I ran into a neighbor the other day who was out walking with her three kids. The youngest is a new baby, just about the same age that my new baby was when I decided that something had to give and we’d just have to eat scrambled eggs for the rest of time. (I’d like to be able to say that I gave up on cleaning as well as cooking at that time, but, to be honest, cleaning was never really my thing.)
I offered to bring dinner by, of course. I probably should have offered to come over and do eight loads of laundry instead, but I imagined that my casual acquaintance wouldn’t take me up on that offer. (Or maybe I’m just telling myself that because I’d rather cook than do laundry any day. If someone near and dear to you has a baby, though–especially a third baby–you should TOTALLY offer to do their laundry. They need all the help they can get.)
I’m not necessarily recommending this chili as the ideal food for new parents. It has everything some nursing moms try to avoid: spice, garlic, beans, onions. Some might prefer a soothing lentil soup, or those quinoa cakes, or a tofu enchilada casserole. But this chili is quick to cook and makes plenty to share. And my neighbor was game.
It’s a recipe from the the “red” section of the Ripe cookbook (also the source of that Dal with Curried Red Onion Jam). And when I read the headnote I knew that this recipe and I were meant to be. Because it says that Ripe author Cheryl Sternman Rule adapted the recipe from one that she developed for Eating Well magazine way back when–and you know that she has GOT to be talking about my favorite wheat berry chili. Except that quinoa cooks in 15 minutes instead of an hour and 15 minutes. A brilliant idea for a busy mom on a busy day. I kept my favorite elements of each recipe, of course, cooking the quinoa longer for more chew than crunch, happily piling in the red pepper, replacing red beans with homemade black beans, and squeezing in a few limes at the end. Continue reading Quinoa Chili with Red Peppers (click for recipe)