black bean and butternut squash chili

I almost never serve a meal without vegetables, but, if I’m being honest, that doesn’t always mean the meal is completely guilt free. It has healthy components, but there are usually some guilty pleasures involved too. Not so much with this dish. I’ve been on a pretty strict diet which has involved serious calorie cutting and sticking to a basic clean eating plan. This black bean and butternut squash chili fits the bill. I cheated a bit with the beer, but it really adds a ton of flavor and when all the other ingredients are guilt free I figured using beer as part of the cooking liquid wasn’t that bad. If you want you can omit it and just add more vegetable or chicken stock.

I love traditional chili. You know, the one with the ground beef and kidney beans, usually topped with tortilla strips and sour cream and cheese. So when I came up with this recipe I wasn’t sure how good it would turn out. I thought I’d miss the meat. I definitely thought I’d miss the toppings, which, I did a little but when you’re trying to cut out calories, you have to make some sacrifices right? Instead, I topped this chili with chopped scallions, avocado, cilantro and a little Greek yogurt for some tang. And it was actually delicious. Just as tasty as traditional chili but without all the extra calories. It’s full of veggies and full of flavor. This is one I’ll definitely make again.

black bean and butternut squash chili

Black bean and butternut squash chili

Ingredients:
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 poblano peppers, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced (take out the seeds and membrane if you want it less spicy)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp hot Mexican chili powder or Ancho chili powder (if you don’t have this, just use another tbsp of regular chili powder)
1 tbsp of cumin
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp oregano
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 bottle of beer
2.5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
1 butternut squash, cut into bite sized chunks
salt & pepper

For garnish:
3 chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 Avocado, peel removed and diced (sprinkle with some lime juice)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 lime cut into wedges

Recipe:

1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, poblanos, bell pepper and jalapeƱo and stir for 5-6 minutes until the vegetables are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and stir for another 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper

2. Add the tomato paste and spices and stir for 30 seconds. Add the black beans, diced tomatoes (juice and all), beer and chicken or vegetable stock. Stir to combine and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes.

3. After the chili has simmered for 20-25 minutes, add the diced butternut squash and simmer covered for another 30 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.

4. Serve in bowls and top with scallions, avocado, cilantro and Greek yogurt. Squeeze a splash of lime over the top for some citrus flavor.

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