Ahh, christmas. It’s right around the corner. How many of you are excited? How many of you are ready??
That is not me at all. Let me tell you a little bit about my relationship with christmas- we normally dont get along. I like christmas the week of Christmas but i spend the weeks leading up to it resembling Grouchy Cat:
I think we’re twins. LOL
BUT this year was different. I had a mission! I was going to make all my Christmas gifts by hand which means 1. No/minimal mall craziness. Thank gosh! 2. getting to try all the fun projects I’ve pinned on pinterest. Super exciting! and 3. All this Christmas project-ing would help me get into the holiday spirit!
Yeah well, I’m here typing this blog on my smart phone, at 1 am, in the dark, under my comforter because I forgot there would be a 4th component to handmade gifts- finding time to make it all! I’m just a wee bit behind on my to do list…and by a wee bit, I mean I don’t have one single project completed. And I just can’t sleep thinking of all the things I need to do! And all the work things i need to do! And my social life that needs fixing. Eek!
On the plus side, I managed to find some time to make some food- finally. A girl can’t make Christmas cards til 1am on an empty stomach! Or in this case, watch the Monday Night game without something hearty!
Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado
minorly tweaked from Cookie and Kate
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped (or equivalent jarred roasted red peppers)
- 1 small butternut squash (less than 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and chopped into small cubes
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ground sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2+ tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo* (I used 1 of the chipotle peppers in the can which was about 3/4 TBS)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 14-ounces canned fire roasted diced tomatoes, including the liquid
- 2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 2 cups finely chopped kale (optional)
- 2 Avocados from Mexico, diced
- cilantro (optional, for garnish)
- Field Roast Chipotle vegan sausage (optional)
- 3 tortillas, flour or corn (I used flour because it’s what I had)
- In a 4 to 6 quart Dutch oven or stockpot, sautée the chopped vegetables (onion, bell pepper, butternut squash, garlic) in one to two tablespoons of coconut oil on medium-high heat. Stir the ingredients every few minutes so they can cook evenly.
- Once the onions start turning translucent, turn the heat down to medium-low. Add all of the spices (salt, chili powder, cumin, chipotle, bay leaf and cinnamon) and stir, cooking one or 2 more minutes until fragrant. Add all the canned ingredients (tomatoes, black beans, broth, tomato paste). Cover for about one hour, stirring occasionally. After 40 minutes, stir in the chopped kale if you are using it. After 1 hour, taste test for spice level and add more chipotle if desired.
- By the time your chili is done, the butternut squash should be nice and tender and the liquid should have reduced a bit, producing the hearty chili consistency
- To make the crispy tortilla strips: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tortillas into thin little strips, about 2 inches long and place on a non-greased cookie sheet. Brush the strips with some oil ( I ran out of olive oil so half had coconut oil and you couldn’t tell the difference). Sprinkle with salt, spritz with a lime (optional) and toss. Spread into a single sheet with minimal over lapping. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the strips are crispy and turning golden, flipping the strips over once at the half way mark.
- Serve the chili in individual bowls, topped with crispy tortilla strips and plenty of diced avocado. I sauteed up some Field Roast Chipotle vegan sausage and served on top of the chili as well and it was delicious. You don’t want to cook the vegan sausage in with the chili cause it will get super soggy and lose it’s flavorings.