Monday, December 22, 2014

Butternut Squash and Bean Chili

I have a lot of squash in my fruit cellar, and while the hard squash will keep, it typically does not make it through the winter. So the plethora of butternut, acorn and hubbords I have must be used up. I went for something different than usual the other night. I prefer my squash savory, and in this house we all love chili, so I combined the two. I was also working on baking Christmas cookies all day, so this was a meal that I prepped and stuck in the crockpot.

1/4 cup olive oil
3 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cleaned and chopped
1 green bell pepper, cleaned and chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
3 heaping tablespoons of chili powder
2 heaping tablespoons of cumin
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
2 cans, 15-oz, dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans, 15-oz, black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans, 14.5-oz, diced tomatoes (do not drain)

4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1" cubes

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions in the olive oil until they are tender, add garlic and continue to sauté until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add all the peppers and sauté for another 3-5 minutes or until tender. Just before removing from the heat, add the spices mixing and giving them just a minute to become fragrant. Transfer mixture to a 6 quart slow cooker. Add beans and tomatoes with their juice to the mixture. Arrange squash on top, (do not mix it in at this point) and cover.

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6. When ready to eat, mix well with a spoon to incorporate squash into the mix.

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