If you're like me, you're simultaneously looking forward to, and dreading, the rounds of family dinners and holiday parties that crush all clean-eating rules, with their pigs-in-blankets, scalloped potatoes, lemon-poppyseed cakes, and eggnogs-- the evil dastards!
Oh, and don't forget the gingerbread men.. the champagne punch... the French toast... even the carrots come glazed!!!
Don't throw your hands up and order a pizza this week, thinking it's useless to resist the depredations sure to come. Instead, make some healthy quinoa chili. If you prefer, leave out the ground beef.
This serves eight, and as written, is 412 calories per serving, with a substantial 27.5 g protein and only 11 g fat each.
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (19 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon dried parsley
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in the ground beef. Cook and stir until the beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease; set beef aside. (If you're really wanting low fat, trust me- rinse your beef in cold cold water. You'll heat the meat back up again anyway and the cold water solidifies the fat and rinses it down the drain. Hope it's a rental though; eventually this is better for your arteries and worse for the other pipes.)
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with chili powder and cumin; cook 1 minute more to release the flavor of the spices. Stir in the tomatoes, black beans, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, zucchini, oregano, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Simmer until the bell peppers are tender, about 20 minutes.
Once the red and green peppers are tender, stir in the quinoa, beef, and corn kernels. Return to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes to reheat.