Full disclosure: fall does not exist in Austin. It is almost Halloween and it’s 82˚. But that doesn’t mean we don’t get a craving for those cold weather foods. Like butternut squash. She’s kind of fizzled out in the food scene, no longer does every restaurant have their token butternut squash dish (she’s unfortunately been replaced by cauliflower). But I for one still pine for last year’s favorite gourd. Hence, this (secretly vegan) butternut squash black bean chili.
What does one do with whole butternut squash? Take pictures with succulents of course!
J’admets, these pictures are misleading. Whole butternut squash are near impossible to deal with. Fortunately, CostCo and sometimes Central Market sell butternut squash pre-cut into bite sized cubes, perfect for a quick pour into the pot of veggie-ful delight.
Note to self: three onions is too many.
Sauté, then add spices.
Ok, so if you add the cheese it is no longer vegan. But it is nowhere near essential to the ultimate effect. Avocado is another apt addition. But the best part is, for those who hate timing, it’s hard to go wrong as long as you start early. It only gets better as it sits!
(secretly vegan) butternut squash black bean chili
ingredients (amounts are flexible according to taste, you really can’t go wrong):
-veggies: butternut squash cut into cubes; chopped onions, green pepper, red pepper; minced jalapeños and garlic; dried and soaked or canned black beans; large can of fire roasted tomatoes.
-spices: 3 tbsp chili powder, 2 tbsp cumin, 2 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp oregano, 2 tsp red pepper. Next time I’d experiment with a little bit of thyme.
-sauté onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes until semisoft, then add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes
-add spice mixture and stir
-add can of tomatoes and stir
–dried and soaked beans: add beans and then enough water to cover the beans in the pot. Bring to a boil then move down to a high simmer. Cook until beans are tender, around 1.5 to 2 hours
–canned black beans: add to pot, bring to a boil then down to a simmer
-once beans are added/tender, add red and green peppers, jalepeños, and butternut squash. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated. Simmer for 30 minutes
-serving options: with cilantro, monterrey jack, avocado, cotija. Can be easily stored and flavors improve with time.