Lentil and Butternut Squash Chili

This chili is so much lighter than most chili’s I’ve tasted and definitely lighter than my usual go to the Sweet Potato Chili. Cutting down on the beans by adding lentils instead makes it that it is still rich in protein without the heaviness of too many beans. And switching out the sweet potato for some butternut squash really sealed the deal for me. In my husbands words “this one’s a winner”.

One pot meals like these make me so happy. I make a huge batch, either freeze some for later use, or just have leftovers for a few days. And this method guarantees my kids will get a good dose nutritious delicious vegetables in one meal. As with most one pot meals, I find that it tastes better the next day, although my family had no problem eating more than half of it as soon as it came off the stove.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS cacao powder
  • 1 TBS cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 TBS chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 cup dry french lentils
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeds removed
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 28 oz can of diced organic tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked beans (I mixed white and black)
  • 1 tsp salt

Steps:

  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, add onions and sautee until they become slightly transluscent
  • add all the spices and keep cooking until the aroma has come out, 2 minutes about
  • add butternut squash, lentils, and water and bring to a boil (this is usually when I chop the rest of my veggies)
  • reduce heat, add all other ingredients except for beans
  • simmer on low for about 30-40 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked
  • add the beans 10 minutes before done
  • taste and adjust spices and salt according to preference.

I ate mine with cilantro and avocado, because avocado makes everything taste better 🙂

Sweet Potato Chili

This weekend we are going camping with about 20 other families from my daughter’s school. One night we will be doing a potluck. I love potlucks. I love getting to try a bunch of different dishes and always tasting something new. With that said, while camping, people tend to take the easy route and buy pre packaged foods and convenience foods, not to mention all the meat and white bread. I want to make sure my family and I get a good amount of veggies in.

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That’s why I am bringing one of my all-time-favorite-large-group-feeding-dishes: vegetarian chili. This chili is pretty easy to make and will save for several days in the fridge, and freezes great. This was one of the dishes I made a huge batch of when I was pregnant and was so happy to find in my freezer once my son was born. And because of the amount of veggies I use, this is packed with nutrition.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 large celery stalks
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cups tomato sauce, plus 2 chopped tomatoes, OR 1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups of pre cooked black beans, OR 4 cans (15 oz each) of organic black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 TBS cumin
  • 1 TBS chili powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Steps

  • Warm up the oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the onion, belle pepper, garlic, celery and salt. Cook bout 4 minutes.
  • Add the sweet potato and lime zest, cook 10 to 15 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the cilantro, cover and cook about another 10 minutes.
  • Serve as is, or over brown rice or your favorite grain. I love having mine with fresh cilantro, a good sharp cheddar and some fresh avocado.

I doubled this recipe for this weekend.

Do you have a chili recipe you love? Please share! I really love chili 🙂