Slow Cooker Quinoa Vegetable Chili

By Ashley Roe, Contributing Writer

I relish the cool crisp days of fall especially after a hot summer and before the air turns bitterly cold in winter. This time of year I love to make comfort foods that warm my throat and my soul. But as much as I do enjoy cooking, I don’t always love slaving over the stove for hours at a time. I would much rather enjoy my fall days wrapped up in a blanket with a good book or taking a walk to see the changing leaves. In an effort to still put healthy meals on the table but not have to be tied down in the kitchen all the time, I have been trying to use my slow cooker more often. One recipe I have enjoyed for fall day chili, especially this quinoa vegetable chili.

Slow Cooker Quinoa Vegetable Chili

This is one of my favorite slow cooker recipes as it requires little prep ahead of time. You just chop up a few things and dump it all in then let it cook. After about six hours you have a hot meal ready to go! I started making this chili as a way to use quinoa, an ingredient I had not been very familiar with but wanted to try. Once I made this chili, I decided that I liked quinoa and likely have it in my pantry at all times.

Another thing I like about this recipe is that it is a healthy and filling vegetarian meal option. I cook many of my dinner recipes with meat as my husband prefers to have some meat protein with his meals. However, meat can be expensive especially when you eat it with every meal so I try to throw in some meatless options when I can. It’s definitely a huge plus to have a meatless option that still has protein and is filling and you get both with this chili as quinoa is a good source of protein. If you have never had quinoa, I encourage you to try it out with this quinoa vegetable chili and let me know what you think.

Slow Cooker Quinoa Vegetable Chili


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (or about 3 cloves fresh)
  • 2 bell peppers, diced (any color)
  • 1 cup frozen corn (or a little less than one can if preferred)
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 ounce can diced green chilies (optional depending on preference of spiciness)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • Toppings: chopped green onion, diced avocado, Greek yogurt (or sour cream), freshly shredded cheese


  1. Place garlic, onion, peppers, corn, any additional vegetables along with beans, diced tomato, green chilies, vegetable stock, tomato paste and quinoa into a 6 quart slow cooker and stir lightly. Add taco seasoning, cumin, salt and pepper then stir again to mix in the seasoning.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Serve chili with desired toppings


  • Feel free to play around with the vegetables you use. I would recommend replacing one bell pepper with about one cup of another vegetable like mushrooms or zucchini.
  • The recipe calls for taco seasoning, I make a homemade version. For that recipe, go here.
  • The recipe as listed does have a good amount of spice. You know your families preferences, so consider removing the green chilies and lessening the seasoning a bit if you don’t want a lot of spice. If you think you want it to be even spicier, you could add a bit of red pepper flake for an even bigger kick.
  • Another option for the green chilies could be to use a couple of cans of diced tomato with green chilies. I have made this recipe with tomatoes that had green chili and lime and it turned out well.

More slow cooker inspiration for you

If you are looking for some more ideas for how to use your slow cooker this fall, here’s some links to get you started.

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana – Another of my recipes, a family favorite!

The Best Pulled Pork in a Crock Pot – An easy recipe that I have made many times. It is easy but certainly doesn’t lack in the flavor department.

40 Whole Food Slow Cooker Recipes – A variety of slow cooking options for you to look through. I’ve tried the cacciatore recipe that’s on the list.

16 Autumn Crock Pot Recipes – There are some delicious looking recipes here that I hope to try out.

100 Days of No Processed Food, Crock Pot Style – Stacy has a couple of crock pot cook books so there are sure to be some great options on this list.

50 Fabulous Grain Free Slow Cooker Meals – If you are looking specifically for grain free recipes, here’s a bunch to choose from all in one list.

Slow Cooker Quinoa Vegetable Chili 2

Hf #015: Learning the Art of Self-Discipline as a Homemaker

The things in life that are worth pursuing – your faith, a Christ-Centered marriagefaithful parentinghomemaking, and the other things that really matter – take hard work, determination, and lots of self-discipline. In this episode we discuss the art of self discipline, why it’s so important, and how we can cultivate it within our own lives.

HF #15 - Learning the Art of Self-Disciplines as a Homemaker - Pinterest

Discipline is perhaps my greatest struggle when it comes to being an efficient homemaker and Christ-follower. I deeply lack self-discipline and it comes back to bite me again and again. The largest lesson I’ve had to learn in my life, is how to be self-disciplined so I can effectively and efficiently run my household. – And I’m continually learning this lesson.

In last week’s episode we talked about how to dream and set goals for your life and homemaking. And then we took those goals and broke them down step by step to make realistic actionable goals. And this is all fine and well, but what do we do once these goals and dreams are written down on paper? What do we do with our daily and weekly routines and schedules? Getting them written down is the first step, but where do we go from there? Let’s dive into today’s episode to find out!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • The importance of self-discipline
  • What our first step in cultivating self discipline must be
  • How this relates to gaining control of your home
  • How to build an effective morning routine
  • The key to forming lasting habits within your life and homemaking

Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Book of the Week

I’ve mentioned this book before on the podcast I believe, and I highly recommend it! I consider Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life a foundational book that all believer’s should read.

I actually stumbled upon this book in a thrift store one day. And while I’m not one to just pick up any random book that calls itself “christian” because I think you could end up with some very bad (or false) teaching by doing that – I was familiar with and really respected many of the pastors who gave endorsements on the back cover. So on a $2.00 whim I decided to get it and try it out (even though it looked really boring from the cover) and fell in love with it right away. I am now on my second time reading through it and I know it won’t be my last. It covers all the spiritual disciplines that we should be practicing such as prayer, Bible reading time, Scripture memorization, serving, giving, and more! It’s a perfect blend of theology and practical advice for actually practicing these disciplines.

And for the last few months, Jason and I have been picking an audio book that we listen to “together”. He listens to it on his rather long commute to work and I listen to it in the nooks and crannies of my day – making breakfast, folding laundry, driving, etc.  – and we discuss the books together. Over the summer, one of the books we chose we this one. It was the first time Jason read this book and he loved it! We got the audio book through Audible (an Amazon company). If you sign up for a free 30 day trial of Audible, you will actually get TWO free audiobooks of your choice including this one if you want or any other two books.


Thanks for Listening!

HF #15 - Learning the Art of Self-Disciplines as a Homemaker

Hf #013: Homemaking Through Different Seasons & Stages of Life

Homemaking – and our roles within the home – change from season to season and vary greatly depending on what stage of life we are in. Jennifer is joining us today to talk about having a vision for our homemaking and how our homemaking will look different depending on where we are at in life.

HF #13- Homemaking Through Different Seasons and Stages - Pinterest

Jennifer has 11 children and knows what it means to be busy. She is also a loving wife and devoted homemaker. She blogs over at The Focused Homemaker and she is with us in this week’s episode to give us a little glimpse into her daily life. She also gives some really encouraging wisdom from her 20+ years of experience as a homemaker.

I was so encouraged recording this episode with her and I love the advice she gives on knowing what season you are in and adjusting your homemaking to match that season. Let’s dive in!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • What it means to be focused as a homemaker
  • How homemaking changes from season to season
  • Encouragement for the young mom who is stuck in the trenches and feels like her house is out of control
  • Homemaking routines that help you get back control of your home
  • A day in the life of a mom of 11 kids!
  • And how the Gospel impacts her daily life as a homemaker

Links & Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Resource of the Week:

homemaking101201(1)Homemaking 101 & 201 DVD’s

If you need some practical, hand’s on experience in homemaking, then these DVD’s are perfect for you! Jennifer walks you through all aspects of running a household in these beautifully made DVD’s.

Homemaking 101 will show young wives and mothers with small children how to efficiently and joyfully manage their homes, offer heavy doses of encouragement and give vision for being a keeper at home. Great for gifts for newly married brides or new moms! It covers cleaning, cooking, budgeting, bill paying, child training, scheduling, blessing your husband, organizing, and so much more!
Homemaking 201 encourages the Christian wife to view her home and service to her family as a ministry. Teaching in such areas as home maintenance, saving money by making homemade products, ministering to family, preparing for guests, organization, chores and projects for children, yard work, learning how to adjust any apron for the perfect fit, easy recipes, and creating a homemaking binder.
BONUS for Homemaking Foundation’s Listeners: Now through October 15th you can get 25% OFF the Dvd’s!! You can get both DVD’s for under $20 with coupon code: youngwife. These would make fantastic presents for other homemaker’s in your life!


Thanks for Listening!

HF #13 - Homemaking Through Different Seasons and Stages

But, I’m just too busy to read the Bible (From a Mom of 4)

I have a confession: I’m terrible about consistently reading my Bible. I know I should…I’m just not good at making it happen.

Call it devotions. Quiet time. Bible Study. Whatever you want to call it. I go in and out of seasons of regularly and consistently reading God’s Word.

But, I'm just too busy to read God's Word

And it’s not just about the routine of reading His Word. But ingesting it. Studying it with the intent of really wrestling with the text and understanding it. Taking that knowledge and soaking it up into my heart and soul and letting it transform my heart, attitude, and character. I yearn to have this sort of devotion life, but honestly, as a busy mom of 4, it doesn’t happen like I envision. 

Thankfully right now, God has been sustaining me in a season of more consistent Bible reading. But for a while I felt like I had an excuse: I am an exhausted mom of babies, and now toddlers and babies.

For a while I felt like everything I read on the subject of daily devotions shared the opinion that young motherhood is just not a season for much Bible reading. Most of the advice implied that since babies and toddlers are so tiring and require constant care and attention, then simply finding the time to read a Bible verse (or maybe two) in between dishes and dirty diapers was hard enough. And that this season won’t look like other seasons in my life.


Well that last part is certainly true. As a mom of four kids under three years old, life is busy, exhausting, and full. I don’t have the time to shower most days, let alone do hours of Bible study. And so, without consciously deciding to, I’ve been using this season as an excuse to not study God’s Word more.

It’s Not About a Lack of Time

…It’s a lack of priorities. 

Ouch! I’ve been increasingly convicted that I don’t have a time problem on my hands. I have a priority problem. Spending time in God’s Word takes intentional time, planning, and attention. Because it’s not enough to simply read Scripture out of routine. We must wrestle with the text, absorb it, and let it transform our lives. <— and that takes a lot of energy for this exhausted mama!

“This is why we should take caution lest we think that a mother’s greatest problem is a lack of time. How tempted I am to consider a busy season as an obstacle to rejoining in the Lord! The greatest obstruction to our joy in God is not a lack of time. When we have lost sight of an eternal perspective in our daily lives, the atonement becomes neither vital nor precious to us. A greater gift than time is the gift of forgiveness for our sins through Christ Jesus so that we can behold our holy God.”- Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, page 57

Re-setting My Priorities

For me, it’s not about a lack of time, but rather a lack of diligence. I put other things in front of spending time with God. Yes, I am a busy wife and mom but that is not where I find my true identity. My true identity is in Christ.

Most of us know that when we list the priorities in our lives it should go “God, husband, children…” and the list goes on. But when push comes to shove, in the daily busyness of life, does this list of priorities stay in order?

Yes – there are certain seasons where this balance shifts a little (i.e. when you have a newborn (or two), when your kids are sick, etc). Some days, you literally don’t have 15 minutes to formally open God’s Word – but the trouble is when this becomes the norm. And sadly, this is often the day in my own life.

Striving for Diligence

If I had one word to describe my “theme” for this Fall, it would be: Diligence. After a year of a rough pregnancy, deliver, and recovery, I am starting to get a little of my old energy back and I’m craving some sort of routine in our day.

With 4 kids under 3, this routine is held very loosely and not many of my “to-do” list items get checked off during the day, but I’m striving this Fall to live with intentionality. I so badly want to use the time I have with intention and diligence.


Because my time is so very limited, I want to make sure that those pockets of time in my day are used extremely well so that as a busy homemaker, wife, and mom I can actually thrive! And sometimes this means taking a nap while all four boys take a nap. Sometimes this means playing outside with them instead of doing the dishes. And sometimes this means turning the TV off and going to bed earlier than I would like so I can sneak in a few minutes with a cup of coffee and my Bible before the chaos descends. 

The days are sometimes long, I don’t always desire to open my Bible, and yet I’ve come to realize that I need to be intentional in scheduling in the times to read God’s Word. Does it happen everday? No. Is it always as long as I want it to be? No. Is it always fun and exciting to open God’s Word early in the morning when I would much rather sleep? Nope.

But I’m committing in this season, as busy as it is, to make this one thing a priority. Here’s what I’m doing:

Committing to God’s Word BEFORE I Look at My Phone

I read an article from Desiring God a few months ago and it convicted me so much that it’s been with me ever since. The article is called Six Wrong Reasons to Check Your Phone in the Morning and is based off of a survey they did of more than 8,000 readers:

“Our phones now go wherever we go — which is everywhere. And that means most of us sleep with our phones. In the bedroom, our phone wakes us up, tracks our sleep patterns, and makes us available in the event of an emergency.

All these benefits are wonderful. The problem comes when our phone is within arm’s reach and we grab it out of habit to check email and social media in our half-conscious state of sleep inertia — before our groggy eyes can even fully open.

Then we asked, whether you are more likely to check email and social media before or after your spiritual disciplines on a typical morning, 73% of you said before. Here’s the breakdown by age and gender.”

You can see the full study here and the really interesting thing to me is that out of all ages and between men and women, women ages 18-39 were the most likely to check their email and social media before their spiritual disciplines. The next most likely? Women ages 40-49! <—- Yup. I fit into these statistics. Do you?

I am not a morning person. For all of my life, through high school, college, and before having kids, I did my best work at night. My brain is more awake at night and I’m just more awake at night. But having kids and being so busy through the day has changed this. When I wait until the evening now to do my Bible reading, 90% of the time it doesn’t happen. Plus, this rang so true for me:

“Put another way, whatever we focus our hearts on first in the morning will shape our entire day.

So why are we so quick to check email and social media in the morning, and so slow to spend intentional time with God in his word and prayer? And can we find a better way forward in the pages of Scripture?”

I encourage you to stop, and go read that article. I think it will give you a lot to think about. I know it’s been stewing in my brain for a few months now. I want to be intentional with my time and plan out where and how I will spend my time. I’m working on these main areas right now:

  1. Exercising and getting healthy (losing the baby weight would be a good benefit too)
  2. Consistent Bible Reading
  3. More consistent and deeper Prayer

In the coming weeks I’m planning on sharing the new Bible reading plan Jason and I have been doing since July and I’m working on making prayer more of a priority throughout my day.

You can also read what books I’m reading this Fall.

Do you struggle with consistent Bible reading? When do you try and do your Bible reading? In the morning, over breakfast, before bed? Share in the comments!

Getting Fit & Healthy on a Busy Homemaker’s Schedule (from someone who HATES exercise)

I have a confession to make: I am absolutely the worst at exercising. For real. I hate it. I will do just about anything else before exercising.

That makes me sound so lazy doesn’t it? Well, to be honest, my hatred for exercise does stem out of a deep sense of laziness. I don’t like it, I don’t enjoy it, and I don’t often experience that “runner’s high.”

But I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I desperately need to focus on exercise and my overall health. I’ve always been blessed with good health and haven’t had to really work at being healthy or relatively fit. But now it’s becoming increasingly apparent that I need to make exercise a priority in my life.

5 ways to find the time to exercise as a busy mom

And yes, it’s very tough to find the time to exercise with four young kids, but now that my twins are 2 months old, it’s time to get my booty into gear. Here are my current reasons for needing to get into shape:

  • I have chronic neck and shoulder issues which are made worse when I’m not active and working on my muscles.
  • I am so tired and weak after a long, hard pregnancy (the last month or so of which I was on bed rest) and a rough c-section and recovery. I desperately need to build my muscles back up to be always lifting up and caring for four kiddos! 
  • I hear that exercising will help me sleep better!
  • I would love to lose the last of this baby weight (which is a secondary issue compared to the others. But still. It would be nice)!
  • I want to be able to have the stamina and energy to keep up with my four highly active boys. I want to be able to run and play with them without dying!

I’ve been working on a new morning routine, and I know many people exercise in the morning before their kids get up. But I just can’t do it! If I manage to get up before my kids (and that’s a big IF) or do my morning routine during breakfast, I like to relax with a cup of coffee and quietly read my Bible or a book off my Fall reading list.

I am a stay-at-home-mom and don’t have access to a gym membership. AND we live in the country, on a small, windy, dangerous road to walk on. I can’t just head out my front door and go for a walk. So what’s a homemaker to do to exercise weekly (especially when little kids are involved)??

I posted this photo on Instagram last week (sorry it’s so blurry, I took it with my front camera) with the caption: “Selfie with my four boys!! Crashing after my workout to watch some Leapfrog with my boys ♡ (The other baby is hidden at the end of the couch.) So thankful for moments like these. Having 4 kids that are all 2.5 and under is TOUGH sometimes, but God knew what he was doing in designing our family!!

Finding the time to exercise

And after comments asking what work-outs I do, how I manage it when my kids are awake (nap time is precious to me – there is NO way I’m wasting that time doing a workout!!), and other questions, I realized that maybe – just maybe – other homemaker’s are struggling with this as well! So here are some suggestions on how to fit in exercising and getting healthy for the busy homemaker:

5 exercising tips for the busy homemaker

1) Put it on your calendar

Seriously, this is my #1 tip. You will never make the time for it if you don’t make the time for it. I literally write it on my calendar and my to-do list to exercise 3 times a week. It doesn’t always happen, but having it on my to-do list really helps me to be intentional about it.

As homemakers, we have to be incredibly intentional with where we spend our timeThis includes scheduling in time for exercise and taking care of ourselves.

2) Involve the Family

Because my kids are young, exercise time for mommy becomes exercise time for everyone! I usually wait until either sometime after breakfast or after our afternoon nap time to do my work out. I wait until the kids are bouncing off the walls and going a little crazy – then they work out alongside me to get that energy out! 

I pop in my workout DVD – or start streaming it on my laptop (see some suggestions below) – and we all do the exercises together. Yes, they sometimes get in the way, or try and sit on my back while I do push-ups, but overall it’s actually a fun time together as I encourage them to march in place with me or do jumping jacks.

Get out the playpen

When my older twins were starting to crawl and move around (and before they could climb out of the play pen themselves), I would put them in a playpen for 15-20 minutes while I did my workout. My new set of twins are only two months old, but I foresee doing this again (which will also protect them from the toddler twins)!

Go to the park

At least twice a week we are trying to go to the park as a family. We have a beautiful park just a few minutes down the road from us that has a nice paved walking trail. Jason and I walk and push the stroller while the older boys run around and get all their crazy energy out. It works out really well – we just have make ourselves do it!

We like to go in the evenings when Jason’s off work, and since it’s starting to get cooler again in the evenings (it’s been breaking 100 here the last few weeks of summer), it’s the perfect time to start going to the park regularly.

3) Get Your Gear On

Since I’m home most of the time during the day (it’s tough to pack up four little kids and go anywhere), I tend to be a fan of staying in my pajama’s until 10 minutes before Jason gets home. But there is nothing more motivating than getting dressed (including your shoes!!) to get you up and motivated to work out. So I always get geared up and it totally motivates me. Here are some of my favorites:

New Running Shoes 

Has it been a while since you’ve worked out consistently? Maybe it’s time to invest in some cute new running shoes to get you motivated! Lace them up first thing in the morning and I think you will be amazed at how encouraged you will be to stay active.

new running shoes

A Pair of Hand Weights 

A great (and inexpensive) tool to help you work out at home. I’m so weak at this point that I’m doing the exercises on my DVD without any weights right now, but soon I hope to start with my 2lb weights and eventually go up to my 5lb weights.

Hand Weights

Exercise Ball

I currently do not have an exercise ball but it’s on my wish list! If only I could figure out where to store it when I’m not using it so it doesn’t add to the clutter in our house. I really want to get one to help with stretching out my back.

Excercise ball

4) Stretch in the Morning

While I’m not one to do my full exercise in the morning, I have found it very helpful to do stretches in the morning. Like I said above, I struggle with chronic neck and back pain and doing daily stretches helps me so much, which also helps to prevent headaches.

My dad also struggles with this and growing up, he always told me to get into a daily habit of stretching and it would really help. “Yeah, yeah, Dad I know” but I never really took it to heart. Now I’m trying to make this a habit as it only takes about 5 minutes to do my stretches. This really helps with my pain and is also a really refreshing way to start your day.

5) Enlist a buddy

I’ve gone walking a few times with friends. We meet up at a walking trail and chat while we push strollers and walk while her older kids ride their bikes. I’m really not sure why we don’t do it more often. It’s super motivating to have someone else you are accountable to and makes the exercise way more fun!!

A busy mom's guide to getting fit