Category Archives: Heart Healthy

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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Cauliflower Rice Veggie Stir Fry & Black Bean Stuffed Peppers …

Hi Everyone,

This recipe is dedicated to one of my health care providers – Michael C. who always brightens my day whenever we have the opportunity to speak.

Hope you are all well…

Today I wanted to share with you a new recipe for stuffed peppers. I know that I have posted recipes for traditional stuffed peppers with ground meat and a lighter version with beans, rice and cheese (the links for those recipes will be at the end of the post); but today I have another new version – “Stuffed Peppers with Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry”, veggies and black beans.

Cauliflower rice has become so popular in the last couple of years and I have made Cauliflower Tots and General Tso’s Cauliflower in the past (find recipes in search box) but I am always experimenting to create new recipes, and this recipe can be listed under “vegetarian and heart healthy”.

I recently placed an Instacart order from Costco and noticed that they were selling a Cauliflower stir fry (Tattooed chef brand) with veggies (peppers, peas & corn) included so I thought I would give it a try. My original idea was to just add some scrambled eggs and some lite soy sauce to make fried rice.

Then I bought the most beautiful organic bell peppers and the idea quickly changed to cauliflower stir fry stuffed peppers. I added some black beans for protein and a new recipe was born. I made a large batch of filling and used the extra for a side dish for another night during the week.

Follow the recipe below with step-by-step instructions and happy cooking…

(Don’t forget previous stuffed pepper recipes are listed below).

Cauliflower Rice Veggie Stir Fry with Black Beans Stuffed Peppers

Let’s Get Started ……….

INGREDIENTS:

2 bags of frozen cauliflower stir fry (from freezer to skillet)- no need to thaw & this package has veggies included.

You can add any combination of extra vegetables that you like, just cut them small to fit in the pepper cavity.

COOKS NOTE: you can also rice fresh cauliflower florets in the food processor

6 bell peppers

1 medium yellow onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

1 can (14 oz.) of low sodium black beans – rinsed & drained

1 can (14 oz.) of no salt added tomato sauce

1 can of cherry tomatoes with juice (optional)

COOKS NOTE: the canned tomatoes can be purchased at an Italian pork store or online at Eataly

1 tbsp. tomato paste

Oregano- 4 fresh sprigs or ¾ Tbsp. ground (remember to rub ground spices through your fingertips when adding to a dish to release the oils and flavor).

½ cup grated cheese (I use Locatelli Romano)

Garlic powder – ½ tsp

Fresh basil chiffonade

Mozzarella cheese

Olive oil – 3 Tbsp.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Prepare the peppers by cleaning them well and then cutting the tops off and scooping out the ribs and seeds.

Dice the pepper tops into small dice and set aside.

I par boil the peppers for 7-10 minutes in boiling water- (do not make them too soft, they will still be cooked in the oven). Drain the peppers and set aside.

In a large skillet or sauté pan, add 2 tbsp. of olive oil on medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly golden.

,

Add the onions and sauté for a 3-4 minutes more…. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder & sauté for another minute.

Add the diced peppers and cook for 4-5 minutes until the peppers soften.

Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and the can of cherry tomatoes (if using).

Mix well, and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally for approx… 10 minutes.

Add the black beans, oregano and basil and mix well.

Add the frozen cauliflower stir fry and heat through for approx. 5-8 minutes. (use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the cauliflower).

Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese and taste for seasoning- more salt, pepper or spices might be needed to your taste.

Meanwhile spray a 9 X 13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Spread a thin layer of the cooked filling on the bottom of the pan (this will give the peppers a base so they don’t flop over).

COOKS NOTE: IF peppers fall over — before filling slice a small amount of pepper off the bumpy bottoms to make them stand up.

Place a small amount of mozzarella cheese in the bottom of each pepper.

Now with a large spoon fill the hollow peppers and pack as much filling as you can and top with some grated cheese. (Any extra stuffing can be added to the baking dish).

Now top the peppers with additional mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 uncovered for 15 minutes until the peppers are cooked through and the cheese is melted.

COOKS NOTE -If you want a crispy cheese topping, pop in the broiler for 1-2 minutes but watch the pan so the cheese doesn’t burn.

To serve, garnish with a little extra grated cheese and the extra filling can be served on the side or saved for another side dish for another meal… Enjoy

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Previous stuffed pepper recipes…..

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2015/09/20/stuffed-peppers/

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2017/09/08/stuffed-peppers-with-rice-and-beans/

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com  .

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.