza cutter

The one thing this chili is lacking is crunch. I always need crunch with a meal or I still feel hungry afterwards. I took some corn tortillas (if I’d had time I would have used Homemade Corn Tortillas), brushed them with Arbosana, cut them into wedges and baked them at 400°F for about 8 minutes. These homemade tortilla chips provided the perfect amount of crunch. I used about ½ teaspoon of the olive oil for each 6-inch tortilla. One tortilla (6 chips) adds about 70 calories, 3g fat and 11g carb.


Bob’s Red Mill and California Olive Ranch will be giving one lucky reader a bag of Quinoa and a bottle of Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil. To enter the contest:

  • [mandatory] Visit the California Olive Ranch Facebook page and retrieve this week’s Virtual Potluck code word (click on Virtual Potluck in the left column). Then come back here and use the word in a comment on this post.
  • [optional] Follow Bob’s Red Mill (@Bobs_Red_Mill), California Olive Ranch (@CA_EVOO) and Virtual Potluck (@virtualpotluck) on Twitter. Tweet about this contest, including a link to this post and the #virtualpotluck hashtag. Then comment here again, letting us know you’ve tweeted.
  • [optional] Visit the Virtual Potluck roundup post and enter the giveaways on the other participating blogs.

The contest ends at midnight Eastern on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012. The winner will be announced on Mon., Jan. 23. You must have a U.S. mailing address to win. Good luck!


California Olive Ranch is offering a 10% discount for the duration of the Tasty & Healthy New Year Challenge. Just go to their online store and enter the coupon code BLOGFRIENDS at checkout.

Disclosure: I received free samples of Quinoa from Bob’s Red Mill and Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil from California Olive Ranch. I also received samples to give away on my blog.

Quinoa and Lentil Chili

Quinoa and Lentil Chili

Adapted from Diabetes Forecast (February 2011)

4 dried guajillo chile peppers, stemmed and seeded
4 dried ancho chile peppers, stemmed and seeded
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon Arbosana Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1½ cups quinoa (uncooked)
1 cup green lentils (uncooked)
2½ cups water
1 large onion, minced
1 can (14 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Boil some water. In a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast both types of chile peppers on each side, about 2 minutes. (Don’t let them burn!) Place chiles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Place a smaller bowl or plate on top of the chiles to keep them submerged and let stand at least 30 minutes to rehydrate (longer is better).

In the same skillet, toast the cumin and coriander seeds for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Grind the seeds into a powder using a coffee/spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

Drop garlic cloves into a running food processor to finely mince them, then turn off processor. Reserve 1 cup of liquid from the chiles and add it to the food processor along with the chiles, ground cumin and coriander, oregano and tomatoes with their liquid. Process until smooth.

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa and lentils and toast for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chile mixture, water and onions. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender (at least 30 minutes). If your lentils are old, they will take longer to cook and you may need to add more water. Keep an eye on it. Once the lentils are done, add the kidney beans and simmer for about 5 more minutes, until the beans have warmed up.

Makes 10 servings
Per serving: 233 calories, 3g fat (0g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 227mg sodium, 40g carb, 11g fiber, 4g sugar, 12g protein

Nutritional Analysis: This chili is low in Cholesterol and Saturated Fat. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Manganese.

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