Quinoa Chili – Kids Cook Monday

It seems as though Fall temperatures were out in full force this weekend. I even saw Florida Facebook friends remark about needing their jackets…which means it must have dipped down below 70! Between endless football games on television and cooler weather, we were desperate for some chili around here.


I almost always make my chili meatless. It’s just how I like it. Sometimes I put it on something like spaghetti. Other times we use it to make nachos. But today I just wanted a big bowl of chili. We did however mix things up a bit by bumping up the flavor and texture by adding some quinoa. This made the chili so thick and substantial. I was completely surprised by how much I loved it! Plus, quinoa is like, SO good for you. Score!


I rarely am down for healthy versions of recipes, but this one is an exception.

Here’s how me and my little sous chef made this chili happen!


Quinoa Chili

3 cans of beans- I used black, red & white (drain and rinse)
1 Large can of tomato sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes- I used one Italian and one Rotel version (don’t drain!!)
1/2 an onion
1/2 a green pepper
1/2 Cup Quinoa
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar


Brady is super into helping me chop up veggies so we started by dicing up our half onion and half green pepper. He ate a lot of the green pepper though…


We got our veggies cooking up in a big pot with a little EVOO and S&P.


Once the veggies were tender we added the tomato sauce to the pot. (Another good job for your little helper!)


At this point we measured out and added our seasonings- salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and sugar. Sidenote: is anyone else just obsessing over chalkboard labels?!

Then we drained and rinsed all 3 cans of beans and added them to the pot. We also threw in the 2 cans of tomatoes with all the juices- don’t drain them! That extra liquid helps cook up the quinoa.

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Next, we added our 1/2 cup of quinoa. Check out the label of the black beans and quinoa. Holy protein! (Who needs meat?!) At this point we put a lid on the pot and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. The quinoa starts out very visible, but once it cooks it becomes more transparent and the chili thickens up.

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Here’s a glimpse at what the big ol’ pot of chili looks like once the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid and is nice and tender.

The great thing about chili is you can just let it keep doing it’s thing for a while before you’re ready to eat and it keeps getting better. We kept ours on the stove, on low, for about an hour or so until we were ready to eat.



We topped our chili with cheese, sour cream (or plain Greek Yogurt) and some green onions. Healthy never tasted so good.

I should mention that while Brady did most of the cooking today, Nolan was WAY into the eating part. The boy just loves chili. Always has! Let’s not think about tomorrow’s diapers…

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And the best part is…there’s leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch!



Football + Fall + Food= Freakin’ Fabulous!

Sweet Treats- Kids Cook Monday

So, it’s no secret that I have a sweet tooth. My favorite food is birthday cake. I get that that does not bode well for my health and waistline, but I come by it honestly. My whole family is full of dessert loving people. Nolan has been a sweets lover from the beginning, but Brady has always been my healthy eater. He’s always preferred a fruit smoothie to desserts.  So, in an effort to appease mine and Nolan’s sweet tooth, but not forgo Brady’s healthy ways, we tried a few new dessert recipes this weekend.

The first was inspired by our love of Rice Krispie treats. Traditional Rice Krispie Treats are full of rice cereal, butter, and marshmallows. Delicious, but no nutritional value. I decided to use that same rice cereal but combine it with bananas and some all natural peanut butter. We made them into bite size balls and stuck them in the freezer. The result was a sweet, gooey, moist, ball of peanut butter goodness. It took about 5 minutes to come together and a half hour in the freezer to set.

Choco-Peanut-Banana-Rice Balls


3 Cups Rice Cereal
3/4 Cup Peanut Butter
A squirt of honey
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1 Ripe Banana



All we did was throw the peanut butter, banana, and honey in a large pot and heat until melted. Once it was liquid-y we added the cocoa powder.


We added the rice cereal and stirred it into the peanut butter mixture. We took it off the heat and let it cool for about a minute or two.


Then we used our hands to roll the rice mixture into bite sized balls.


We stuck the plate full of balls into the freezer for about a half hour to let them set. Then they were ready to eat!


We kept these guys in the freezer so they were nice and cold when we wanted one. They never got super hard so they were always ready to eat. This batch lasted us less than a day.










Now on to dessert #2 of the weekend…

Since the weather has cooled off so much lately, I’ve really been in the mood to make something pumpkin flavored. I LOVE my Grandma Dot’s pumpkin bread recipe, but I’m saving that one for when I’m really ready to indulge. Today we tried a Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffin recipe I found on Pinterest that is low in added sugar and gets it’s sweetness from bananas and some protein from Greek Yogurt. I’m posting the link to the recipe, but note that we added about a 1/2 teaspoon salt (because I really think it enhances the flavor of baked goods) and half a teaspoon of ground cloves (it’s in my Grandma’s recipe and SO tasty with pumpkin.) These are so great for a breakfast on the go or a sweet treat in the evening. The kids loved this one and have a blast any time they get to help bake! 

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Here’s the recipe…



‘Tis the season of Pumpkin!