This thick, richly-flavored vegan chili includes butternut squash and beans. Hearty, filling, and gluten-free.
I apologize for my absence from blogging for the last week, but it’s hard to write about cooking when you haven’t been doing any.
We’ve been going through a family crisis (not serious, just time-consuming) that began last Friday, and since then the whole family has been completely exhausted, both mentally and physically, and no one has been up for cooking, so we’ve been eating take-out and packaged foods–neither great food nor healthy food. When you’re that tired, you don’t really care what you put in your stomach. To give you an idea of how bad it’s been, here are the past few days’ dinners (I do not advocate eating this way):
Friday–Papa John’s pizza (veggie, no cheese–vegan)
Saturday–Taco Bell (bean burritos, no cheese–vegan)
Sunday–Gimme Lean sausage burgers (E and I) and Tofu Pups with canned chili (D)
Monday–Red beans (from a can) and rice (I actually cooked the brown rice!)
What’s really sad is that we had plans last Friday to join our local veg meet-up group at Cool Al’s for the best veggie burgers in the world, but had to cancel. Oh, the joys of parenthood! (Sorry to be mysterious, but E has threatened to disown me if I breathe a word about what happened on my blog; suffice it to say that the situation, while still time-consuming, is under control.)
Until last night, I hadn’t really cooked anything since my omelette last Thursday morning. But I was determined to make the time to cook us a healthy meal, and I’d been planning this chili for about two weeks. It’s actually a very easy recipe, once you prepare the butternut squash.
Gold Rush Chili
- 1 butternut squash peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or to taste
- 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 15-ounce cans beans see note above, drained
- 3 green onion sliced (for garnish)
Prepare the butternut squash (see discussion above), and set it aside. Heat a large, non-stick pot over medium-high heat, and add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté until the onion is translucent and the pepper is soft, about 7-9 minutes. (You may add a little water to prevent sticking.) Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes.
Add all the seasonings, and stir well to coat the vegetables. Stir in the tomatoes (and their juice), water, squash, salt, and pepper. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
Add the beans, and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Cover and cook until the squash is tender but not falling apart (about 40 minutes). Serve in bowls, garnished with green onions.
Serving suggestion: I like to serve this with plenty of steamed vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower) or a large green salad and some baked tortilla chips or crackers for added crunch.
Nutritional info below assumes canned beans that contain sodium. You can reduce the sodium by using unsalted beans and tomatoes.
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