Packed full of protein these Slow Cooker Quinoa Lettuce Cups make a delicious, healthy and fun dinner for adults and kids!
Hi, it’s Ciara here from My Fussy Eater. I’m excited to be back once again on Super Healthy Kids sharing some of my ideas and recipes for picky eating families. This month I’m taking out my slow cooker and sharing my recipe for this delicious and healthy Slow Cooker Chili & Quinoa Lettuce Cups.
Quinoa is another one of those superfoods which has gained massive popularity in the last couple of years. And quite rightly so! Although we tend to use quinoa like a grain, it is actually a seed; making it ideal for gluten free and grain free diets. Nutritionally quinoa is pretty fantastic too. It contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein. It’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans and picky eaters who struggle to get enough protein in their diet.
I love adding quinoa to salads but I appreciate that the texture can be a little strange to children. And that’s what inspired this recipe. I wanted to find a meal that I knew my family already loved and somehow sneak in some hidden quinoa. And so my Slow Cooker Chili & Quinoa recipe was born! Not only does adding quinoa boost the nutritional value of ordinary chili but it’s also a really cheap way to bulk out the meat and make your meal go even further.
It’s worth noting that I kept the spices very mild so that this chili is suitable for children. If you like a bit more kick you can easily double the spices.
To serve I used romaine lettuce leaves and topped the chili with chopped tomatoes, avocado and spring onions.
Slow Cooker Quinoa Lettuce Cups
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 2 clove garlic
- 1 pound beef, ground, 90% lean
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, canned
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 8 ounce black beans, canned
- 1 cup corn, canned
- 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 12 leaf lettuce, romaine
- 1 cup, chopped or sliced tomato, red
- 1 medium avocado
- 2 stalk green onion
- Heat the oil in a skillet on the pan and add the onion and garlic. Fry lightly for 3-4 minutes until the onions start to soften. Add the minced beef and cook on a higher heat until the meat has browned.
- Spoon the onions, garlic and minced beef into the slow cooker. Add the quinoa, stock, tomatoes and spices and stir well. Cook on low for approximately 3 hours until the quinoa is cooked and has absorbed all the liquid.
- Stir in the black beans and corn and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Put the lid back on the slow cooker and leave it for another 10 minutes until the cheese has melted before switching off the slow cooker.
- Fill each lettuce leaf with two large spoonfuls of the chili quinoa and top with a small handful of chopped tomatoes, avocado and spring onions.
- Serve immediately with salsa and sour cream (optional).