Rainy days, meat puzzles, aebleskivers and quinoa chili

The past two days have been rainy and dark. As desert rats, we hardly know what to do with ourselves. Seriously, what do you do with your kids on the second rainy day? We never have to think about things like that!

Jeff made a blanket fort for the kids in their new bunk bed which kept them busy for hours.  Leila also worked on her meat puzzle no less than 10 times.
meat puzzleI kept myself occupied making scarves out of some jersey knit material that I have had in my closet for a couple years and never knew what to do with.  They came out nice and thick!  I might have to make some more to put up in my Etsy shop.  What do you think?

PhotobucketI also made up a big batch of quinoa chili.  My parents shared the recipe with me a few nights ago when my dad whipped up some gluten-free aebleskivers dusted in cinnamon sugar (better than any gluten-filled donut I have ever had!!).

aebleskivers gluten freeI thought the chili recipe sounded perfect for a rainy day so I made it the next night, with a few adjustments of course.  Although the recipe calls for ground beef, this would be hearty enough to make as a vegetarian chili because of the black beans and quinoa.  We had some grass-fed organic ground beef in the freezer, so I went ahead and used it. The recipe also calls for hot peppers.  What I like to do with a dish like this is to portion out the kids’ bowls and then add the peppers at the end so that it’s mild for them and spicy for us.

quinoa chili recipe

Heart Quinoa Chili

A hearty and healthy chili that happens to be gluten-free too!


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 28 oz. can Muir Glen crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 green bell peppers chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • tsp. each salt & pepper can use more to taste at the end
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 green chiles chopped (optional) or other hot pepper
  • Optional toppings: cilantro avocado, cheese


  • Heat large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in ground beef. Cook until no longer pink. Drain any excess oil, and set beef aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic and stir until onion is soft and translucent.
  • Add chili powder and cumin, stir and let cook 1 minute.
  • Stir in tomatoes, beans, bell pepper, mushrooms, oregano, thyme and salt & pepper.
  • Simmer until peppers are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in quinoa, beef and corn then return to a simmer.
  • Cook until corn is heated through.
  • Portion out kids’ servings then add hot peppers. Simmer 10 minutes more.
  • Serve with optional toppings.


So tell me…what do you do on rainy days?  I need some inspiration for next time!

  • Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean December 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    love love love those scarves 🙂

    • inspiredrd December 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

      Thanks Lindsay!

  • Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader December 15, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Great scarves! On rainy (or snowy cold days) I give the kids some scissors and some old magazines and let them create collages.

  • Show Links for 12/17/2011 | The Wake Up Call December 17, 2011 at 8:10 am

    […] you may wish bring something a bit heartier – chilis are always a welcome addition, and this hearty quinoa chili looks […]

  • Becca - Our Crazy Boys December 17, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I don’t know what aebleskivers are, but they look amazing!! I’d love the recipe!!

  • Caroline December 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    The chili looks amazing! How much onion does it call for? I can’t seem to find it in the recipe but it’s in the instructions.

    • inspiredrd December 19, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Sorry about that Caroline, it should read 1 onion, chopped.

      • Caroline December 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm

        Thank you! I made it last night and it is awesome! Thanks for sharing this recipe. This one’s a keeper.

        • inspiredrd December 20, 2011 at 10:54 am

          Oh good, glad you liked it. Thanks for letting me know!