November 22, 2011

Vegetarian Chili With Butternut Squash

I'm sorry Meatless Monday is a little late, as you probably have noticed. However, I got a call from the vet early in the afternoon saying I could pick up my new dog early! I still had a lot to do before I picked her up, so even though I had all ready started dinner, I didn't get a chance to write up the post about it.

The original recipe came to me by way of the Twitter feed of Real Simple a few days ago. It's a slow cooker, which is the only reason I had dinner ready at all last night. They call for sweet potatoes, but I substituted butternut squash, since I still had enough of it left over. The squash was fine, but a little overdone, so I adjusted the recipe to compensate.

Vegetarian Chili

What You'll Need:
    1 medium red onion, chopped
    1 green pepper, chopped
    garlic cloves, chopped 
    1 Tbs chili powder 
    1 Tbs ground red pepper
    1 Tbs ground cumin 
    2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder 
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
    1 15.5 oz  can stewed tomatoes (I ran it through the processor to break it up a bit)
    1 15.5 oz can tomato soup
    1 cup dried black beans, soaked, cooked and rinsed 
    1 cup dried kidney beans, soaked, cooked and rinsed 
    8 ounces butternut squash, cut into bite sized pieces
    salt and black pepper to taste

Note on the beans: you can use canned beans if you want, one can of each, rinsed. 2 cups of dry beans (a pound bag) equals 4-5 cups cooked beans, depending on the type of bean. Therefore, 1 cup dry beans gives you approximately 1 can of cooked beans. Generally I get closer to 5 total out of a bag of kidney beans and black beans, but I like a little extra beans in my chili. I almost exclusively use dry beans nowadays, so the conversion is helpful.

The Process:
Soak your beans overnight if you can, or do a fast cook per the directions on the bag the day of. I did both beans together in the same pot, no problem.

Get your onions, pepper, garlic, spices, and a little olive oil and heat them over medium heat in a pan for a few minutes to get the flavors mingling. Deglaze the pan with a little of your tomato soup and add that plus everything but the squash into your slow cooker. Set on low for 7 hours. After the first hour, add in the squash. If you used sweet potato like the original recipe, definitely add it in with everything else.

Serve when the beans and squash are tender with a little grated cheddar cheese on top if you have any.

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