Ridiculous Butternut Chili

You know those meals that are just so ridiculously filling that they can't possibly be healthy...but then they are? Those are the best.

This unbelievable Butternut Squash Chili is a mere 365 calories per serving, and believe me, you will be full for hours. A nice heaping bowl of savory beans, sweet butternut squash and a kick of chili and cayenne is a great way to comfort yourself on a particularly rainy or stressful day. Top it off with the creamy avocado and crunchy tortilla strips and you're in heaven. Or at least I was.

One tip before the recipe: don't do what I did and add the spices before the liquids or you'll end up with a really spicy fog in your kitchen that will leave you hacking up your lungs for a good three hours. Sorry roommates.

And with no further adieu:

Ingredients for (about 5 servings of) Spicy Butternut Squash Chili:

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • 1 can kidney beans (drained)
  • 6 vine tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 cups vegetable broth (how liquid-ey do you prefer your chili?)
  • 1/2 jalapeño
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the garnish:

  • 1 avocado
  • 3 corn tortillas
  • cilantro
  • green onions

Directions:

  1. Prep everything first!! Seriously. Peel and chop your butternut. Chop all of your veggies in similar sized chunks, drain your beans, prepare your spices. You can put the butternut, onion, bell peppers, garlic, and jalapeño in one bowl. Keep your tomatoes separate (and be sure to keep the liquids). Keep sugar separate from the other spices.
  2. Throw some oil in a large pot then toss in all of the veggie chunks (butternut, onion, bell peppers, garlic, jalapeño). Sauté until the butternut begins to soften and the onion begins to look translucent.
  3. Add your beans, tomatoes, veggie broth and spices. Stir everything up as it comes to a light boil, then reduce to a high-ish simmer and cover. Stir occasionally and make sure you do some taste testing so you can add spices if necessary. Add that tablespoon of sugar after 10 minutes of simmering. If you feel like the chili is too thick, add more broth. Let the whole thing simmer for 40-60 minutes.
  4. While your chili is simmering....take your 3 corn tortillas and slice them into 1/2 inch thick and 3 inch long pieces. Heat some oil in a pan and fry em up! Make sure you don't put too many in the pan at once and that you are agitating or turning the pieces over as they fry. Set on a paper towel to drain.
  5. Serve it up! Yum yum yum! Throw some avocado chunks on top along with your fried tortilla strips, cilantro and green onion. Try not to eat all 5 servings in one sitting.