Food For Thought

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

RecipEASY: Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

Kayla Sheely, 08/28/2015

Whether you are looking to adopt a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet or are just trying to find healthier alternatives to some of your favorite dishes, we have great recipes on our site to suit your tastes! Some of our recipes can look a little intimidating, though. That’s why we created a weekly segment called RecipEASY — to make healthy eating easier. We (Kate and Kayla) make a recipe from our site and break it down to give you helpful tips and modifications. Since neither of us are professional chefs, we are always looking for ways to simplify healthy recipes!

This week we made…

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

With school quickly approaching (and for some of you college students, maybe classes have already started), we wanted to share a few recipes for easy back-to-school lunches. Our first recipe is a chili that is sure to be a crowd pleaser! It’s filled with vegetables and may even help you sneak a few in that your kids won’t normally eat.

We bought: onion, garlic, carrots, celery, tomatoes, butternut squash, kale, corn, green onion, black beans, chili powder, ground cumin, no-salt seasoning, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, and vegetable stock. Find full measurements here.

There was a lot of chopping for this recipe; we had to slice, dice, or mince the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, tomatoes, kale, green onion, and squash. Neither of us had ever cut up a squash before, so we were a little unsure at first of what the best way to cube it would be. In the end, I think Kate maybe had a bit too much fun cutting up the squash (but we did get a mini mascot out of it!).

When most of the chopping was done, we started sauteeing the onions and garlic with the vegetable stock. Soon, we added in the carrots and celery, along with a bit more stock. While those were sauteeing, we measured the spices into a cup to make it easier to add to the dish.

Fresh ingredients combined with fragrant spices made the entire kitchen smell delicious! Kate and I were both super excited to try the chili.

After adding the spices, we stirred in the tomato paste and let it cook for a few minutes. Then we added the tomatoes, and about 5 minutes later we tossed in the beans, squash, and more vegetable stock and let it simmer for 15 minutes. The recipe calls for 4 cups of vegetable stock, but we probably had about a cup left over.

When the timer went off, we added the kale and cooked it for 5 more minutes. Finally, we stirred in the nutritional yeast and corn, and it was ready to serve with green onion as a garnish!

The chili tasted great (and our coworkers thought so, too). It’s a good recipe to make ahead of time and eat for lunch throughout the week. You could even try using the chili as part of a wrap or sandwich since it is on the thicker side. Try the chili for yourself and let us know what you think!

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