Other possible titles: ‘It’s June and Yes, We’re Still Eating Chili’ or, simply ‘It’s Really Cold Here.’ Yup, we’re not bringing out the barbeques quite yet. Actually, they were out, they were fired up and things were grilled with flip flops on and cold drinks in hand, but boy were we ever early to that party. Now they are packed up with the rest of the summer equipment, jumping at the chance to see the sun again.
A few days of rain, hail and almost snow had me craving a cozy chili, something we eat quite often after long ski days during the winter months. I picked up the cutest heads of brocoli at the market, and decided that a spring style chili was in order. Spicy and light, it’s a refreshing yet comfy spring time meal. Plus I’m always up for a bowl that can be topped off with half an avocado, any time of year.
Tortillas and wraps without any odd ingredients are hard to come by here, so these buckwheat crisps are my simple stand in. They come together pretty effortlessly, and welcome any flavors you wish to add in; cumin, caraway seeds, sundried tomatoes, etc. The recipe below is au naturel, but feel free to make it your own. Leftover crisps are great vessels for hummus, salsa, or, you guessed it: avocado, (did I hear quacamole!?).
So until sunshine and bbq season makes its much awaited return, let’s share a chili.
SPRING CHILI + QUINOA BOWLS
A hearty chili using up the best of this springs local produce. As always, use the ingredients as a guide and adjust spices and seasoning to your liking, as well as any other vegetables that are growing near you. I served it here with quinoa, but brown rice or any other whole grain is fine too.
If serving a small crowd, I like to put everything in seperate bowls on the table (radishes, chives, avocado, etc.) and let people serve their own toppings.
Vegan & Gluten Free. Serves 4 or more.
Extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small red chili
3 medium carrots
1 red bell pepper
1 head brocoli
2 medium zucchinis
3-4 fresh, large tomatoes
Salt & Pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin, paprika and coriander
1 can (400ml) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (400ml) crush tomatoes
about 2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 cup uncooked quinoa + 1 1/2 cup water
Spring onion, chives, and a few radishes to garnish
Seeded buckwheat crisps (recipe below) or tortillas for serving and dipping
First, prep all your ingredients. Chop and slice your vegetables and rinse your beans. This makes the chili cooking process much easier and less of a mess. Slice and dice the onion, carrots, pepper, broccoli, zucchini and tomatoes as close to the same size as possible. De-seed and finely chop the red chili.
Add a drizzle of olive oïl to a large pot over medium heat, and sautée the onions and crushed garlic until soft and fragrant. Add the carrots, pepper, broccoli, and zucchini and cook for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes, spices and season with salt and pepper. Get everything well coated in the spices. Add the beans and crushed tomatoes, stir, then add the vegetable stock until everything is just covered with liquid.
Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer until the liquid has reduced and you have a nice thick rich chili, about an hour, maybe longer.
While the chili is simmering, cook your quinoa. Make sure to rinse the uncooked quinoa really well under cold water, then place in a small saucepan and one and a half cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered for about 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Mash the 2 avocados with the juice of half and lime and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Place in a bowl and bring to the table, along with sliced radishes, green onion and chopped chives, lime wedges and buckwheat crisps
Serve the warm chili on top of fluffly quinoa, topped with avocado, extra garnishes and a few crisps
Seeded Buckwheat Crisps
Makes about 15 large crackers.
1 cup buckwheat flour + a little extra
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oïl + a little extra for brushing
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup water
Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C
Combine flour, salt and seeds in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add olive oïl and water. Using a wooden spoon, stir to bring the dough together. It should come into a ball quite easily, but might be a bit wet. Form a ball with your hands and let sit while the oven heats up.
Divide the dough in half, and place one half between two sheets of parchment lightly covered in flour. Roll the dough out using a rolling pin, as thin as you can (the thinner the crispier) without it breaking. Slice into triangles, and transfer to a baking sheet. Brush the top side with olive oïl and an extra sprinkle of salt if desired, and bake in the oven for about 7-10 minutes, until golden brown, then flip and bake for another 5 minutes until crispy. Let cool on a rack and store in an air tight container for 3 days.
Repeat with remaining half of dough or freeze for later.
Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!