Recipe: Quinoa Lime Chili

I came across this chili at a restaurant when I was home in New Jersey. I didn’t even order it, I just ogled the description of the dish and thought, “That sounds great, I bet I can make that!” Turns out, I indeed can!

This chili turned out to be everything I hoped – it is vegetarian, spicy, filling, smokey, and bright. And it is an easy one-pot wonder which always wins points in my book.

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Recipe: Quinoa Lime Chili

Ingredients:
1 clove garlic, diced
1 onion, roughly diced
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 red bell peppers, roughly diced
2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
2 limes, zest and juice
1 cup quinoa
1 tbsp taco seasoning (cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, smoked paprika)
1 cup water

To Make:
1. Heat olive oil in a large pot and add onion and garlic. Cook over light-medium heat until onions are caramelized.
2. Add tomatoes and peppers, reducing heat slightly.
3. Add lime zest and taco seasoning and cook for 3-5 minutes until vegetables soften.
4. Meanwhile, cook 1 cup quinoa according to package directions.
5. Add beans and water to pot, bring to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Add cooked quinoa and lime juice. Salt to taste and serve immediately.

I hope you enjoy this warming (and Arlington Darling original) recipe as we finish up winter!

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Looking Forward to Winter Recipes

It’s Sunday night and I’m looking forward to what I’m going to cook this week! Since the temperatures have dropped and look like they’re officially going to stay there, I’m looking forward to make some winter-y meals.

Photo Credit Shutterbean – Tuscan Ribollita

Chopped Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Blue Cheese and Pomegranate Vinaigrette: I made this for book club a few weeks ago, and although I generally feel that cold lettuce leaves do not make a meal, I really liked the rich flavors in this salad. It helped to make the dressing from scratch (although I eliminated the pomegranate) – can’t go wrong when you do that. And of course, I added plenty of extra blue cheese!

Quick and Easy Tofu with Ramen Noodles: I like this method of cooking tofu (searing it without the trouble of pressing and marinating it beforehand), and of course I’m going to love anything with noodles. Hey, my half-marathon might be over, but I’m still going to carb-load. How else will I stay warm in winter?!

Red Quinoa Salad with Spicy Lime Vinaigrette: I love lime, I love spicy food, and I love quinoa. This salad looks like it has some great cold weather ingredients (pumpkin, etc.) and some unique flavor combinations.

Tuscan Ribollita: Shutterbean is one of my favorite food blogs. It’s the first one I started reading with any regularity, and the recipes that she posts are realistic yet comforting and gorgeous all at the same time. I think N and I made this Ribollita soup recipe a few years ago – when we didn’t have a big soup pot so we had to make the recipe in two small saucepans. I now have a huge soup pot and look forward to making this rich, almost stew-like soup again. Yummy Italian flavors, served warm, with a big hunk of bread and hearty, healthy ingredients? Can’t go wrong.

What are you making as the weather changes?

Loving: Ice Skating in the Garden

Last night I went ice skating in the National Sculpture Garden! It was a lot of fun – the rink was very large and well-maintained, it was decorated with twinkly lights, and the whole effect of skating serenely at night in the middle of where there is usually a big fountain and lots of tourists was surreal in a good way. Yes, it was a little cold, and my ankles are definitely feeling it this morning…and the whole time G, N, and I were really just thinking about how we wished it were a summer Friday afternoon and we were lounging on a blanket drinking sangria listening to jazz, but all in all it was a good experience. Good enough to even start calling it “Winter JING.”

Plus, on Thursday nights they have a cool DJ! They call it “DJs in the Garden: Spin, Cut, and Groove.” The description on the National Gallery of Art’s website reads: “The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink introduces the new evening event DJs in the Garden: Spin, Cut, & Groove. Even with a chill in the air this winter, skaters can warm up every Thursday night (6:00–9:00 p.m.) with a different guest DJ spinning popular music from the 1960s through today—hip-hop, R&B, disco, pop, rock ‘n’ roll, soul, and more. Skaters are welcome to make requests and twirl across the ice to their favorite tunes.”

How cool is that? It added a different kind of spin to ice skating (which I feel like is usually done to the musical accompaniment of Christmas carols). I even got comfortable enough on the skates to attempt to dance to some of the music — sort of. Mostly I just waved my arms and tried to look cool and not fall.

Check it out every Thursday night through February 28th!

Recipe: Vegetarian Pumpkin Lentil Curry Soup

I think one of the best things about the weather getting colder is that it is once more acceptable and, let’s face it, pretty much necessary to eat soup. What is better than having a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter’s night? And even better, you only have to clean one pot after you make it.

I have now successfully made this Pumpkin Lentil Curry soup twice, both times for guests. However, it makes such a large amount that I have multiple single-serving containers in the freezer, which will supply me with delicious homemade lunch all winter long. It freezes really well so it’s perfect for single girls like me who can only eat so much soup at a time!

The critical error I made the first time I made this soup was not having enough curry powder. The soup was good, but didn’t have the robust flavor I was expecting. So make sure you have a good quality curry powder on hand. And the apple is an absolute must in this soup – don’t omit it. I’ve actually increased the amount of apple from the original recipe since I really, really love what it adds to the flavor. One of the things that makes this soup so easy is that all of the ingredients are pretty shelf-stable (even the apple and onion) so you can put it together without having to run to the store. We all know how I hate that.

Arlington Darling | Pumpkin Lentil Curry Soup

All ingredients directly from the arlington darling pantry. No grocery store required. Woo hoo!

Recipe adapted from Yummy Mummy Kitchen.

Ingredients:
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion (or 1/2 large onion), chopped
1 1/2 apples (or two small apples), chopped
48 oz. vegetable broth (I use a combination of box stock and vegetable bouillon)
2 (15 oz.) cans pure pumpkin
2 tsp mild curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
1/2 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
1 tbsp honey
salt and pepper, to taste

To Make:
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Add the chopped apple and onion and cook until translucent and tender.
3. Then, add vegetable broth and simmer.
4. Whisk in the pumpkin and all of the spices.
5. Add the lentils, coconut milk, and honey.
6. Simmer on low for 40 minutes until thickened.
7. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Arlington Darling | Pumpkin Lentil Curry Soup 2

It’s not the prettiest-looking soup, but it sure is yummy.

Enjoy!