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  • Writer's pictureKtking511

Veggie Packed Chili

We had a beautiful October here in Rhode Island, until this week. It’s been cold and rainy for days; the only positive side to all the gloom, are the comfort meals for dinner. I had a craving for chili, which is the perfect vessel to hide all kinds of veggies in! This is definitely a labor of love, and is best when it gets to simmer on the stove for a while.


· 1 whole Butternut Squash – Peirce the skin with a sharp knife

· 6 Red , yellow , orange bell Peppers

· 2 Heads of Garlic – ends cut off

· 6 whole additional cloves of Garlic

· 1 pint Grape Tomatoes

· 1 small Vadalia Onion Chopped

· 6 small or 3 large Carrots – Grated

· 2 Apples – Grated

· Cumin

· TJ’s Taco Seasoning

· Smoked Paprika

· Cinnamon

· Ginger

· ½ small can of Tomato Paste

· 1 Tbls Apple Cider Vinegar

· 1 lb Ground Beef ((You could use turkey, or omit this entirely. I could go for a hearty veggie chili – but I added the beef for the hubs))

· 1 ½ Qts of Homemade Broth ((Or Store-Bought Stock)

· 1 jar of your favorite Salsa – I used Trader Joe’s; super mild

· 2 cans of your favorite beans-drained; I used red kidney and pinto because that’s what I grabbed first

((There is tomato sauce in this picture, I didn’t end up adding it- because the chili was thick enough))


· Turn oven up to 425

· Add Butternut Squash to lined pan

· Roast until fork tender, about an hour

· Drizzle lined sheet pan with olive oil; add 5 of the bell peppers with the garlic - facing cut side down (So the exposed garlic is on the pan)

· Roast 30 minutes, rotating the peppers so all sides are evenly scorched

· In a small baking dish add tomatoes and six whole cloves of garlic sprinkle with Cumin & Taco seasoning

· While your veggies roast, grab a big pot ((I wish I went bigger! I didn’t mean to make such a large batch – happens with soup every time!)) Drizzle with olive oil - add chopped vedalia onion, and carrots. Sauté until translucent

· Add apples, cook down

· Season with 1 Tbl Cumin, 1 Tbl Taco Seasoning, 1 tsp of each - cinnamon, ginger & paprika – cook until becoming fragrant

· Remove from pan and wipe out

· Add a swirl of olive oil back to the pan over med-high heat and add your ground beef

· Brown the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon ((Or potato masher))

· Add ½ TBL of Cumin & Taco Seasoning and ½ tsp of each cinnamon, ginger, paprika, black pepper – cooking down until the meat is cooked down and the spices are fragrant.

· Add Tomato paste – “waking it up” in the oils and spices from the meat

· Add Cider Vinegar, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pan

· Add the sauteed veggies back to the pan along with the drained beans, can of salsa, and stock. Bring to a boil, and then simmer. The longer it sits, the better it tastes- but if you are in a rush – cook down at least 30 minutes

· While your soup is cooking your roasted veggies should become cool enough to handle.

· Either add to a bowl and blend with an immersion blender or add to blender

· Peel the skins off of your peppers – ((Do this more efficiently by adding hot peppers to a bowl and wrapping it with saran wrap – they will become easy to remove))

· Squeeze the roasted garlic out of their wrappers, grab the dish of tomatoes and blend – I pulse slowly and don’t need to add any liquid.

· Add the blended peppers, garlic & tomatoes to your pot of chili

· Cut your cooked butternut squash in half remove skin & seeds, add to a bowl and mash

· Add mashed butternut to your soup

· Now simmer, again the longer it sits, the better it will taste

· Cook at least 30 minutes until soup has combined. Taste to season – I like a mild chili, add more spice to heat things up!

I added a heaping scoop of cooked Quinoa to my chili to make it extra hearty!

Also made a delightful Oat-flour Corn Bread with Honey Butter to accompany this delicious meal! Which I am thinking of breaking up and roasting as corn bread croutons for a rollover meal....yum!

What’s your favorite cozy comfort food?!

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