Saturday, January 2, 2010

Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili

Happy twenty ten! I am writing this entry as a means of avoiding the cleanup from yesterday's Chili New Years Day Ride/Party. Our day started with about 30 more degrees than it did last year. Despite that, we actually had fewer people join us for the ride. There were 10 serious competitive cyclists and me, for a total of 11. Last year we had at least 13. While last year's ride was frigid and in the snow, it sort of evened out the playing field a little better. Yesterday's ride was mostly spent with me falling off the back and the rest of the group waiting up for me at the tops of hills. After about 90 minutes of this, I begged the group to go on without me while I toodled back on my own. Pathetically, I was actually lost for a while in the sense that I had no idea where I was even though I was about 5 miles from my house. In the end, it was good because I found a new way home from Lexington and I realized I get stuck in the same routes and need to venture out. I will look forward to some new roads in 2010.

Another 20 or so people eventually joined us back at the house for some food, hot cider, conversation and Rock Band. Typically, Todd has made two versions of the same chili (see last year's post), one with meat and one without. This year I decided to venture out and make a vegetarian chili that was distinct from the other. I chose this recipe because it was a bit sweeter, and doesn't have as much heat, to have an offering for people who want something a bit more mild. Apparently it was good. I never actually got around to trying it, but several people commented on it. The basic recipe has very few ingredients and you can use this as a base to play around with. I added corn, carrots and some cider vinegar. You could sub sweet potatoes for the sqaush and kale or spinach for the chard. Add more spices if you like. Topping this with fresh cilantro would probably taste great.

Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili
2 tblspns olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 cloves garlic
2 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into half inch pieces
2 tblspns chili powder
2 tspns ground cumin
1/8 tspn cayenne (more if you want heat)
3 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 cups veggie broth
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
3 cups packed of roughly chopped swiss chard

Other stuff I added:
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 carrot, sliced
1 tblspn cider vinegar

1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic (and carrot if using). Saute until tender and golden, but be careful not to burn - about 7-9 minutes.
2. Add squash, stir. Cook about 2 more minutes.
3. Add chili powder, cayenne and cumin, and mix.
4. Add tomatoes, broth and beans. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat, and simmer until squash is tender about 15 minutes.
5. Add chard or kale and corn (if using). Cook about 5 more minutes until greens are tender.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste and cider vinegar. Blend and serve.

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