Squirt's birth didn't exactly go the way we had hoped, but she arrived, safe & sound, nonetheless. I was in labor for 3 1/2 days, ended up with an epidural AND pitocin *sad face*. Then, babygirl ended up passing meconium in utero, so instead of delayed cord clamping, skin to skin warming and nursing within an hour of birth, they clamped & cut her cord right away, took her to be intubated/suctioned after just a moment with me, and then wisked her away to the nursery for observation/tests for THREE HOURS after birth *more sad face*. It was insanity. But we all survived it, she's perfectly healthy, and we ended up not suffering TOO much for the lack of immediate breastfeeding. And now she's growing like a weed! Hooray! :)
Now, in honor of my first stint of actual cooking since before I gave birth, a blog post for all of you for Super Bowl Sunday! My basically original recipe for Sweet&Spicy Quinoa Chili can be eaten as a meal or served with your favorite crackers/chips as a dip for a crowd (or you know, you by yourself like I roll).
|Don't mind the messy bowl - I was too hungry to snap the first bowl, so this is bowl the second!|
Sweet&Spicy Quinoa Chili
- ½c quinoa, rinsed
- 1c water
- 1lb grass-fed ground beef sirloin
- 1tbsp dried minced onions
- 1tbsp Trader Joe’s hot pepper olive oil
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 (almost whole) red bell pepper, chopped
- 10 baby carrots, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 28oz can crushed tomatoes (with basil)
- 15oz can black beans (not drained)
- 15oz can sweet potato puree
- 2tbsp hemp seeds (optional)
- spices to taste:
- black pepper
- sea salt
- chili powder
- crushed red pepper
- In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and water. Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, combine ground beef and minced onions. Cook beef until brown and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Stir in garlic, carrot, celery, & pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the black beans, tomatoes, and sweet potato. Stir in the cooked quinoa, ground beef, & hemp seeds. Season with spices as desired. Simmer chili on low for about 30+ minutes. Serve warm.
- Garnish the chili with green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream/Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, if desired.
I consider this recipe a great way to use whatever veggies you happen to have lying around. I only had one pepper, but you could throw in as many as 3. You could add zucchini or yellow squash as well. I didn't have an onion, but if I had, I would have added it to the oil first and cooked it for about 5 minutes before adding the rest of the veggies (it's a slow cooking veg). You could easily used a peeled regular carrot instead of the babies (babies were all I had in the fridge today).
As for my canned goodies, I didn't have plain crushed tomatoes without spices, so I experimented with the basil, and it tasted great! You could use plain ones, or the ones with Italian spices, too - whatever your heart desires (or your pantry has in stock)! Any beans will do, too - kidney, cannellini, pinto - the world is your oyster. And if you're someone who needs to watch your starches, feel free to substitute pumpkin or butternut squash for the sweet potato - I'm sure it's just as yum.
I purposely didn't put amounts for the spices - as Matt taught me early on in our relationship, you can't really mess up cooking like you can with baking. Just throw the spices in (conservatively if you're scared) and adjust as needed after you taste it. Be bold & try it!
I intended to eat my chili with the spoon pictured, but I ended up eating my whole first bowl and half of my second bowl by scooping it out with Garden of Eatin' Blue Chips :) Thank goodness I'm burning so many calories breastfeeding!!
On that note, I will leave you with another picture of my baby bird & best wishes for a happy cooking experience in your very near future!