Monday, November 15, 2010

Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard

Some days you just don't have the time or energy to, say, roast a whole chicken. I definitely have lots of nights where I'm tired or simply not in the mood to cook an elaborate dinner. For this type of night, it's best to have some go to meals that you know will be satisfying and delicious, but easy to make at the same time. For me, nothing beats soups, stews and chili when I want big results with little effort. The key with these types of meals is to change them up a bit each time. If you always make the same type of soup or same beef and bean chili, they'll start to lose some of their comfort value and just become boring instead. I've made tons of different kinds of chili - some with meat, some without - but all have that thick, hot taste of satisfaction in every bite.
This chili recipe was inspired by one I saw on Epicurious and is full of healthy beans and vegetables and perfectly fits the bill for a satisfying chili dish. It even includes one of my favorite winter squashes: the butternut squash. It adds a great layer of sweetness next to the meatiness of the black beans and the warmth of the chili powder. And best of all, this chili has everything you need for a meal in one pot. You could serve it with some rice or bread if you like, or dish it up as is in big steamy bowl fulls.

Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 2 cups total)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 x 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2.5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 x 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated cheddar cheese, chopped onion, for garnish (if desired)
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Saute onions until tender, about 5-8 minutes.
Add garlic, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for another minute.
Stir in butternut squash, chili powder and cumin. Saute for a few minutes.
Add beans, stock and tomatoes (with juices); bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until squash is tender, 15-20 minutes.
Add in Swish chard in batches. It might seem like way too many greens for the amount of chili but it will wilt down. Stir in each batch until wilted and tender, about 5 minutes total.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve chili with a scoop of rice or toasted bread and top with cheddar cheese or chopped onion, if desired.

For a printable recipe click here

1 comment:

  1. Looks good! Can't wait 'til you post one of your chicken or turkey chili recipes, those are great too!