We’ve finally hit some cooler temps here in southern California and I’m been craving all the Fall things. My neighbor has a beautiful little garden that had about 4 butternut squash ripe on the vine. She let us have one and all I could think about was chili!
I tend to keep a pretty full pantry with canned beans, tomatoes, and lots of spices. I usually have lots of fresh veggies on hand too, but we’re pretty bare right now; which I discovered when I started the chili. This was something quick I came up with using the odds and ends I had on hand and letting the butternut squash be the star of the show.
I started with sauteing some garlic in olive oil (as most of my meals begin) in a large pot, then adding the butternut squash. I found some awesome little chopped garlic cubes at Trader Joe’s in the frozen food area. They are great because each cube is 1 clove, so you just pop a couple out and get cooking…no chopping needed! These are always in my freezer now. I knew I wanted to get a lot of spices in the chili, especially ones to enhance the squash, so I added cinnamon and allspice. I also added salt and pepper because these help enhance all flavor.
Next I went to the pantry for beans and diced tomatoes. I had 1 can of kidney beans and 1 can of great northern beans…perfect!, but no tomatoes…only marinara. I really contemplated using the canned marinara, but I knew the basil would make the chili taste wrong, so I texted the hubs to grab some canned diced tomatoes with green chilis from the store on the way home….and I’m so glad I did!
I added the 2 cans of beans with the liquid and then refilled each can with water and added that to the pot. While waiting for the tomatoes to arrive, I found some shishito peppers in the fridge so I thought it’d be a great way to use them up. I sliced those up and added to the chili.I also added some apple cider vinegar to give it more dimension in flavor. I knew I needed to get the spices going so they could develop so I added some garlic powder (I love garlic), cumin, and chili powder and turned the heat to low to let the chili simmer and start working its magic.
Hubs got home about 30 minutes later and I was happiest for the tomatoes. 🙂 Those went in the pot and although the juice from the beans helps thicken the broth, I wanted it a bit thicker so I thought quinoa would be perfect. I didn’t want to turn it into a stew so I just added 1/2 a cup direct to the pot. I let it simmer for another 30 minutes, went for a run, and came home to a delicious pot of vegan chili.
The chili turned out perfect despite it being a quick hodgepodge of what I had on hand and it was really filling too. There is such an amazing taste to homegrown food, which I’m sure added to the umami. Try it out and let me know what you think…and post a pic of yours.
Butternut Squash Chili
- -1/4 cup olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves
-1 medium size butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cut into bite sized chunks
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp allspice
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-15 oz can Kidney beans
-15 oz can Great Northern (white) beans
-30 oz water
-2 cups shishito peppers – destemmed and sliced
-3 – 10 oz cans of diced tomatoes with green chilis
-2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
-1 tbsp garlic powder
-1/2 tbsp cumin
-2 tsp chili powder
-1/2 cup quinoa
- Heat olive oil at medium-high in large pot and add garlic. Cook about 5 min, then add butternut squash, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper.
- Cook squash until slightly tender (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally to keep from burning.
- Add beans with liquid from can, diced tomatoes with liquid from the can, and shishito peppers. Top with water (I fill each bean can with water after dumping beans out). Lower heat to low and add garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder.
- Let simmer for 1 hour.
- Stir in quinoa and leave to simmer another 30 minutes. Once quinoa has cooked through, it is ready to eat.