I used a canned, organic blend of pinto, kidney, and black beans, but you can use any kind of beans you like in this mild but richly flavored chili. If you’re using home-cooked beans, use about 3 cups. This makes a very thick chili. Cook over low heat and try not to add any extra water unless absolutely necessary.
Slice off the stem at the top of the squash. Then, cut the squash in half crosswise, just at the base of the “neck.” Then stand each half upright and slice it in half vertically. Scrape out the seeds in the cavity sections, and then cut them in half again. Peel each section, using the peeler or a good paring knife. Then chop into cubes. Set 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.