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Butternut Squash Chili

I love a good hardy bowl of chili. I created this one because I had a surplus of butternut squash (this seems to happen to me frequently for some reason). The squash add a nice kick of sweetness that is balanced nicely with the smokey and very spicy heat from chipotle in adobo.

I also added some chia seeds at the very end. They make the chili nice and thick without using a starch. They also help fight inflammation and provide a plant-based source of protein and heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids.

You can keep this dish vegan/vegetarian by using a plant-based ground such as Beyond Beef or just adding beans. This dish is also fabulous with lean ground turkey or beef. If you’re watching your saturated fat, go for just beans or the turkey.

This chili is perfect for meal prep or entertaining a crowd (perfect for Superbowl Sunday). You can use a stove top or make it in the slow cooker. Eat it all week long or freeze some for a few months from now when you can’t be bothered to cook. Ether way, make the whole batch!

Servings: 8 | Level: Easy | Prep time: 10 min. | Cook time: 60 min.

Calories: 334 | Protein: 22 | Fat: 6g | Carbs: 47g

Plus Vitamin A, iron, calcium and vitamin C

Ingredients

  1. 1 -2 tsp olive or avocado oil

  2. 16 ounce, Ground Beyond Beef or 7% lean ground turkey or beef

  3. 1 cup, Cremini Mushroom, small diced

  4. 3/4 cup, Red bell pepper, small diced

  5. 1 cup onion, small diced

  6. 4 clove Garlic, minced

  7. 1 tbsp, Tomato Paste

  8. 28 fluid ounce, No Salt Tomatoes

  9. 3 cans (6 cups) beans (chili, black, kidney, pinto are great) (low/no sodium)

  10. 1 cup, Vegetable Stock, low/no sodium

  11. 1 cup corn (canned/drained or frozen)

  12. 4 tbsp Chipotle Peppers In Adobo, minced and the sauce.

  13. 1 1/2 tsp, Sugar or maple syrup

  14. 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

  15. 1 lb (2- 3 cups) Butternut, peeled, seeded, chopped bite-sized

  16. 1.5 tbsp chili powder

  17. 1 tbsp cumin

  18. 1 tbsp coriander

  19. 1/4 cup chia seeds

  20. 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Preparation

Slow Cooker version:

Dice all your veggies and mince the garlic. Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Add a tsp of oil followed by the ground Beyond or meat. Break it up with a spoon and start to brown for a few minutes. Add the onions and mushrooms and let them soften down for 2 – 3 minutes. Then stir in garlic and cook for a few minutes more stirring so as not to let garlic burn and meat is browned. Set aside to cool.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the vinegar and chia seeds to the slow cooker. Add the liquid with the canned beans. Dump in the meat, onion, mushroom mixture. Give it a stir, cover and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or high for 4 – 5. In the last 20 minutes of cooking add the chia seeds. Turn off heat and stir in vinegar.

Stove top directions:

Dice all your veggies and mince the garlic. Place a large pot/dutch oven over medium high heat. Add a tsp of oil followed by the ground Beyond or meat. Break it up with a spoon and start to brown for a few minutes. Add the onions and let soften for a few minutes. Add the bell pepper and mushrooms.




Cook 2 – 3 more minutes then add the garlic. Stir in for 1 – 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste followed by the dried spices and chipotle in adobo. Add tomatoes, beans (with liquid), squash, stock, and corn. Stir, cover and bring to a low simmer. Let simmer for 45 – 60 minutes, stirring every 10 minute or so. Check for seasoning about halfway through and adjust as needed. Squash will be tender and chili has thickened.

Note: if chili seems to be too thick, add in a little more veggie stock (or water), 1/4 cup at a time. It may also try to stick to the bottom if not stirred occasionally during cooking, so remember to stir. 😉




Stir in chia seeds and let cook another 5 minutes. This will act as a thickening agent as well as provide extra protein.

Turn off the heat, stir in the vinegar. Plate and serve with your favorite chili toppings, sour cream (or greek or vegan plain yogurt), cheese (vegan or dairy), onions, avocados, fresh cilantro, or chives.

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