Chili is a frequent dinner in our home. It’s easy to make, great for leftovers, and a perfect way to serve more vegetables and protein. My kids are generally not fans of quinoa and beans, but when snuck into a bowl of chili, they gobble it up.

This particular chili has everything – beef, quinoa, spinach, even a jar of salsa. Most chili uses regular canned beans, but I had only refried beans available. The surprising outcome is chili that is less heavy-handed with the beans, with a slightly creamy texture. I’ll definitely use refried beans in chili again. Make sure you season your chili well. Underseasoned chili is a travesty.


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2 pounds ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 8-ounce jar of salsa
2 15-ounce cans refried beans
1/4 cup quinoa
1 tomato, chopped
2 handfuls of spinach, chopped or hand-torn into small pieces
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
salt & pepper to taste

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine ground beef and onion, and sauté for 10 minutes, or until beef is browned and onion is tender.

Add the remaining ingredients, and mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1-2 hours. Makes 6-8 servings.

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