The Final is tasty!

Cook-Off Part 1: Quinoa Adobo Chili (GF)

The forum is having another cook off competition.  This is the second competition that I’ve entered.  The last one I entered was desert (see my posting here).  I enjoy these cook-off weeks because of all of the new recipes and activity on the forum.  Sometimes the cook-off week facilitator gives prizes (iron cookware etc) which is cool and adds to the fun.  However, I am most excited about an avalanche of new recipes to make.

This week’s cook off is divided into two categories: Chili & Cornbread – A classic Dutch oven combo.  My first step into the contest is a home-made chili (gluten-free cornbread may come later). I decided to stretch myself and create my own chili recipe.  I’ve cooked chili several times from recipes and thought I could produce an edible concoction just from scratch out of my head.

I decided to bend and break the rules of chili a bit and mix up the ingredients.  I also wanted to include as many home grown veggies & foods as possible.  I think the most unexpected ingredient that I included is Quinoa.

Quinoa is a unique grain -originally from South America- that has all of the amino acids.  Senior Management and I use it in gluten-free baking all the time.  I like it because it is light and doesn’t get mushy but still manages to fill.  It seemed like a great chili additive and fits my unique dietary needs.

Quinoa Adobo Chili (Gluten Free)

This recipe is designed for a 14″ dutch oven and produces a nice thick chili.  If you like your chili thinner, I’d add another cup of water.


1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 onion
1 cup corn (I used frozen that Senior Management preserved this summer)
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate
6 cloves garlic
¾ lb ground turkey (Vegetarian Option: TVP)
2 cans of black beans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1.5 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 quart of tomatoes (I used canned tomatoes from our garden)
3 cups water
2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers
1 zucchini (I used shredded frozen zukes from our garden)
2 tbsp of adobo sauce with 2 constituted chipotle peppers (this adds a nice smokey flavor)
1 bunch of cilantro
1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Pre-heat the 14″ dutch oven with a solid circle of briquettes on the bottom.
  2. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer until clear water is running through it.  Toast the quinoa for about 3 minutes in a cast iron skillet.  When toasted, add 2 cups of the water to the skillet, cover, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.  The quinoa is done when it starts to split open.
  3. Chop the pepper, zucchini, and onion.
  4. Thoroughly rinse the black beans in a strainer.
  5. When Dutch oven is hot, add the olive oil & onions.  Saute the onions until they start to change color then add the garlic (pressed) and turkey (or TVP).  Cook the turkey until it is no longer pink but still not done (about 2 min).
  6. Add the Cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, salt & pepper, and chipotle adobo sauce.  Stir mixture for about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes, black beans, bell pepper, quinoa, zucchini, and the remaining cup of water.  Mix well.
  8. Move 1/2 the briquettes to the lid of the Dutch oven to form a ring.  Reform the bottom briquettes into one ring.
  9. Let mixture simmer for about 15 min then mix in the chocolate and let it simmer for another 5 min.
  10. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a slice of lime.
  11. Eat it.

For a first attempt at making my own chili recipe, I am pleased with it.  It is nice & fresh, light but hearty, and had just the right smokey flavors that I like.  I may like my chili a bit spicier but Senior Management prefers it just like I have detailed here.

Here are a few pictures to feast your eyes on:

5 thoughts on “Cook-Off Part 1: Quinoa Adobo Chili (GF)”

  1. Pingback: jPodbuild Overland Trailer & Adventure » Blog Archive » Cook-Off Part 2: Pumpkin Cornbread (GF)

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