Blog of the Belly Biter:

Some plant-based, some unhealthy, some super healthy but ALL good. Kid tested and mother approved!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Autumn Harvest Chili

I love, love this vegetarian meal. Ava & Corynn too. Nolan & Shayne will eat it, but don't roll their eyes up in the back of their head like Ava and I. It's super healthy. Serving it in half of the butternut squash is totally cute presentation too. Although this was a HUGE butternut squash...
2 cups vegetable stock
1 large or 2 small dried ancho cili peppers, stems and seeds removed
2 small butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
4 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive OIl
Salt and black pepper
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, quartered
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 small zucchini, diced 1/2 inch
1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano, 1/3 palmful
1 scant tablespoon smoked sweet paprika, a light palmful
2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder, a couple of rounded palmfuls
1 10-ounce box frozen corn or 2 ears of corn, kernels scraped
1 14-ounce can black beans, drained
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup Negra Modela or other beer of choice {i omit, add more veggie broth}
1 healthy tablespoon honey
2 cups shredded yellow cheddar cheese {i omit for a vegan meal - and never used that much!}
Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Place butternut squash cut side up on a baking sheet and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons EVOO and some salt and pepper. Roast squash in oven until tender, about 45 minutes. When they've finished roasting, turn off the oven and turn on the broiler.

While the squash is in the oven, place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with 3 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3 tablespoons. Add the mushrooms and brown 5 minutes alone, then add onion, garlic, peppers and zucchini to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until the veggies are tender, about 8-10 minutes more. Puree softened ancho chili peppers in food processor or blender with vegetable stock. {I add all the other veggies into the food processor... my kids are way more likely to eat things if they don't know what's in them}

Add the spices, corn, black beans and tomato paste to the pan and cook until heated through, 1-2 minutes. Add the beer to the pan, stir then add ancho stock {and veggies} then simmer over low heat until ready to serve.

Scoop the finished chili over the butternut squash halves and sprinkle with the cheese. Place the squash under the broiler to melt the cheese then serve.

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