Delicata Squash Chili–slow cooker

So we’re coming up on the last weekend of summer. What a fantastic summer it has been-full of outdoor fun, friends, family and baseball.

But I’m ready for fall. It’s such a gorgeous time of year-the colors of the trees, the crisp blue or gloomy grey skies, fall festivals and I can finally pull my boots out again. I miss them all summer.

Even though there’s still summer left last Saturday started cold and rainy. So naturally chili came to mind immediately. The result of pulling different items from my pantry was delicious! Just enough heat, different tastes and textures and it’s very very very good for you.

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If you’re not familiar with Delicata squash it’s shaped like a giant pickle and is green and white striped. You can eat the skins but I prefer to remove them for this recipe. The taste is similar to acorn squash-perhaps a touch sweeter. They’re much easier to cut and peel than butternut or acorn squashes. Here’s a photo of the cap of the squash and the diced pieces. I forgot to take a photo of the complete squash but you get the idea 🙂
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Delicata Squash Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 4 cups (about 2) delicata squash, peeled, seeded and cubed to 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 16oz can low sodium black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 16oz can low sodium red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 20 oz can fire roasted tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
  • 8ozs frozen corn or canned corn rinsed and drained
  • 4ozs green chilis
  • 1 & 1/2 cups fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • fat free feta cheese for garnish
  • sliced avocado for garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a shallow pan over medium high heat melt the coconut oil. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, to soften.  Add garlic and stir to cook. Add spices and cook for 1 minute to coat and heat.
  2. Place the onion mixture and all ingredients above through and including the chicken broth, into the bowl of the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour then low for 4 hours.
  3. Spoon into bowls and garnish with feta and avocado and serve.

Makes: 12 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Reheats and freezes beautifully.

To make vegetarian swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth.

 

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Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is a hug in a bowl.  It’s one of those warm comforting soups that make you feel better when you have a cold or just warm you up on a chilly evening. It’s nothing crazy or a new spin on what’s always been a great soup-it’s just a really really darn good soup. It’s so easy to make and took about 1 hour start to finish-including prep.  Since 30 minutes of that time is the soup just simmering unattended it’s certainly week-night friendly. I have a feeling that this will be put into regular rotation at my house.  It stores and reheats beautifully. 

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Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1&1/2lb  butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 3/4 cup chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 2&1/2 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream plus a little extra for the pretty swirls
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • sliced scallions or crumbled bacon or anything else you’d like for a bit on top

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the squash and onion and saute for about 10 minutes, then add the carrot and continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and leave for 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the cream and salt.
  2. Place the contents into a blender (work in batches if you need to). Be sure to remove the center of the lid and just use a kitchen cloth to allow the steam out of the blender.  Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve with a little extra cream swirled in and some sliced scallions.

Adapted from Cooking Light, Sept 2009 issue.