Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gluten Free Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili Recipe

Gluten free black bean and butternut squash chili is a welcome change for fall. I've been ready to cook fall squashes for several weeks now and I'm finally getting the chance. It's still hot here in Eastern NC, but I've already transitioned to fall foods. Apples, pumpkin, fall greens like kale, and squash are abundant right now and they are the foods I really want. The great thing about seasonal eating is that our bodies become accustomed to the foods that are (or should be) available locally. Right now I want apples. I want the taste of squash. I want filling soups and stews. By early March I'll be more than tired of them and ready for spring foods... but right now... it's time for hearty beans, lentils, and squashes.

We're still receiving incredibly fresh produce from our CSA. Last week I received a butternut squash and an acorn squash in the box (along with many other things). This week I received the first pumpkin of the year. I was almost teary-eyed at seeing the bright orange peeking through the box. Right now I'm enjoying the mere site of that perfect pumpkin... but in a few weeks it will become our first pie for the season!

I wasn't feeling well last week so I decided to make a hearty, healthy stew. I found a recipe for a vegetarian black bean and butternut squash stew and made a few changes to make the stew with what I had on hand.

Hearty butternut squash, healthy black beans and tomatoes, spicy cumin and chili powder, with the soft crunch of kale at the end of each bite. We ate this stew for two meals and then had it for lunch 3 days last week. Honestly I don't often repeat recipes (it can be hard to do that when you're constantly trying to create new recipes) but this is a fall stew we'll be making often. It's vegetarian but you will never miss the meat. Try this for a filling lunch or a hearty dinner.

This recipe is being featured on the gluten free recipe carnival: "Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free." This month is being hosted by Ali of Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen and the theme is: Packing a Healthy Lunch.

Gluten Free Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili
free of gluten, dairy/casein, soy, and corn
adapted from this recipe by carrie forbes of
printer-friendly recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons gluten free chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 1/2 cups butternut squash, cooked & cubed
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2-4 cups vegetable broth (depending on how thick or thin you like your stew/soup)
1 (14 oz.) can petit diced tomatoes in juice
2-3 cups fresh kale, washed, patted dry, and cut or torn into bite size pieces
1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a large dutch oven heat olive oil. Saute onions and garlic until soft. Add chili powder and cumin and cook for 1-2 minutes to release the aroma of the spices. Add butternut squash, black beans, and can of tomatoes. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth. If you want the chili a bit more thin, add additional vegetable broth. Cook on low heat for 30-40 minutes. About 10 minutes before serving add the fresh kale. After simmering for 6-8 minutes the kale will be a beautiful bright green. Taste the chili. Add salt if needed, along with freshly ground pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowl into bowls and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with fresh gluten free bread.

Carrie's Notes: 
  • This chili would work really well in a slow cooker. Simply saute the garlic and onions, and then add all ingredients (except kale) to your slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours and high for 2-3 hours. Add the kale, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker about 10 minutes before serving. 
  • We don't use a lot of salt in our cooking for health reasons. If you need more, feel free to add it! I've learned that if you add salt at the end of the cooking process you'll be less likely to oversalt your food. 
  • Any type of cooked, cubed squash would work well in this chili.
  • I actually used a beef broth in this chili because it's what I had on hand at the time. It made a delicious stew. 
  • After reviewing this post for me, my husband said, "You used butternut squash in the chili? I thought it was cubed sweet potatoes!"  So feel free to substitute cooked, cubed sweet potatoes in place of the squash.

This post is part of a monthly roundup of gluten free recipes called "Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free." The theme for this month is healthy lunches. Ali of Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen is the host for September 2010. Make sure to stop by her blog this month to see the awesome roundup of healthy gluten free lunches, especially for kids!
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