Posts tagged quinoa

My Grandma Ruth loved me.

She would tell me she loved me with a kiss on my cheek and a simple “I love you, dear”.

And she would show me she loved me….

By cutting the crust off my sandwiches at lunch (on white Wonder Bread of course)

And always making sure the candy dish was freshly filled when I came to visit.

And stocking the freezer with “Awful Waffles” (aka: Eggo Waffles).

And freshly baked coffee cake waiting on the counter as soon as I arrived.

She loved my family and me through food every time we came to visit her house. She would serve us and my Grandpa tirelessly and always served a beautiful dinner every night… complete with a homemade dessert.

She was a beautiful example of what true service is in every way.

She never seemed flustered or too busy for me… even when I was trying to “help” her cook dinner.

She never complained about the dirty dishes in the sink.

She awoke before everyone else so she could have coffee ready and all the breakfast options waiting for us on the counter.

She and my grandpa even slept on the pull out couch in their living room so my family could use their bedroom and have plenty of space.

I long to be like my Grandma Ruth and serve in the way she did.

One of our favorite meals she would make was called Chili Con Carne and her recipe has been passed down and made by everyone in the family.

The only problem is, like most of her cooking, it is not exactly all that good for you.

But oh so tasty!

So, a few years ago I revised her recipe to be a bit better for you but still achieve the same Grandma’s Chili taste.

I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!



*Serves 8ish and freezes perfectly!

*Contains dairy


2 packages of ground turkey (about 2.75lbs)

1 medium onion – chopped

1 T minced garlic

2 cans black beans - drained and rinsed

2 cans kidney beans - drained and rinsed

1 box of Trader Joes Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup

4 T chili powder

1 T cumin

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp pepper

1 T flour (I used oat flour but any kind of four works)

Splash of water


Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pan. Add ground turkey and let it begin to brown.

Once it has cooked for a bit, break it up in to small chunks and add chopped onion and garlic.

While the meat is finishing cooking, combine chili powder, cumin, sea salt, pepper and flour in a bowl and stir well. Add a few tablespoons of water and stir well. It should make a thick paste.

Once the meat is finished cooking, add the paste to the meat and stir.

Add black beans, kidney beans and tomato soup.

Bring everything to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.

Give it a taste and add more spices if needed. If you would like it a bit spicy, add some cayenne pepper.

*This meal works great when made ahead of time and reheated for dinner. It also freezes really well. I usually freeze half and then use the other half for dinner and leftovers.


  • My grandma ALWAYS served hers on bow-tie noodles. It may sound a bit strange to have chili with noodles… but it is AMAZING! I would recommend a good whole wheat noodle or brown rice noodle.
  • It also works on quinoa, just by itself… or a little corn bread never hurt either.
  • It can be topped with cheese, guacamole or sliced avocado, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt… or all of the above.


PS: she really did make the best Sour Cream Coffee Cake and Pineapple Upside Down Cake around and I plan to attempt a healthier version of those sometime soon as well!


“Keen-what???” That was my response the first time someone asked me if I had ever tried quinoa (pronounced: keen-wah). It sounded sort of strange to me but it did peak my curiosity enough to give it a try.

It is now a favorite in our house and we eat it several times a week. My husband prefers it to most grains so we use it in place of brown rice most of the time.

Due to its flavor and texture, it is very versatile and tastes great with just about anything added to it. I am always looking for new ways to cook/eat it and that is how today’s recipe came about.

Here are a few ways we like to eat it:

Mexican: we use it as a base for mexi bowls or a side dish for tacos. As well as in this weeks recipe.

Asian: we also use it as a base for stir-fry’s with veggies and chicken or salmon

Mediterranean: it tastes great with veggies and some feta and olives tossed in.

For Kids: Duke is somewhat of a picky eater (more on that in future posts) but he loves quinoa with black beans and avocado.

Salads: I use leftover quinoa in salads for lunch. It adds a great texture and bulk to any type of salad and is a great way to use up leftovers.

A bit of interesting information about quinoa:

  • It is naturally gluten free
  • It provides all of the eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein!
  • Although most of us think if it as a grain, quinoa is actually a close relative to leafy green vegetables such as spinach and Swiss chard. Thus making it one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom.
  • Costco sells a 4lb bag (it lasts us forever!) of organic, rinsed quinoa for $10. This is the best price I have found so far.

So… if you haven’t given it a try, you should! Today’s recipe works great as a side dish or main course and the leftovers are perfect for lunch.



PS: I’d love to hear your favorite ways to use quinoa and what you have been making lately!




  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (rinsed)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 can rinsed/drained black beans
  • 1 C corn (I used organic frozen corn because it has no added salt or preservatives)
  • 1 chopped bell pepper
  • 1 C chopped red onion
  • 1-2 jalapeños
  • 1/2 C patted down chopped cilantro



  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


Cook quinoa in vegetable broth (or water) according to the package instructions. I cook mine in a rice cooker but the stove works great too. Allow it to cool completely.

Add black beans, corn, bell pepper, red onion, jalapenos and cilantro and stir all together.

In a bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, cumin, garlic powder and salt and stir well.

Add the dressing mixture to the quinoa mixture and you are done!


Serve cold as a side dish or main course. Garnish with sliced avocado and cilantro if desired.