Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili (Gluten-free + Vegan)

by Beth @ Tasty Yummies

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili (Gluten-free + Vegan)

I feel like I am really outing myself lately with how much of an emotional eater I am. But listen, I am totally aware of it, that’s a first step, right? I try to keep it in check and make sure that whenever it’s tied to junk food, I try to make the best decision and swap something healthy or just ignore it (most of the time). Otherwise, I am all about eating your feelings!

Tuesday, I was driving up to LA for a photo shoot for some yoga stuff (I will tell you guys more about that at a later time) and on my way there, on the obnoxious 405, I got into a car accident. It wasn’t anything too serious and everyone is OK, thankfully, but it was scary and I was very shook up afterward. That, plus the fact that my back and neck feeling a little “off”, meant I had to postpone the photo shoot until next week. So, that required immediately driving back home, in the terrible traffic on the highway I just got into a wreck on, (with my pretty, messy braid), feeling all scared. By the time I got home, I was starving, I was rattled, I was sore and was feeling pretty sorry for myself.

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili (Gluten-free + Vegan)

I wanted some warming, comforting food. I wanted spicy and I was wishing for a big bowl of  authentic pho, some spicy thai food or some homemade chili! But, I was in no mood to cook after the afternoon I just had. I was bummed when I remembered our favorite Pho places don’t deliver and I wasn’t about to drive, the Thai place we love was closed, but then I remembered I had some of this delicious, leftover Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili in the freezer from when I made it to photograph for this post.

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili (Gluten-free + Vegan)

It was perfect. Warm, spicy, comforting, hearty – while still light. Exactly what I needed after the day that I had. What I love about this chili, is that although it’s vegan, it doesn’t seem like it, in the least. Most vegan chili’s, I find, are watery and just too light. They always seem flat, like they are missing something. The addition of the quinoa, I have found, is a really great way to add protein, it provides a nice “meaty” texture and it makes it so much more than a chunky tomato soup of sorts.

This slow cooker vegan chili is based on my famous classic (not vegan) chili recipe (well OK, it’s not famous famous, but it’s famous enough to anyone that has ever come to my house to have it for dinner). It’s full of so much flavor and it’s a breeze to throw together. My not-so-secret ingredients in all of my chilis, are the chipotles, the cinnamon and the chocolate. All subtle flavors on their own, but together they make the most amazing chili, you will ever eat. We love topping our bowls of chili with my Cilantro Lime Avocado Cream, some fresh cilantro and green onions. Mark, ever the southern boy, usually adds some fritos or corn tortilla chips on top. This meal is great for a busy day filled with work and/or school – or the day your car gets hit on the highway at a high speed. Whatever. Emotional eating at it’s finest!

Slow Cooker Quinoa Chili (Gluten-free + Vegan)

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shashi at runninsrilankan September 25, 2014 at 7:19 am

Your chili has such a gorgeous coloring! I have used chocolate and chipotles in my chili before – but never cinnamon – I got try that – thanks so much for this recipe and tip!!

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2 Mary @ The Kitchen Paper September 25, 2014 at 8:22 am

These pictures are beautiful!! I’ve never put chocolate in my chili before, but I’m not going to resist it! Can’t wait to try this!

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3 Millie l Add A Little September 25, 2014 at 9:55 am

This looks totally amazing!!

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4 Brittany September 25, 2014 at 12:08 pm

So happy that the car accident was minor and that you’re okay. I am also so that your beautiful braid didn’t make it to the photo shoot. You’ll have to do it again!

This chili looks amazingly delicious and extra comforting. I want a bowl right now.

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5 Teniel September 26, 2014 at 1:23 am

This sounds totally delicious. Im going to make this.
Chipotle is not as easy to come by in Australia but I have been wanting to get some for ages.
Ive ordered a chipotle powder off iherb so once that comes I’m making this.
Even if it is warming up here. This sounds too good to have to wait till winter to make.
Thank you

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6 Gaby September 26, 2014 at 8:27 am

Ummm yum!!! Love chili recipes!!

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7 thefolia September 30, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Hoped this brightened up the rest of your day–it certainly would mine. Happy Healing.

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8 aimee @ small eats September 30, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Hope you’re feeling better!
This chili recipe looks amazing. Thank you for sharing it!

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9 Kathy October 1, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Made this chili yesterday & it’s scrumptious! Even my all-meat-all-the-time husband dug it. A definite keeper. Thanks!

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10 Beth @ Tasty Yummies October 9, 2014 at 7:24 am

YAY!! That’s sooo great to hear Kathy. Thank you!!

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11 Saunier June 19, 2015 at 4:49 am

This looks really good, must be delicious 🙂

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