Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash

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Baby, it’s cold outside! And NOTHING is more satisfying than a nice warm meal with a little kick. I had been craving some sort of chili for weeks but I wanted to do a little something different and incorporate some fall flavors. This was going to do the trick!

Here’s what you’ll use…
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 INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 ½  tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 1 ½  tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes (with or without chilies)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can red chili beans
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Coarse kosher salt (to taste)
  • 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • Diced red onion
  • Fresh diced jalapenos
  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Pickled jalapeño rings (optional)

PREPARATION

The first thing you want to do is get your butternut squash going. If you have a good set of quality knives, you can go ahead and slice your squash right down the center, length-wise. But if you’ve ever attempted this with a dull, crappy knife, you know the pain of this. SO… you can soften the squash by washing it and placing it in the oven in a baking dish on 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or place it on a shallow, microwavable dish, sitting in about a half inch of water for about 3 minutes in the microwave.

Once it’s easy enough to cut, slice it length-wise and scoop out the seeds like you would a pumpkin.

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Place both sides face down on a cookie sheet or baking dish.
Cook in the oven on 400 degrees for about 35 minutes.

Heat your oil in a large pot over medium heat.

Add onions and green pepper and cook until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 3 to 5 minutes.

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Add your garlic. (You can either chop or mince your garlic.) I actually did both. And when all was said and done, I ended up adding a few more cloves. I probably used an entire knuckle and a half of garlic to this dish. Garlic is sooooo good for you and so delicious, so why not? 🙂

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Sprinkle chili powder and coriander over; stir 1 minute.

Go ahead and cut up your fresh jalapenos if you’re using them. WARNING: I always use gloves when cutting these little devils. You never know which ones may be hot enough to burn your hands… so be careful.

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Now get ready for these guys… Warning:  I am a bit snobby with my canned foods. With the amount of BPA that is in the lining of cans that leaches into our bodies and causes a whole HOST of issues, I try to buy brands that use BPA free cans. Eden Organics is one of these brands.

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Stir in tomatoes with juice, beans, and oregano. Add 5 to 10 cups water depending on how “soupy” you want the consistency.

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Add half of the fresh jalapenos your chopped, leaving the other half for a garnish when you serve them.

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Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally.

Once your squash is done, remove from oven and let cool.

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Once cool, remove skin from the squash. It should peel off easily.
Cut the squash into bite-sized chunks and gently fold/stir into the rest of the chili cooking in the pot.

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You can add a bit of salt to taste at this point or wait until you’ve served it to let everyone salt their own bowls. (Remember, less is more, you’re going for ‘healthy’ here as well as delicious.) 🙂

It’s up to you how much longer you want this to simmer. We were hungry and ate this almost immediately after stirring in the squash.

Chop up your tomato, cilantro and purple onion to top the chili with.

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And WHA-LA! This is seriously SO GOOD!!

(It saves great and tastes even better warmed up the next day)

 So I like to pick out an ingredient and talk about its health benefits and today I’ll give you a little inside scoop on GARLIC!

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For thousands of years, people all over the world have hailed garlic as an elixir of health. Its cloves are said to help treat the common cold, keep the plague at bay, and even ward off vampires.

While I cannot speak to the vampire thing, I will tell you that Garlic is an AMAZING immune booster. Since we are in the height of flu season… and every talking head on TV wants to scare you that this is “the worst flu season ever” …. Why don’t you do yourself (and everyone else a favor) and amp up your garlic intake? It is DELICIOUS!

Fun Facts of Garlic:

·         Garlic is a great source of vitamin B6 which is needed for a healthy immune system and the efficient growth of new cells. Vitamin B6 can also assist with mood swings and improve your cheery disposition!

·         Garlic can aid in the prevention of multiple types of cancer. Bladder cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and stomach cancer have all been shown to have their tumors reduced when treated with garlic. (Vitamin B6 is said to have cancer fighting abilities as well)

        Garlic regulates blood sugar as it enhances the level of insulin in the blood. This may assist in the control of diabetes. Seek medical advice if you believe the use of garlic could help your condition.

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Read more here…

http://www.naturalblaze.com/2013/04/10-amazing-health-benefits-of-garlic.html

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One thought on “Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash

    […] I had close to this exact craving this same time last January because I have a recipe post of “Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash” on this very blog. Many of the ingredients are the same but last year’s was much spicier, to […]

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