Great Wheat & Meat-Free Cincinnati Chili

With the improvements in the many soy products fashioned to resemble and taste something like meat, I discovered dropping beef and chicken from my diet was pretty easy.  But, after about a year of eating a lot of these soy products, I began to experience some significant gastrointestinal upsets.

After Googling my symptoms,  I decided to try not eating wheat and other grains that contain gluten, and this required me to begin reading labels more closely. That’s when I found out that most of the fake meat soy products also contained wheat. I was so disappointed! On top of having to give up bread and pasta, I had to give up all those handy soy-meat concoctions.

But life after gluten ain’t so bad after all!

I was relieved to find that feeling better is a strong incentive for trying alternatives to wheat and meat.  Fortunately, the abundance of vegetables that now make up much of my diet are very satisfying. Experimenting with some of my favorite recipes has yielded mixed results.  But today’s culinary experiment is worth bragging about.

Cincinnati-style chili is a childhood favorite, and I’m impressed with the results of my first pot of wheat and meat-free Cincinnati Chili.  I took a recipe that I found in the Washington Post that calls for 1.5 lbs. of ground turkey, and I substituted light red kidney beans and red quinoa for the meat.

Three-Way Chili Spaghetti

Cincinnati Chili Spaghetti
2 cups cooked Red Quinoa (rinse and cook according to package instructions)
2 – 15 oz. cans Tomato Sauce
1 – 15 oz. can Light Red Kidney Beans (or other bean of your choice)
1 medium onion, diced
2 Tblsp. butter or vegetable oil
1 stalk of celery chopped or one tsp. celery seed
1 clove of garlic or 1 tsp. garlic powder
1.5 tsp. of cinnamon
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
.5 tsp each of paprika, black pepper, oregano and ground cumin
.25 tsp each of allspice, nutmeg and ground cloves
1 Bay Leaf

Saute onions, garlic, celery (or celery seeds) in butter on low for a couple of minutes until onions are tender. Add tomato sauce, red quinoa, kidney beans and other spices. Stir well, cover and simmer on low for about a half an hour. This recipe will serve five-six people. It also freezes well.

Cincinnati Chili can be eaten as is; however, it’s often served over pasta with a generous portion of grated cheddar cheese sprinkled on top. You can also add raw chopped onion.  Select your favorite brand of gluten-free pasta and cook according to package instructions.  Enjoy!

~Nan Logsdon

2 responses to “Great Wheat & Meat-Free Cincinnati Chili

  1. Beautiful recipes!

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