I hope that everyone had a great weekend! I had to work but have been craving a super hearty chili for awhile so decided to make some on Saturday. If you make it the way I did, chili can be easy and quick to make, as well as a good source of protein. We also had a ginormous butternut squash that I had roasted so I decided to incorporate that into the mix as well.
While we don’t mind the flavor or texture of meat analogues like ground ‘hamburger’ or ‘sausage’, Elysia and I try to use them sparingly because they really are just a processed food. That being said, I do think that they’re helpful for people transitioning to veganism (many do still contain eggs/dairy though), or for something extra every once in a while. Because of this, I used a mixture of beans instead of fake ‘meat’ (that and we love beans so why not?). The two cans that I put in were chili beans and a ‘soup mix’ can of beans. The soup mix has lentils, beans and barley in it so it, along with the squash, really contributed to the hearty and rich texture of the chili.
If you don’t have a roasted butternut squash lying around (why wouldn’t you, really?), it’s really easy to just cut one in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast it in a 425° oven for 30-45 minutes. It should be a little firm still but much easier to cube than it would be raw. Alternatively, you could cube it raw and boil it for awhile but I prefer cooking it some first.
Seasonings. Normally I would use chili powder, some cumin, garlic salt, and cayenne, but we were out of chili powder so I used a chili seasoning packet by McCormick that we had. The packet makes seasoning quick, but I much prefer to play with the amounts of seasonings I put in it in order to get the taste ‘just right’ and I recommend that you do the same!
Butternut Squash Chili
Makes about 12 cups
- 1 teaspoon canola or olive oil
- ¾ cup or one medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
- 1 Large Tomato, chopped
- 1 Cup Sliced Mushrooms, chopped
- 2 ½ cups roasted and cubed butternut squash
- 2 – 15 oz. cans beans (chili, soup beans, black beans, garbanzos; you pick!), or about 4 cups cooked beans
- 1 – 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (we like Muir Glen fire-roasted)
- 1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 packet chili seasoning mix
- cumin, cayenne and garlic salt, to taste
– Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add onion and saute until the onion is translucent. Add the green pepper and garlic and continue to cook until the green pepper becomes somewhat tender (4-5 minutes).
– Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, checking taste for seasonings.
– Serve with cornbread, crackers, or maybe over some homemade sweet potato fries!
FYI; October is Vegan MOFO (Vegan Month of Food) so if you’re looking for some great recipes, check out the blogroll at their site; veganmofo.com. Unfortunately, Elysia and I did not get in on the action this year because we forgot about it (gasp!), but we’ll still be bringing you recipes all month long!