Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Squash and White Bean Chili

You would think that after making soups at work during the week when it has been 80 degrees in Minnesota, the last thing I would want to be making on the weekend would be chili...wrong.  It may be hot outside, but for sime reason I decided that I had to have chili today.  Maybe because it is Sunday, and the football game was on?  Those two things go together right?  I don't think that was what influenced my decision.  Although I watched the game today, and was pleased to see that the Minnesota Vikings actually won a game for the first time this year...I would not consider myself a football kind of girl.  Good for them though, hopefully they will win a few more before the year is up!  Anyways, more than likely it is the feeling of autumn that I got when going for a walk this afternoon through the woods and admiring the beautiful firey colored trees and crunching the leaves beneath my feet that said to me "it is fall, you should make chili!"  Nevermind the warm temperatures. 

I had piles of ripe tomatoes from my Grandpa ready to be roasted and thrown into chili as well as a good selection of hot peppers and buttercup squash begging to be eaten.  So chili it was!  Being that I only had navy beans in my cupboard, this was to be white bean chili.  In the deli where I work I always catch a hard time from all of my coworkers every time I use navy beans.  This is because they know it is my favorite bean and more than likely it is what I am putting into anything containing beans.  My friend Gabrielle even put a lable on the white beans that read "Amy's White Beans".  So I had to laugh to myself when they were the only beans I found on my search through the cupboard this afternoon.  I had all day to putz with this chili, so cooking the beans myself and using oven roasted homegrown tomatoes and squash in the chili were no problem.  Some ingredients I don't normally put in chili found their way into the pot this time making it even more irrisistable when I snuck a taste...raisins, almond butter and red wine.  My kitchen smelled wonderful as the chili simmered away!  I couldn't wait enjoy a bowl! 

I whipped up a batch of vegan cornbread and was ready for dinner!  It was scrumptious!  It was sweet and spicy, savory, and autumnal.  Not bad for a throw together on a whim.  If you would like to experience the chili for yourself, here is the recipe!

Sweet and Spicy Squash and White Bean Chili
Serves 8
1 Tbsp peanut oil
2 large onions, diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 habanero, seeded and minced
1 cup carrots, sliced
8 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground chipotle pepper, or to taste
1 Tbsp smoky paprika
1/4 cup red wine
3 16 oz cans organic fire roasted tomatoes
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp tamari
2 Tbsp almond butter
4 cups veggie broth
4 cups cooked navy beans
1/4 cup raisins
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 cups cubed cooked buttercup or butternut squash*

vegan sour cream
sliced scallions

In a large stockpot or dutch oven, heat the peanut oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, habanero, jalapenos, and carrots, and saute until softened, about 6-7 minutes.  Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, paprika, chipotle powder, and cook for a minute until fragrant, then add the wine, tomatoes, red bell peppers, cider vinegar, cocoa powder, maple syrup, tamari, almond butter, veggie broth, and bring to a boil.  Simmer until flavors have blended, stirring often, about 20 minutes.  Add cooked beans, raisins and squash, and sea salt and pepper to taste, and continue to cook until heated through.  Serve hot with vegan sour cream sliced scallions to garnish and cornbread if desired.

* Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick spray.  Cut 1 large buttercup squash in half from top to bottom, and remove seeds.  Place cut side down on baking sheet, and roast for about 25-30 minutes until tender.  Remove from oven and let cool until cool enough to handle, then remove skin and cut into cubes. 


RavieNomNoms said...

I am loving that you used squash and white beans...that's fabulous!

Michelle said...

Sounds so good! I love chocolate in chili so this sounds great!

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. said...

This is such a great twist on chili! I've never thought about using squash in a chili, but I looks like it was a really good idea!

Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny said...

This recipe sounds fantastic and I love your presentation! :)

janet@cupcakestocaviar said...

Amy, I admit to not always wanting to try new vegetarian entrees but this sounds amazing! Definitely printing this out and so definitely buzzed. :-)

ping said...

This is so great! I love a good thick chilli, not those watery ones. Love the use of squash here. It must have added a beautiful natural sweetness to the chilli. Think I'll make this real soon! Thanks!

Baking Serendipity said...

This chili looks fantastic! It has been hot in Phoenix, and I've been craving chili lately despite it. Glad to know I'm not the only one who does so :)

Peggy said...

I've never seen squash in chili before, but I like it! Can't wait to make this for a future game day =)

Anonymous said...

Squash in chili? creative. They say it will be cold in TX by Wednesday, perfect timing for chili..I'll have to try your version!

Quay Po Cooks said...

I make chilli but have not tried to use squash as an ingredient. I got to try your recipe the next time I make chilli. You took some fabulous shots of your chilli.

Balvinder ( Neetu) said...

All the flavours going on this chilli are enticing and the kick from Habanero and jalapenos, oh I love it.

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