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Chicken and Quinoa Chili

I love this chili recipe because it’s fast, it’s filling, it’s delicious and it’s spicy.

Or as I like to call it, “The Perfect Wednesday Night Dinner.”

What made this batch extra special, though, was the fact that we were celebrating a new batch of baby arugula. Spicy chili topped with fresh and peppery microgreens? That’s pretty fun. In case you’ve got the itch to have some (near) immediate gratification, here’s a little tutorial on how to grow microgreens in about a week. Note: The basic premise applies to cat grass, too. Jedd has been keeping the boys munching on their own version of freshness – grown from humble wheat berries – and they love it.

Coop cat grass


Spicy chicken and Quinoa Chili

Quinoa chili vertical

Serves 4.


1 dried chipotle chili

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large red onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

½ teaspoon seasoned salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup lager or pilsner beer

1 (4 oz.) can of diced chilies

2 fresh or frozen roma tomatoes,* roughly chopped

1 cooked chicken breast, shredded

1/3 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

*I buy, wash, and freeze tomatoes throughout our local growing season to store for winter. Winter tomatoes are pretty sketchy, so the locally grown tomatoes are fantastic to have on hand. Obviously you can’t use them for salad, but they work great in stews, soups, and of course – chili. They have a great flavor even after being in the freezer, and defrost quickly in hot liquid.


Add boiling water to just immerse the dried chipotle. Cover, and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan, until it shimmers. Add the onion, peppers, salt and pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin and paprika, and stir well for 1 minute. Add the broth, beer, diced chilies, tomatoes, and chicken.

Stem, seed, and roughly chip the chipotle.

Bring the chili to a boil, and add the quinoa and chipotle, (along with 1 tablespoon of the steeping liquid). Stir well.

Cover and reduce heat to medium low.

Cook the chili until the quinoa is cooked all the way through, about 20 minutes.

Finish with microgreens, if so inclined – and cheese – which I was sadly out of.

Either way, enjoy.

(Photos by Launie Kettler)

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