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 🙂

Coconut Vegetable Stew

One pot meals make my kitchen life so easy at times. If I can nail a recipe that I will enjoy making and eating many times, it’s even  better. This recipe is just that. I got inspired to make this after reading a post from this amazing blogger: Pumpkin and peanut butter. I wanted to make her recipe as is the first time I read it but had to modify because of what I had on hand. I have since made it twice and every time it becomes something slightly different. The version I am sharing with you today is one that my husband raves about. I decided it was time I wrote down exactly how I made it so I could make it again. I made this to bring to a big family trip to the mountains we just had last week. I made a huge batch so it could feed 12 of us. I am sharing that recipe here. You can either half the recipe to make a smaller batch, or better yet, make a huge batch and freeze some for use!!!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch cube of ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TBS cumin
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower,chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 talks of celery,chopped
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 9 cups water or vegetable broth (I mixed both)
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 19 oz can of coconut milk (smaller or bigger is fine)
  • salt to taste

Steps:

  • in a large pot heat the oil and add the onion
  • cook onion for a few minutes until it becomes transluscent
  • add the garlic and spices and cook another couple minutes until the fragrance comes out
  • add everything else and cook covered on low for about 30 minutes or until all vegetables are soft
  • serve as is or with a side of black forbidden rice and rosemary roasted potatoes like we did

Since making this dish ahead of time, all the flavors got to marinate really nicely together. This is a dish that gets better as it sits. Freezing some of it would not be bad idea!