Thursday, February 26, 2015

Make Mine Meatless

 Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili

You have seen what kind of cooking has been going on in my kitchen for the past couple of weeks—steaks, potato pancakes, apple cake, and brownies. I was so ready for healthy food. And it was COLD yesterday! We needed a stew or chili.

So what do you fix that's healthy and hearty and warming? Instead of browsing the internet for recipes, I looked back through my own recipe index. This meatless chili was just what I wanted to make. It's easy to put together and it makes enough to feed us a couple of times. And maybe a little will go into the freezer for later.

Trust me. This recipe is good. Daddy-O, "mister meat-and-potatoes", had seconds. He likes this chili. It is an odd combination of ingredients that really work. The cocoa and cinnamon give it a smoky aroma and a rich taste. 


1 medium red onion, chopped
2 (14-oz.) cans diced tomatoes (one can had green peppers & onion)
2 (15.5-oz.) cans black beans (do not drain)
2 cups cubed butternut squash (1 small squash)
4 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 tsp of jarred minced garlic)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in large pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally. (You can also use your slow cooker  and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.)

      Optional toppings: crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream

If I had the option to buy fresh cubed butternut squash like some of you do, this would be the easiest recipe ever. But even though I had to peel and cube the squash and dice the onion, it was cooking in just a few minutes.

It just dawned on me—this recipe would be so easy to cut in half. We have a lot left. Not a bad thing, but sometimes you don't want leftovers. Or, maybe you are a household of one. Everything in this recipe can be divided by 2. Recipes don't always work out that way. (So, you might have a half an onion left—not a big deal.)

We had expected to wake up to a few inches of snow this morning. The governor even declared a state of emergency early yesterday in anticipation of the coming storm. Schools announced closings. Much extra news coverage last night. But the "big event" just didn't happen. I'm glad I'm not the weatherman this morning.

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