I'm a huge fan of chili and the almighty bean, both for the protein power it wields and its versatility. Beans are the most concentrated form of plant protein in the world and the only cultivated plants which actually enrich, rather than deplete the soil during the growing process. This recipe calls for organic canned beans because they're easier. You can always soak the beans the night before, cook them, and then use them for this recipe, but let's face it, if you had the time for that, you wouldn't be here looking for a quick and easy recipe that cooks itself.
Butternut squash is a truly undervalued gourd (more on that here) and is one of my favorites for its ability to add a creamy texture and mild nuttiness to almost any dish. Don't be afraid to cut the pieces bigger, they'll cook! I used 1" cubes-- if you cut them too small they'll fall apart.
Quinoa adds an earthy note and unique texture that fills you up without weighing you down. This Wonder Grain contains all nine essential amino acids, which means it's a complete protein. It’s gluten-free, cholesterol free, kosher for Passover, and most of the time—it’s organic. Don't forget to wash your quinoa! Most commercial brands have been washed beforehand to remove a chemical called saponin that can be found on the surface of quinoa. Saponin, apparently, has a slightly bitter, soapy taste, and that's gross.
Toppings really make this dish pop. Overwhelmingly, the house favorite was crumbled goat cheese. For my vegan brothers and sisters, I have included a recipe for a tofu-based sour cream, which is just as delicious.
Please salt responsibly.
Butternut Squash & Quinoa Chili
Serves 6 | Prep time: 25 min
2 14.5oz cans black beans, drained
1½-2 pounds peeled, cubed butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
1 14.5oz can fire-roasted, diced tomatoes (don't drain)
1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1½ Tbsp chilies in adobo (about 1 pepper and juices), chopped
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp kosher salt (to taste)
4 cups vegetable broth or water
Topping: 4oz crumbled goat cheese (included in Nutrition Info)
Vegan sour cream (recipe below), green onions, cilantro, avocado slices, guacamole, get creative!
Vegan Sour Cream:
8oz silken tofu
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
¾ tsp kosher salt
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth
Chili Directions: You will need a 6-quart sized crockpot. Cut the stem and bottom from the butternut squash before cutting it in half lengthwise and removing the pulp/seeds. The easiest way to do this is with an ice cream scoop, it will save you a ruined spoon. Then peel the skin from the two halves with a carrot peeler. I do this after I cut and scoop, it makes it easier to hold; the squash gets slippery as you peel and I think it's a pain to do it whole.
Add all chili ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. Serve, share, and enjoy!
Like, share and let me know what you think!