“Never eat ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Except quinoa. You should eat quinoa.”
Y’all! The struggle to eat healthy has been real. In Croatia, there’s so much fresh bread! So much delicious feta! So much gelato!
I am incredibly grateful that I do cook and I am able to make a lot of my meals at home. The markets here in Croatia are full of delicious and fresh ingredients, making it really easy to make salads, sauteed veggies, and to eat plenty of juicy fruit. I have been super happy with red cherries being in season right now. My dad would be going nuts.
While the market is nice, it is also a forty five minute walk from me and the super markers nearby leave a lot of be desired. Plus, it is a pain in the butt to use google translate on everything, so I hope for the best most days.
Week one: I was super excited to make some oatmeal I found in the tiny natural foods section at the local store. Fail. I bought barley. It was still good, but not the same…
Week two: I search everywhere for a damn sweet potato. I might have been teary eyed when I gave up…
Week three: My roomie wants to attempt nachos at home. The only salsa we could find in the store was so, so sad. It tasted like tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, chili powder, and onion powder. It made me miss home, a lot.
In the hunt to make delicious nachos, I grabbed what looked like a can of black beans (another thing I have been struggling to find)! But alas, I opened the can to find kidney beans. BOOOO!!!
Which brings us to today’s post…
So, I had to use the kidney beans. I have been feeling super under the weather and craving soup, so vegan chili it is!
I want to warn everyone: When cooking in a foreign country, you cannot be tied to certain ingredients, at all. Just in spices alone, I struggled. Be open minded and try new things. This recipe I am sharing today is not exactly the way I cook it at home, but I ended up modifying the ingredients to what I could find here.
Learning how to cook my normal recipes with a bit of flexibility.
- 1/2 a red and green pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup onions, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced (or substitute with powder)
- 1 can of red kidney beans
- 1 can of pinto beans
- 1 can of tomatoes (I got picante flavor for extra heat)
- 1/2 cup dried quinoa
- 2 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
- 2-3 tbs chili powder
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Optional: squeeze of lime, cilantro, curry powder, smoked paprika, avocadoes, etc.
- Heat the oil on a large pot at med-high heat. Add garlic, onions, peppers, carrots, and celery. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add all the spices, stir well, and let cook for another minute or so
- Add can of tomatoes (with juice). Rinse out both cans of beans and add to pot. Add vegetable broth and quinoa. Stir together well. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
- Continue to simmer for about thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure the quinoa is fully cooked.
- Remove from heat. Add toppings to individual bowls as desired.
It is missing a little bit of the spices I normally use. Plus, I like to use white beans and/or black beans as well, but I cannot seem to find them here.
I really enjoy chili because it is easy to reheat all week. My roomie made some pasta, so I stored some in her empty sauce jar and threw the jar in my backpack to keep at the workspace.
It is super convenient! Just add some of that delicious bread I spoke about earlier and (maybe) a beer, and you are set for an easy meal all week.
If you make it, let me know what you think!
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