Gluten-Free Vegan Quinoa Chili?

So I volunteered to make a main dish for my daughter’s teachers’ monthly luncheon/treat. One of the teachers requires gluten-free food, and no one had signed up for that spot. I’ve never cooked gluten-free before, but how hard could it be?

Searching for recipes on Pinterest, I found one for “The Best Ever Quinoa Chili (vegan and gluten-free).” Now I happen to know that another one or two of the teachers are vegetarians, so thought this might kill two birds with one stone. Of course, the gluten-free gal is a full on carnivore, but, hey, one dish can only meet so many needs. And I’ve been meaning to try quinoa.

I was caught by surprise while shopping for ingredients. Had to be choosy on brands of diced tomatoes, for instance. Some had garlic powder, I think, and therefore, gluten. And my grocery did not carry a gluten-free Worcestershire sauce, so I left it out. Bet I could have found it at the health food store, but no time. A few ingredients were pricey: over $5 for the box of quinoa, though it was enough for a double batch. And over $4 for ground chili chipotle, but I’ll use that for other dishes. And, of course, I had to buy organic beans to make sure they were vegetarian.

As I described this experiment to my sister (the gourmand) over the phone, she started laughing. “What’s so funny about quinoa chili?” I demanded.

“I just hope it tastes good,” she worried. “You don’t want to ruin your reputation.”

Ha! I happen to know from experience that hungry people at work enjoy food that arrives, unbidden and free, regardless of how experimental or vegan it might be.

And. . . it was good! Well, I liked it anyway. I used yellow, orange, and red peppers, and, combined with the quinoa, they gave it a great texture that I enjoyed more than ground beef.  And beef production is bad for the planet, anyway. So there. Try it if you dare.


Thanks to Sarah at Making Thyme for Health for the recipe: