Quick Fix Dinner: Blackbean Butternut Squash Chile

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When you don’t have alot of time on your hands, cooking healthy meals can be a challenge. This is why Dinner with Aura’s recipe for Blackbean Butternut Squash Chile is an ideal meal for those who are short on time in the kitchen. This yummy meal can last a whole week! Here’s what Aura had to say about this recipe:
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“I demonstrated this recipe on Take Five and Company WZZM 13 and encouraged viewers to experiment with their chili. As an example, it may sound a little surprising but I also add unsweetened cocoa to my chili, further deepening the flavor of the dish and adding a complexity often found in traditional moles. Sometimes I make this chili with sweet potato. What I’m trying to get at is have fun, don’t take cooking so seriously, and experiment until you have the perfect chili for you. If you’re more into sticking to the recipe, I’m sure you’ll love this dish.

As a quick tip, I always buy my chipotle peppers in small cans and there are usually anywhere from 5-8 in the can. I usually use two then take the rest and freeze them individually or in pairs so if I need a chipotle pepper all I have to do is grab one from the freezer and thaw briefly.

Make sure that you cook within your comfort zone or else you won’t want to cook at all. If you need to buy canned black beans, that’s okay. If you have time to make beans ahead, make a ton extra, drain, and freeze the extras in various sized plastic zip bags so the next time you need beans, you’ve got them at the ready after a quick thaw. If making your own vegetable stock isn’t on your priority list, that’OKAY. There are plenty of great store-bought stocks out there to choose from.

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Now pop some cornbread in the oven, start tossing bright veggies in the stock pot and settle in to a warm and healthful bowl of chili.”-Aura

Go to www.dinnerwithaura.com for more awesomely yummy recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 medium red onion, chopped

  • 1 and ½ cups bell peppers, chopped (I like using red, orange, and yellow)

  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-2-inch pieces

  • 4 small garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 heaping tablespoon chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped chipotle in adobo (depends on how much heat you like!)

  • 28-ounces canned diced tomatoes

  • 5 cups cooked black beans, if you use canned, rinse and drain first

  • 4 cups vegetable broth (for a richer flavor, replace one cup of vegetable broth with brewed coffee)
    Salt to taste

  • Toppings (optional): sour cream, sliced scallions, avocado, radishes, cilantro

  • To serve: tortilla chips or cornbread

Instructions

In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, saute the onion, bell pepper, celery, and butternut squash in one tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Continue stirring to make sure the vegetables do not stick to the pan.

Once the vegetables begin to soften, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, and chopped chipotle and stir to coat vegetables. Add tomatoes, beans, and vegetable broth and stir. Turn heat to a simmer cook for ½ hour, stirring occasionally.

Top with any of the suggested toppings above or some favorites or your own! I like serving my chili either with cornbread but if I don’t have the time to make that, some tortilla chips do just fine.

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