A slow cooker brings out the flavor in foods. Not to mention, a variety of foods can be cooked in a slow cooker, including meats, casseroles, soups/stews and cakes!
When you slow-cook your meals, you increase the flavor and texture of certain ingredients. When it comes to chili, I prefer it slow-cooked and low maintenance - meaning you can place all ingredients in the cooker, cook on low and let it be for a few hours!
During a busy work day, my LAST thought is "what will I make for dinner?". This usually results in eating leftovers, frozen meals or getting take-out to avoid cooking and cleaning up a kitchen mess. So to save time, money and the mess, we opt for simple, slow-cooker recipes!
You can easily make a hearty and filling plant-based chili with some pantry staples such as quinoa, canned goods (chick-peas, corn and spinach) and anything you need to use up in the fridge. Research shows that plant-based diets may lower blood pressure, prevent type 2 diabetes or cancer, and may improve cognitive function.
Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Quinoa Chili
1 (15oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz) can corn, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (1.25oz) packet mild chili seasoning
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup frozen spinach
Nonfat Greek yogurt, for garnish (optional)
Place all ingredients in slow-cooker*, stir to mix together. Cover and cook high for 3 hours. Stir occasionally. Add salt and pepper, to taste. *add frozen spinach at the last 1 hour of cooking to get those leafy greens in!
Garnish with a dollop of nonfat Greek plain yogurt and enjoy.
*Note: Don't have a slow-cooker? Throw all ingredients, except frozen spinach, into a large pot and cook on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add in spinach and cook for 10 minutes. Enjoy immediately!