butternut squash chili

My super healthy and vegetarian friend has a fancy blog called Eating For the Rest of Us. I tease him for sounding elitist, but he’s really not like that at all!

One recipe that I love is his Spring Chili. I made a non-vegetarian version of it for my family over the holidays, and I love making a big batch of it and packing it for lunch throughout the week. I usually use it to top some plain white quinoa and that makes for a super filling lunch!

I adjust the recipe every time I make it because it’s so adaptable to whatever is in my fridge. The other week, I replaced the yams with some butternut squash. Amazing.

Image

A friend requested I posted the recipe (with a simple “reciplease!”), so here it is. I kind of just copied + pasted Eric’s recipe and changed some stuff. Don’t slap me with a plagiarism suit, Eric!

butternut squash chili

1 large onion chopped
1  Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 cups broth (chicken/veggie/whatever)
1/2 medium butternut squash, cubed into 3/4-1 inch pieces
1 can (796 ml) of diced tomatoes You can use canned whole tomatoes and just smash them in the pot, too!
1 can (540 ml) of black beans, drained & rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 splash of red wine (optional)

Method
1. Add the onion in a medium to large saucepan heated to medium-high. Stir often until soft and translucent. Feel free to use some vegetable or canola oil in this step. I usually don’t and it turns out fine.

2. Stir in the chili powder and cumin. Make sure the spices coat the onions well and aren’t clumpy.

3. Add the broth, bay leaves and butternut squash. Stir well to combine. Bring it all to a gentle boil, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the squash is almost tender. You can check the tenderness of the squash with a fork.

4. Add the tomatoes and beans. This is when you throw in that optional splash of wine. Bring it all to a simmer, uncovered, until the mixture is heated through and slightly thickened.

5. Serve with a neutral tasting starch.

This is a slightly sweet tasting chili, so when I’m in the mood for something spicier, I add a bit of Sriracha or Sambal Oelek. And of course, you can chop up whatever herbs you have in your fridge to sprinkle on top. I had some cilantro, and I thought it might taste weird with the chili, but it tasted surprisingly nice! I’d recommend some flat leaf parsley, though, since cilantro is such a polarizing herb.

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bean & tofu salad (it sounds gross but it’s so yumz)

I’ve been eating a lot of vegetarian food recently.  Not because I’m interested in vegatarianism as a lifestyle and moral choice, but it’s just a lot cheaper to order a veggie curry v. meat/seafood curry at my favourite Thai restaurant.  I know.  I am so fiscally responsible (tell that to the brand new dress/boots/bag/jacket I just bought).

Anyway, I recently bought a can of beans (the exact variety and brand in the photo), thinking I’d have a use for them one day.  This is all a part of my new adventures in the culinary arts, btw.  So in lieu of my newfound so-called vegetarianism, I decided to use up the last of some tofu I had in my fridge and make a bean & tofu salad.

Et, voilà.

A colourful, delectable and filling dish.  I ate a bowl of this for dinner with some 12 grain toast.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of mixed beans
  • 1 coarsely chopped medium-sized bell pepper (any colour is fine)
  • 1 quarter of a small red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup of firm tofu, diced into cubes
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 2 handfuls of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Drain the bean-y water from the can, then rinse and drain the beans in fresh water.  Let dry.
  • Chop up all your ingredients
  • Heat a pan to medium-high with a dash of olive oil
  • Toss in your diced tofu cubes and lightly fry until golden brown on all sides (doesn’t have to be perfectly even) *Side note: if you don’t like raw garlic, I suggest throwing in the minced garlic in the pan to make it nice and toasty
  • In a mixing bowl, throw in all veggies and tofu
  • Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top
  • Carefully mix all ingredients together, making sure not to mush up all the beans
  • Serve right away, or refrigerate and eat later

I’ve got so much dang fibre in me now. Who needs Fibre1 bars?

i like my mussels big and juicy

I’ve become a lot more adventurous with my home cooking, simply because I don’t know how to cook what my mom cooks at home.  And obviously, finding Korean groceries is not as easy as going to the nearest supermarket to buy what all you “westerners” (what a stupid term) eat.

One day, I noticed that a 2lb package of mussels were on sale, so I just went ahead and bought them.  I imagined that I would be able to make a delicious crushed tomatoes and mussels dish that you can often order at fancy restaurants for a lot of money.

I did just that.  It was so good I ate all 2lbs of it in one night.

steaming in wine and tomato juice. nom nom.

with 12 grain toast points

I wish I had a recipe to share, but I don’t. I just looked up random recipes online, and they all seemed similar to me. Crushed tomatoes, garlic, fresh flat leaf parsley, and tons of white wine!