Category Archives: Casserole, Chili, Stew

Butternut Squash Chili…

Hi Everyone,

Well, we in the Northeast had another crazy weather weekend. It started out on Saturday morning with the sun shining and a little breezy and then suddenly changed to snow squalls with almost white-out conditions and the temperature dropped and stayed that way all day and into Sunday.

When the weather gets like this my first instinct is to head to the kitchen for some comfort food. I don’t know what it is about the cold and snow but it makes me want to cook either bread, a stew, or a dessert.

I chose chili for Sunday afternoon.

I love all types of squash and I just purchased a butternut squash that I wanted to use. I looked around at the other ingredients I had on hand and decided to make chili. I had some canned beans, a little bit of fresh spinach (leftover from last night’s spanakopita melts), and some ground beef. So this was the perfect meal coming together nicely.

I also bought a jar of “Za’atar” spice recently (Za’atar is a Middle-Eastern spice combining oregano, thyme, marjoram, sumac, and toasted sesame seeds) and I wanted to use that in the dish as well.

I had two separate chili recipes and I combined what I liked from each one and added some of the spices I wanted to try. The following is my combined recipe. I hope you try it and enjoy it.

Butternut Squash Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1-2 lbs. of ground beef (or turkey, pork whatever you prefer for chili)
  • 2 bells peppers any color cut in strips
  • 2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and diced in bite size pieces
  • 2 cans (14 oz) of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 32 oz of chicken broth (homemade or low sodium)
  • 1 can (14 oz) black beans -no salt- rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14 oz) of garbanzo beans – no salt – rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsps. canned green chilis (found in Mexican section of grocer)
  • 1 pkg of fresh spinach cut in strips (or a bag of fresh or frozen spinach) KALE or your favorite leafy green can be substituted
  • 1/8 tsp Calabrian chili pepper paste or ground red pepper (Optional for a little heat)

Spices: mix together in a ramekin

  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Za’atar spice
  • 1 tsp black ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • Salt to taste

For garnish (optional)

  • Green onions for garnish (optional)
  • Sour cream for garnish (optional)
  • pumpkin seeds (optional)

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a large pan, over medium heat. ADD the onions and peppers and sauté until soft (5 minutes).  ADD the garlic and sauté 2 more minutes. ADD the Calabrian chili paste and tomato paste and sauté 1 additional minute until the onions are soft and all is incorporated
  • ADD the ground meat and season with salt and pepper and break the meat with the back of a wooden spoon into medium pieces and cook until no longer pink.
  • ADD the butternut squash and all the spices and mix well.
  • ADD the roasted diced tomatoes and the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • ADD the beans to the pot and mix well.
  • Partially cover the pot and simmer on medium for 40 minutes.
  • ADD the baby spinach the last 10 minutes to wilt.
  •  Adjust seasoning and serve with a dollop of sour cream and green onions and pumpkin seeds.

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I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it and make it your own. Change the greens and beans to whatever you prefer, no recipe is set in stone.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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Turkey & Three Bean “Halloween” Chili and Sour Cream Cornbread

Photo Oct 31, 7 21 44 PM (1) HALLOWEEN CHILI

(Click PHOTO to enlarge and then back arrow to return to original size).

Hi everyone,

I wanted to post the recipe for my traditional Halloween meal.

Turkey and Three Bean Chili with Sour Cream Cornbread

 I use ground turkey for my chili but you can easily substitute ground beef. 

Remember to taste your food for seasonings as you go along and build your flavors…

Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

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Turkey and Three Bean Chili

Ingredients:

1- 2 tbsp. olive olive

1 large onion- diced (1 cup)

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 bell peppers- diced (I use one green and one red just for color)

3 carrots- diced in coins

2 (1 lb.) pkgs. of ground turkey OR ground beef

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cayenne

2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. oregano

salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

1 capful of hot sauce (Frank’s red hot or Revenge)

4 tsp. of green chiles (fire roasted in a can found in the Mexican food aisle- I use the entire 4 oz. can of MILD because I find if I don’t use them all at once, I just end up throwing them out.

2 cups of water

1 ( 28 oz.) can of crushed tomatoes

1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5 oz) can pink beans (or pinto beans), drained and rinsed

½ cup green scallions plus additional for garnish

1 bag of shredded cheese (cheddar, jalapeno or Mexican blend) for garnish

Sour cream for garnish

Optional–Chipolte peppers in adobo sauce (also in a can in the Mexican food aisle). These are very spicy so be careful…I usually use 1 or 2 chopped up because I like heat in my chili. You can freeze the rest for another meal.

Optional – for some added spice, I use a squirt of sriracha sauce ( You can tell I like spicy)

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat.

Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper and carrots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, combine your spices, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper.

After the vegetables are soft, ADD the spice mixture and stir well to incorporate the spices and vegetables. Cook for 1 minute.

Add the ground turkey or beef, raise the heat to high and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon into bite size pieces, until the meat is no longer pink.

Reduce the heat to medium-high and stir in the tomatoes, water, green chiles, hot sauce and scallions.

Add the chopped chipolte chiles in adobo sauce and sriracha, if using.

Cook partially covered, stirring from time to time for 30 minutes.

Remember, taste for seasonings!

Stir in the beans and continue cooking , partially covered, 20 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper before serving.

Garnish with shredded Hot Jalapeno, cheddar or Mexican cheese, dollop of sour cream and additional scallions.

Serve with Sour Cream Cornbread (recipe to follow)

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Photo Oct 31, 8 20 09 PM SOUR CREAM CORN BREAD

Sour Cream Cornbread

(To get the top crusty -I used a lot of butter on top of the cornbread before baking but that is not really part of the recipe- just a personal preference- Follow the recipe as written and your corn bread will be lighter in color.)

You will need an 8 X 8 square pan

(I prefer a glass pan, I think it cooks evenly in glass)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt 

1 cup full fat sour cream

1/4 cup whole milk

1 egg (beaten)

2 TBSP. melted butter

Additional butter and raw honey for garnish

Directions:

In a bowl mix all your dry ingredients – flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.

In a separate bowl mix all your wet ingredients – sour cream, milk, beaten egg and melted butter. Whisk until well combined

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. (Batter will be very sticky)

Pour the batter into a greased, 8 X 8 square pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean

Cut into squares. Best served warm with extra butter or raw honey.

Enjoy!

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Have a very Happy and Safe Halloween!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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