One of my favorite meals as an omnivore
was a good bowl of hearty chili.
What is the fall/winter season without this goodness? :)
It is so versatile for any type of eater,
add in a protein for omnivores,
more veggies for vegans,
lower the salt and oil for health,
top with any sort of fix-in...
make it gluten free just because it's better that way. :)
(Btw, a thickener is key for a good homemade chili!)
So many things make this chili dish so special.
Baked and caramelized acorn squash,
a touch of cinnamon and honey,
(and yes, I eat honey though I'm vegan)
a savory combo of spices,
(that is great for detox, yay for cayenne)
it's oil free and salt free.
and best of all, its just so good. :)Winter Squash Chili
1 cup acorn squash, halved and deseeded
1/4 cup of dry red kidney beans (+water)
1/4 cup of dry pinto beans (+water)
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 zucchini, chopped
14 ounce can of organic tomatoes, no salt added
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup sweet corn (optional)
jalapeno, diced (optional)
salt and black pepper to taste (optional)
2 tbsp arrowroot starch/powder (or any flour thickener)
2 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp chili powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp dried minced garlic
1/2 tsp organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt (optional)
1. Soak pinto/kidney beans in water for at least 3 hours. Cook on stovetop for 40 minutes with fresh water. Add more water during the cooking process if needed. Save the water from the cooked beans!
2. At 400 degrees, bake acorn squash (halved and de-seeded) for 30-40 minutes, depending on how big your acorn squash is! It will be easy to poke through with a knife or chopstick. Then chop into smaller pieces.
3. On medium-low heat, let onions, bell peppers, and zucchini cook together (with no oil). After a few minutes, add 4-5 tbsp of the reserved water from the cooked beans and lightly simmer the veggies. Put a lid on to help the veggies to cook.
4. Add in the chili seasoning (premake it before you start!), drained beans, and tomatoes. Add in a few tbsp of reserved water from the cooked beans if need be. Let everything simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring it every few minutes.
5. Add a nice drizzle of honey and stir.
6. Also, feel free to add in salt and pepper, if you would like, but I skipped this step. :)
7. Top with sweet corn and jalapenos, or any other fix-ins.
8. Serve hot with a slice of cornbread. For omnivores, use greek yogurt as a replacement for sour cream for a healthier choice. :) Enjoy!
Do you enjoy a good bowl of hearty chili like me?