Have you ever set out with great intentions about what you were going to cook and eat, only to have your intentions derailed? Well, I have, and I'm so glad this particular plan got thrown off course. Why? Because it meant meeting a family member no one had seen in nearly 20 years, and that is a #1 best reason to have any plan diverted. The small yet tasty benefit from that derailment was this chili recipe. But, let me back up a couple of days.
Tabitha had cooked some butternut squash to sneak into enchiladas for the family and ended up with leftover squash (my sister is not a fan of "bits" and "pieces" of things hanging out in the fridge).
I had set adzuki beans on the counter to soak and sprout- (the great intention I was speaking of was to turn them into filling for Swiss chard wraps) -and suddenly we found ourselves planning to have our newly discovered family member over for dinner. Swiss chard wraps seemed a little ambitious... we needed to make something the whole family would easily eat and enjoy, and eat again the next day as leftovers.
The no-brainer was to make chili. We've already told you that Tabitha's husband is known for his "Dad" chili (the kids have eaten the leftovers for at least 3 days in a row now). So I decided to complement that with a healthier, vegan chili. One WE could eat guilt free 3 days in a row!
The adzuki beans I'd soaked were put to use, along with the leftover butternut squash and the Swiss chard (intended for the wraps), into a no-fuss, yet feels-special chili. So. If you havent made the Pumpkin Molassses Cornbread yet, here is the No.Excuses.Reason - It's cold outside and chili and cornbread are just what the cold weather calls for.
Don't feel like you have to have the "exact" ingredients on hand. Have black beans or kidney beans? Use them. Pumpkin or acorn squash and no butternut? Make a switch! No Swiss chard but plenty of kale? Slice it thin and throw it in the pot. This chili is completely versatile, so use what you love, and make it your own!
Butternut & Adzuki Bean Chili - serves 6
1 tablespoons olive oil
½ medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 1/2 cups soaked adzuki beans (or 2-15 oz cans chili beans)
1 can diced tomatoes, including the liquid
2 cups vegetable broth
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ cup butternut squash puree or chunks, either will work (I liked the texture the pureed squash added)
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves and stems sliced thin
Salt, to taste
1. Heat pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and onions. Saute until onions begin to turn translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add beans through cinnamon to the pot. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the beans are soft (if you use canned beans, add beans through the Swiss chard and cook for 15-20 minutes).
3. Stir squash and Swiss chard into the pot. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until chard is wilted and the stems have softened.
4. Add salt to taste. Remove from stove, ladel into your bowl and sit down, relax and enjoy your chili with a slice of that Pumpkin Molasses Cornbread.
236 calories, 3g fat, 50g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 5g protein
*Thank you to Wild Hare Organic Farm for many of the local & seasonal produce we are able to use in our recipes.