We have a tradition around here on Halloween. We live in that neighborhood. The one where all the kids come. And our house often ends up as home base for our family and some friends. Parents hang out in the garage and hand out candy while all the kids run around collecting their own stash of goodies.
It doesn’t happen every year, and honestly it is not happening this year. I’m travelling for work on Halloween and won’t be home in time to get things started food-wise. But most years I have a pot of something hearty warming on the stove or in the slow cooker. A soup, stew or chili. Something to fill to fill our bowls and our bellies. Something that feels good to eat while standing outside. Or maybe thankful to be inside on particularly chilly nights. Something to save us from a pizza and makes less room for candy and treats.
I know – I’m no fun.
But really, I love sharing a pot of something warm with friends. To me it is the ultimate in no-fuss entertaining. I’m using the word “entertaining” as loosely as possible here. It’s an undefined and organic gathering. I don’t know who will arrive, I don’t know if they will eat. Its a “If you are hungry there is chili in the kitchen” kinda thing. And I think it is the best thing…
This butternut squash chili is one of those recipes I would share with my favourite crowd on one of these occasions. It’s warm, slightly sweet and vegan. It tastes like fall. And I know it is good for you. Filling and comforting. Perfect for taking the chill from your bones after walking around in the dark, the last October evening of the year.
For serving, add some chopped cilantro, diced red or green onions, jalapenos, shredded cheese or sour cream.
A few notes:
- If you don’t have butternut squash you can substitute sweet potatoes
- I used about half a medium sized squash for this recipe. I peeled and chopped the other half and tossed it into the freezer. Butternut freezes well and will keep for several months. Ready for your next recipe without the hassle of chopping and peeling.
- I’m a big fan of black beans, but you could use any combination of beans you like. Switch out either bean for red kidney or pinto.
- I love how adding a little bit of whisky deepens the flavours and adds to the sweetness of this dish. But if it is not for you, substitute an equal amount of beer, apple juice or water.
- Leftovers are wonderful, maybe even better the next day.
Yields 6 servings
This warm and spicy chili is full of sweet fall flavours. A healthy vegan slow-cooker recipe for busy days.
15 minPrep Time
8 hrCook Time
8 hr, 15 Total Time
- 1 small white onion, diced small
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 (19oz) can black beans (about 2 cups cooked beans), rinsed and drained
- 1 (19oz) can Romano beans (about 2 cups cooked beans), rinsed and drained
- 1 398ml can diced tomatoes
- 1 127ml can of diced green chilies
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 tabelspoons packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons garam masala powder (or your favourite curry powder)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup Canadian whisky
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- In a medium sautee pan, over medium heat, heat oil and saute onion and celery until soft, 7-8 minutes. Add to slow-cooker insert.
- Add remaining ingredients to the slowc-ooker insert and set in slow-cooker base. Set to cook on high heat 4-5 hours, or low 8 hours.
- When cooking time is done, if desired you can mash some of the beans with a potato masher to thicken it up slightly. Depends on how thick you like your chili. Serve with your favourite toppings.
Use sweet potato if you don't have a butternut squash for this chili. For the whisky, you could add apple juice or water if you want to avoid the alcohol.