Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Quinoa Chili… And Some Highlights from California

I am so very sorry for not posting over the past several weeks! I wish I could say I’ve been hard at work, but in all honesty I was actually in California with my family for a while. My parents had been thinking about going there as we had never been to the west coast. It was quite possibly one of the best family vacations we’ve ever experienced. We landed in LA and did a lot of sight seeing, including walking down Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Blvd, and even making a quick visit to see the Grammy museum. We also were fortunate enough to get tickets to a taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and I was able to see my favourite Friends character in person – Phoebe Buffay, otherwise known as Lisa Kudrow!

After spending a few days soaking up the sun and touring the city, we tackled the drive up the coast towards San Francisco, stopping along the way to snap some photos of the setting sun.

Then we continued on towards Carmel (FYI the most adorable town I’ve ever seen) to spend the night. The next morning we did the infamous 17-mile drive to Monterey Bay, and obviously made a pit stop at the Monterey Bay Aquarium to see the jellies!

Afterwards we continued on to our final destination on the trip – San Francisco! We did a lot of sight seeing, which was great because the grueling hikes up San Francisco’s many hills helped make me feel better about all the tasty food I had been eating on the trip. We also rode on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Yes, you read correctly. It’s a train that takes you through some of Napa Valley’s wineries. You can kick back, relax, and enjoy a gourmet meal on the train while sipping on delicious local wine. Definitely my kind of train ride! Our final tourist destination was visiting Alcatraz. I highly recommend doing the tour if you ever have the opportunity! Just make sure you purchase tickets well in advance.

Anyways, that was an extremely brief summary of my adventures in California! If you have never been to this part of the United States, I seriously recommend going there. Personally, I would consider moving there if given the opportunity. There’s so much to do and see – the things I mentioned above only begin to scratch the surface!

Moving on.. I hope this week’s Meatless Monday recipe will help you forgive my lengthy period of silence over the past several weeks. It’s yet another gem I found on Pinterest that I was inspired to make to welcome this year’s football season. I only made half of the recipe (thank goodness), but it still made a lot! I had so much leftover that I ended up freezing half of it. I must say though that I will most definitely be making this chili again. It’s hearty, delicious, vegan-friendly, packed with fibre, and gluten-free! I’ve never had quinoa in chili before, but it’s a fantastic way to add a source of complete protein to this vegetarian meal. Enjoy!!

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Original recipe serves 10-12. Half the recipe serves about 5-6.

Click here to see the original recipe, courtesy of Two Peas & Their Pod.



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