Monday, February 8, 2016

Toddler Friendly Vegan Butternut Squash Chili

Meatless Monday

Toddler Friendly Vegan Butternut Squash Chili

Since yesterday was Superbowl Sunday, I felt it appropriate to make some chili.  I know the title is bit wordy, but I wanted to reflect that this chili is toddler friendly unlike my normal 5 alarm chili.  While my child likes spicy food, I felt it necessary to tone this down.  Additionally, since toddlers have sodium restrictions, I made this without salt and added it to our dishes individually.  Frankly, I think my little one preferred the natural sweetness of the chili as is.  She had two ladlefuls along with a piece of pumpkin cornbread after eating a clementine and some frozen peas.

Last fall, I started adding butternut squash to chili because I wanted to add more veggies to my chili and felt the texture somewhat simulates ground beef.  Even DB who is definitely a meat eater loved the chili.

You could easily make this with just one type of beans instead of 5, but I prefer the differences in the size and colors of the beans.

1 butternut squash
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can light red kidney beans
1 can white kidney beans (cannelli beans)
1 can small red beans
1 can pinto beans
1 green pepper
1 white onion
3 cups tomato juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
olive oil
salt to taste
optional: 1 bag of vegan meat crumbles

1. Prep the squash for peeling by cutting the ends of the squash then poking holes in the squash all over with a fork.  Place the squash in the microwave for 3 1/2 minutes.  Once the squash cools, you will be able to peel the squash much more easily.

2. Once you've peeled the squash, remove the seeds, and cut the squash into 1 inch cubes.

3. Roast the squash on a parchment lined pan for 25-30 mins until golden.

4. While the squash is roasting, dice the onion and pepper.

5.  Place enough olive oil in the bottom of a pot to coat it.

6. Saute the diced onions, peppers, and minced garlic.

7. Drain and rinse all of the beans.  I prefer to do this in a colander.

4. Add the beans, tomatoes, spices, and meat crumbles if you are using them to the pot.

5. Puree the squash with as much tomato juice as is necessary to allow for a thorough puree.

6. Add the puree and any remaining juice to the pot.

7. Bring the chili to a boil, and then, turn it down to low to simmer for about 20-30 minutes. 
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