Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili

"Football is not a game but a religion, a metaphysical island of fundamental truth in a highly verbalized, disguised society, a throwback of 30,000 generations of anthropological time."

- Arnold Mandel

When I watch a sporting event, more often than not, I feel bad for the losing team. My heart goes out to them. There is a good reason for this: I'm a Seattle Sports Fan, and we are usually that team. It's a small price to pay for living in the beautiful northwest!

The good news about being a fan of a losing team, is that there is everything to hope for, nothing to fear, and the victories are so much sweeter. It also means that if you invest a good portion of a Saturday and/or Sunday being a superstar spectator, and your team loses, you feel a little cheated out of your weekend. But you know what?  It still beats raking leaves and cleaning the gutters!

Football season offers me a great opportunity to get some exciting cooking done. I've got a tv in the kitchen, the game is on, and I can spend three hours cheering on the Seahawks or Huskies while going for my own kitchen warrier victory. It's cold out, the leaves
have turned color, and it just feels like the perfect day to make...... chili.

Lately, I've had an obsession with two things: butternut squash, and my new Kitchenaid Architect series 12 cup food processor. If I can make a dish utilizing these two things, game on. Now I've made chili 10 ways from Sunday, and there are as many recipes out there as there are disheartened, but loyal, Seahawks fans. (If you've ever been to a sold out game at Qwest Field, you get the picture).

But today, I have chosen, Vegetarian Chili. This recipe is hearty, healthy, and would be a good introduction to butternut squash if you, or someone you are preparing this for, has never had it.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups diced yellow onions
  • 3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 large or 2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 zucchini diced (1/2-inch)
  • 3 cups butternut squash, chopped into small chunks (I use 2 packages of the pre-cut butternut squash from Trader Joe's)
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Grated sharp Cheddar Cheese, for serving
  • Chopped green onions, for serving
  • Chopped fresh roma tomatoes, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and saute the onion, red and yellow bell peppers until soft and lightly caramelized, about 6 minutes.
Add the two tablespoons of flour, and cook a few minutes longer. Add the jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the beans and continue to cook at a simmer until the flavors come together, 30 to 40 minutes longer.

While the chili is simmering, toss the zucchini and butternut squash with the remaining oil and the remaining salt and place on a large baking sheet. Roast in a 400 degree until caramelized around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set the zucchini and squash aside to cool while the chili is simmering.
Once the chili has simmered for about 40 minutes, add the zucchini, and butternut squash and cook for 30 minutes longer. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Serve the chili hot, with bowls of the sour cream, cheddar, green onions, and tomatoes for guests to garnish their bowls, as desired.

On the side: Prepare a box of cornbread according to package directions, and then add a small can of diced green chiles, and 1 cup of grated, sharp cheddar cheese, then bake as directed.

"Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili."
Last words of Kit Carson, American frontiersman (1809-1868)


  1. Oh wow Laurie, I can't wait to try. I love squash but I never have any idea how to really use it in recipes!

  2. My next questions are, "Who does the grocery shopping?", "How often to you go?", "Do you plan your menu for the week in advance?"

  3. Thanks Sasch! I think you will love it. I am obsessed with roasted butternut squash. I do the shopping, and I go on Sundays and plan for about 4 dinners in advance. Then I will go to the store once during the week usually to get what I need that I either forgot, or that will be needed for the other dinners. What about you?


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