Home ยป Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thai Quinoa Chili

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thai Quinoa Chili


Come Monday mornings, it’s a bit unclear to me what I did all weekend long. The little stuff adds up, I guess.

There’s always grading and lesson planning to get done. This weekend, the lesson planning got done, but the grading…err…not so much. There was some workouts — Friday I ran 3+ miles, Saturday I did a 4 mile elliptical workout, and last night, as always, I had a hockey game. At least I was productive with my sweat sessions.

I made some killer waffles yesterday morning and luckily, I have some leftovers to enjoy this morning. On Monday mornings, it’s the little things…


Friday night, Mr. Prevention and I hung low at the house. It was a long week for both of us. Beer, leftovers, and the couch was just what we needed. Saturday night, we had some friends over to watching the Illini…lose. Again. Sometimes, more often than not, it is painful to be a fan of University of Illinois sports.

Yesterday was typical. Laundry (and too much of it), grocery shopping, getting ready for the week, making a nice meal, and playing hockey.

But always, without fail, Sundays are a bit…depressing. Even if you LOVE your job, you LOVE weekends more. Mr. Prevention loves (and I do mean LOVES) to sleep. Sometimes I check on him just to be sure he’s still breathing, because sleeping 12 hours straight is simply unimaginable for me.


For Mr. Prevention, Mondays bring far too early of wake-up calls. If you’ve ever seen the 5-Hour Energy commercials of the guy walking down the stairs saying, “I don’t wanna get up…I don’t want to go to work…” you’ve seen Mr. Prevention in the mornings.

On those mornings (i.e. every morning, but especially Mondays), I encourage Mr. Prevention to take leftovers to work for lunch. Sometimes, I think he’s under the impression I pack everything in single serving Tupperware containers for fun. He usually tells me leftovers are “too heavy” to eat for lunch. Whatever that means.

This meal was one of them — “too heavy”. But I actually “get” what he means with this meal. It’s super healthy, but it’s also really filling…in a good way. This Vegetarian Thai Quinoa Chili is PACKED with fiber (nearly 12 grams per serving) making it a very filling meal that’s sure to keep you satisfied for hours to come. Plus, it tastes great. I’m officially a convert when it comes to quinoa in chilis and soups – so good!



Vegetarian Thai Quinoa Chili slightly adapted from Back to Her Roots

1 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp red curry paste
1 Tbsp cumin
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1 small onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup dry quinoa, rinsed (I used red quinoa)
1 cup light coconut milk
1-28 oz can no salt added crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 green onions, sliced, for serving
8 Tbsp plain, nonfat Greek yogurt, for serving


In a large dutch oven or soup pot, whisk together the chili powder, curry paste, cumin and a few tablespoons of broth over medium-low heat until smooth.

Add in onion, green pepper, garlic, sweet potato, and olive oil and saute for 5-7 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Add in remaining broth, beans, quinoa, coconut milk, tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, or until flavors are melded and quinoa is cooked.

Serve topped with sliced green onions and plain Greek yogurt. Yield: 8 servings (1 1/2 cups each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 322 calories; 5.9 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 573 mg. sodium; 47.4 g. carbohydrate; 11.9 g. fiber; 18.5 g. protein

Result: This is hearty and has great flavor. You can easily add some heat with a chile pepper or red pepper flakes. The beans make this seem more chili-like than soup-like, but either way it is warm and comforting. This is a great one-pot meal that requires very little hands-on time. Enjoy!


Now for my Monday morning coffee fix…mmm!

Have a great week,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. January 30, 2012 / 6:20 am

    Our weekends go by way too fast. But this chili is a great way to start the week.

  2. January 30, 2012 / 6:58 am

    The weekends always do go so quickly… even if it’s full of little things. That seems to be how mine was. Sunday was wonderful (suprising) but yes, by 5:00 I started to get a bit depressed about the week staring me in the face.

  3. January 30, 2012 / 7:19 am

    I’m going to agree – this weekend went by way too fast! It’s a good thing I start a new semester today or I’d be dreading going to school! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As for this chili, YUM! I always use ground turkey instead of ground beef in my chili, but never thought to add quinoa! Great idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. January 30, 2012 / 7:29 am

    Twelve hours straight?! Craziness. I slept that much in high school, but now I’m like my parents and can’t sleep any longer than 8 hours, and I’m up at 7 on weekends. HA!

    The chili sounds fantastic. I’ve actually made chili twice this year and I’ve never thought to add quinoa. Great idea.

    Can’t wait for dinner this weekend! We have to decide where to go. Somewhere in Polaris…

  5. January 30, 2012 / 9:03 am

    My weekend also went by way too quickly. And I’m not done with grading either… ๐Ÿ™

    The chili sounds great! I don’t understand how people don’t love leftovers. It’s my favorite part! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a great week!

  6. January 30, 2012 / 9:17 am

    Haha, I’m the opposite– the GRADING got done, but the lesson planning…I guess I know what my Monday morning is going to be spent doing ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. January 30, 2012 / 11:23 am

    This looks just delicious!
    I know what you mean about weekends! Now with me having school, I have even less lazy days. But it will be worth it in the end.
    Hope you’re having a great Monday! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. January 30, 2012 / 11:52 am

    Looks amazing! Love the flavor profile!

  9. January 30, 2012 / 1:27 pm

    Mmm, this is in my list of to-try recipes too ๐Ÿ˜€ Looks delicious! As usual, your pictures are great. I love your green bowls ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. January 30, 2012 / 1:37 pm

    This looks delish!! I could use some soup right about now. I’m super sick. Maybe something a little lighter, but this will be a keeper for when I get better.

  11. January 30, 2012 / 3:19 pm

    Weekends need to be longer. Two days just isn’t enough time.

    This chili looks amazing. Especially with the red curry paste. I LOVE red curry.

  12. January 30, 2012 / 4:36 pm

    OMG, if I was married to your husband I think we could hold contests to see who can sleep longest – I still can sleep 12+ hours at night on the weekends, and my husband is also holding a mirror to my head to make sure I am still breathing!

    Yum, yum, your soup looks amazing – and your photography skillz are getting so great Nicole!!

  13. January 31, 2012 / 2:47 am

    This looks wonderful. I stumbled upon your blog from tastespotting. I’ll subscribe. Feel free to pop over and visit sometime. Thanks for sharing xx

  14. February 2, 2012 / 12:36 pm

    Made this with my roommate and it was delicious! We added some red pepper flakes and also mushrooms because they happened to be around but the texture of the quinoa and the flavor of the coconut milk were really original takes on chili which is what made me so excited to try this!

    Thanks for the recipe!!

  15. February 5, 2012 / 4:39 pm

    What an interesting take on chili. We love Thai flavors so we’ll definitely have to try this soon!

  16. sarah
    February 14, 2012 / 12:51 pm

    Hi! I stumbled upon your blog last month and started following ever since. I’m also an RD in columbus ๐Ÿ™‚ I made this Thai chili last night and am enjoying it right now for lunch. your husband is right, it is a hearty lunch for a weekday! I modified it by leaving out one can of beans and added some hot sauce. served it wtih some corn bread. I’ll make it agian and maybe add some cilantro. Thanks for your recipes and your fun photography!

  17. tchudson
    March 19, 2012 / 4:36 pm

    Looked so good we bought some curry paste this weekend and are making this tonight – though we are going carnivorous and adding some diced chicken to it….

    • Nicole, RD
      March 19, 2012 / 7:35 pm

      I hope you love it! If you enjoy quinoa, you’ll like it I bet! Let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

      • tchudson
        March 19, 2012 / 8:54 pm

        It’s cooking right now! Both my wife and I love quinoa (though we have never tried red quinoa) and we’re always looking for new ways to cook it.

  18. Lynn
    March 22, 2012 / 11:34 am

    I made this the other night and it was very yummy, however I would make a few changes. 3 cans of beans was a bit much. If I wasn’t including meat I would cut it down to 2 or even 1 can. I used normal coconut milk and only had a can of whole tomatoes, but it actually worked really well (I cut them into fourths) we liked having the bigger chunks. I know this was meatless but I also think next time I’ll add some chicken and fresh lime juice.

    But really this was a good recipe, just too many beans imo. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Nicole, RD
      March 22, 2012 / 12:12 pm

      It was a lot of beans…yeah. I love your recommended changes…thank you!

      • Lynn
        September 7, 2013 / 7:35 pm

        After over a year I still make this. I even made it one time for a church soup fundraiser and with not leftovers. Thanks for the recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ P.S. the less beans definitely help.

  19. Pingback: Chili
  20. Sigrid
    August 25, 2012 / 9:13 pm

    I can’t wait to try it with the coconut milk and red curry! Great pictures btw.

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