Sweet Potato, Quinoa, and Chorizo Chili

I live in California, so fall for us is very different from so many other places in the US. But, althought it’s usally around 80 on any given day, we still tend to make and eat heartier meals, pinning all the recipes we can find with apple, pumpkin, and winter squash in the name; we don’t get as many fall colors (at all), so we supplement with fake leaf, straw, and twigs wreaths we find on Pintrest; we don’t really need to wear scarves, mittens, boots, and peacoats, but we do anyway! And we relish the days we do, making sure to document it on Instagram and Facebook: “Finally! It’s boots weather!” At 60…sometimes 70…(who cares if we are sweating underneath—it’s fall!). #finallyfall #thisisawesome #waitimreallyhot #butilookcuteright

Yes, we fake it. We envy those who live in colder climates because they actually get to do fall right. I get jealous. Super jealous. Fall color trees are one of my most favorite things in the whole world! I swoon at any picture of them, lighting up the frame with blazing oranges, reds, and yellows.  They represent warmth and substance to me. They make me think of big family meals, warm fires, and decadently thick hot coco (with mini marshmallows!). They make me think of happy childhoods, maybe not my own, riding bikes and jumping into huge piles of said leaves, crunching softly and smelling of cinnamon and laughter. They make me happy and sad at the same time; buoyant and regretful; in wonder and in despair; awe-struck and hopeless. These trees represent what I didn’t have for the longest time, but they are also beckoning at what I can still have now. And that is exciting. Second chances in life are deliciously beautiful and brimming with gladness, sparkling in the distance, and getting closer each day to being what they ought.

Sweet Potato, Quinoa, and Chorizo Chili

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bit-sized pieces

1 cup dry quinoa

1 package Mexican pork chorizo (I buy mine, super cheap, at Ralphs)

1 32oz container gluten free chicken stock

1 6oz can tomato paste

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon oregano

2 big pinches red pepper flakes (medium spicy)

1 tablespoon olive oilt

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional toppings

Crushed up corn tortilla chips, fresh avocado, chopped cilantro, *chopped green onions

Instructions

In a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat and cook the chorizo (stirring often) for about 10 minutes. Then, add the tomato sauce, spices, potatoes, and stock. Stir together, and then add the quinoa. Cook over medium-medium high heat for 15-30 minutes, or until desired thickness. I cooked mine for about 25 minutes.

Top with diced avocado, chopped green onions, crispy corn chips. Enjoy!

**If you are following a low FODMAPs diet, don’t use the white parts of the green onion.

Vegan Options/non-sensitive stomach options:

-use soyrizo instead of the chorizo

-use vegetable stock instead of chicken

-add 1 chopped onion

-add 3-5 garlic cloves

-add 1 can of black beans

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 Inspired by: milkfreemom.com