Kitchen Experiment 4,981: Butternut Squash and Black Bean “Chili”

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Costco, pretty much my favorite foodie paradise, had a special on 2lb of butternut squash for under $3.00. Who could resist? Plus it’s a squash that has that great flavor but I haven’t worked with it much. In the past, I’ve used it in a goulash, whose recipe is available in this blog, and I added cinnamon to it and made it dessert-ish for a fall dinner. I’ve also made it into a cheesy squash casserole. However, that’s it. I wanted to see if I could make the squash substantial enough to stand alone in a meatless dish. I also wanted to use my French enameled Dutch oven again.

Naturally, I went to Pinterest, which is where I came across this gem of a squash chili recipe. It sounded great but it had a few problems:
1) The portioning was HUGE- 4 cans of beans?? I don’t need to feed an army.
2) As a Texan, I had a hard time referring to something like this as “chili”.
3) Oregano? Really?!
It had great bones as a recipe but it was in sore need of a total makeover.

Ingredients:
2 lb Butternut Squash
2 cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 can Black Beans
1 can Deep Red Kidney Beans
1 medium Green Bell Pepper, chopped rough
1 medium or large Red Onion, chopped rough
1 large Red Bell Pepper, chopped rough (you can also sub a 2nd Green Bell Pepper)
1 TBS Better Than Bouillon: Beef or Chili Base

Seasonings:
1 TBS Minced Garlic (dried or wet)
2 TBS Cayenne Pepper (can omit for an Irish tongue or sub your fave pepper)
1 TBS Fiesta Brand Pinto Bean Seasoning (or whatever your heart desires)
I also sprinkled Savory Spice Shop’s Peruvian Chile Lime Seasoning over the top of each bowl once plated. The citrus really plays well.

Directions:
1) Chop all necessary ingredients.
2) In a skillet on medium high heat, cook the squash, the bell peppers, and the onion with the minced garlic, Better Than Bouillon, and 1/3 cup of water. Stir as needed until veggies are al dente.
3) In an enameled Dutch oven, place your beans and tomatoes, mix with a spoon or other utensil.
4) Top with your pre-cooked skillet conents.
5) Cover Dutch oven with lid and place in the oven at 350 for around 30 minutes, or until squash is soft to the touch of a fork.
6) Sprinkle with chile lime seasoning or add a few drops of lime juice to taste.
7) Eat with or without bread.

ProTip: This recipe can be vegetarian and vegan if you get beans with no fat and use a non-meat bouillon (try vegetable broth instead). This recipe can be modified for clean eating if you make your own beans by boiling them on the stove and fire roast your own tomatoes. Even without those modifications it’s a veggie rich, fiber filled, and nutritious healthy choice.

Cook Time: 1 Hour or Less
Serves: 4-6

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