Monday, May 3, 2010

Friday: Vegeterian Chili with Butternut Squash

Who would have thought, that my favorite chili would be vegetarian?  Granted, I love vegetarian meals, but chili is traditionally packed with lot's of meat! This Cooking Light chili is so flavorful and I just love all the different colors it produces. Plus, the beans are very filling and packed with fiber. Speaking of beans, have you tried making your own instead of buying the cans? It is super simple and SO worth the effort and time you put in to it, plus it's a TON cheaper. Here's a link to a previous post on how to do it:
While your chili is cooking, whip up a batch of your favorite corn bread or corn bread muffins. Does anybody have a favorite corn bread recipe? I haven't found one that I am in love with, so if you wouldn't mind leaving a comment with your favorite recipe, I might feature it in a future blog post!

Chili Recipe
6-8 servings

  2 red bell peppers or 1/2 bottle of roasted bell peppers, chopped
  3 TB olive oil

1 cup onion, chopped

2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chipotle chili powder (it has a ton of flavor), or regular chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika (definitely worth buying, the difference in flavor is amazing to the regular stuff) or regular paprika
1/2 tsp salt
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed-see this previous post on how to do it Cutting Butternut Squash
28 oz can diced, no salt tomatoes
2 cups or 1 15oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups or 1 15oz can cannellini (or other white bean)beans rinsed and drained
2 cups or 1 15 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
Cheese and Sour cream for topping

1. Preheat broiler. Cut bell peppers in half, remove and discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves skin sides down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place pepper halves in a plastic zip-lock bag and seal. Let stand for 15 minutes. Peel and chop peppers.
2. Heat a heavy pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add oil to pan. Add onion, cook for 15 minutes while occasionally stirring. Stir in cumin and next 4 ingredients through garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add bell peppers, broth, squash and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, and simmer for 25 minutes or until slightly thick. Sprinkle with green onion and serve with sour cream and cheese. Scrumptious!

Plan and Prep Ahead

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner.

~Chop all the vegetables needed for chili. 
~Try this chili in a crock pot. Simmer on low for 8 hours.


Who likes to CHANGE IT UP?

~Use whatever beans you have on hand instead of what is specified.
~Instead of butternut squash try cut up sweet potato or acorn squash. 


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