Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

October 11th, 2011 | Posted by Alison Spath in Dinner Time

Life is settling back into a post-marathon norm around here. I spent much of today getting caught up on all things food and laundry now that I’m hobbling around a little bit less and taking the stairs slightly faster than yesterday.

Or at the very least I’m not doing the “step up with my right leg, drag my left leg up behind me like a sack of potatoes” thing anyway.

Dinner got started this morning when I threw this guy from last week’s CSA share into the oven – not immediately sure what I was going to do with him.

Butternut Squash

Cut in half and put face down on an olive oiled cookie sheet to bake at 350 for about an hour while I hobbled to and fro.

Upon surveying the contents of the produce drawer and pantry in the late afternoon – I eventually decided on a Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili Extravaganza for tonight.

A poblano pepper and an onion (also CSA items) diced and sauteed in coconut oil, baked butternut squash cubed.

Onions and Pablano Pepper Cooked Cubed Butternut Squash

The squash was peeled after it was cooked – quite easily I might add. (Much like beets!) I was able to slip most the skin right off with my fingers and sliced off any remaining squash skin with a knife.

Once the peppers and onions were soft, the squash was added along with a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes and a can of rinsed and drained black beans. Chili spices included chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and cumin.

I need to briefly interrupt this post for a PSA:

Cumin Refill

(Public Spice Announcement)

At some point I figured out that it was WAY cheaper to buy Indian spices in bulk in the ethnic section of the grocery store. Given the rate cumin rains down into many of the meals that I prepare, lately I’ve been going with the bag instead of the nearly $5 bottle of Simply Organic cumin powder.

Shake shake shake down a yellow funnel and VOILA! A “brand new bottle” for significantly less!

Just Like a Brand New Bottle of Cumin

Not organic, but they seem to be just as good in quality and that’s good enough for me.

Sorry Simply Organic, sometimes you’re Simply Too Expensive when it comes to supporting my cumin habit. I do the same thing with chili powder (notice my re-label?), garam masala and curry powder too.

PSA over, I let the chili come to a boil and then covered and reduced to a simmer for about 30 minutes.

Upon chili sampling I discovered that this was pretty spicy hot! I don’t know if I went a little too nutso with the chili powder, or if it was the poblano pepper? I thought poblanos were mild, but according the pepper peeps at Wikipedia:

While poblanos tend to have a mild flavor, occasionally and unpredictably, they can have significant heat.

Well then! I guess I’m gonna unpredictably whip up some corn bread to help out put out the spicy pepper fire.

Bob's Red Mill Corn Bread

I really didn’t anticipate making corn bread tonight, but it was the perfect chili/fall dinner companion. I followed the directions on the back of the package of Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal,

Corn Bread Instructions

but felt a little resentful at that last step.

Sorry Bob, my legs are still sore and now my tongue is too – I don’t feel like beaming right now. I’d rather scowl.

But at least dinner is ready! That helps.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

Oh heck, I guess warm, crumbly, buttery cornbread makes me smile a little bit now too. This chili turned out great – winter squash makes the perfect thick and savory soup or chili base.

Crumbly Cornbread

Did you happen to notice how that napkin holder is now void of cloth napkins? Probably not, but there’s proof that I’ve got laundry to get to!

I’m working on it, I’m working on it. Sore legs + basement laundry + a two story house = slow going.

Linked to Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade

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