Readers, get your minds out of the gutter. This isn’t that kind of blog and you know it.
When we host dinner for non-vegetarians, chili is my go-to meal. Served with some cornbread, it’s so filling that most people don’t even notice its vegetarian. Plus, it’s one of my favorite dinners; I love curling up with a bowl of chili, a blanket, and a football game. My chili “recipe” is hardly a recipe since I always just throw stuff into a pot and cross my fingers, but my favorite versions always have butternut squash, black beans, and corn. I recreated it for my non-vegetarian guests the other night, served over spaghetti squash and topped with cheddar:
Vegetarian 3-way: Butternut squash and black bean chili over spaghetti squash, makes 6-8 servings
-1 butternut squash, or about 2-3 cups pre-cut butternut squash
-4 T canola oil
-2 peppers (I used green and yellow)
-2 cans of beans (I used one can black beans, one can kidney beans)
-2 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes
-1 can tomato sauce
-2 c frozen corn kernels
-2 chili spice packets (I either use McCormick or Simply Organic)
-1 t sea salt
-1 large spaghetti squash
-shredded cheddar cheese
Let’s do this:
First thing to do is get your butternut squash cooked. This time I bought the pre-cut butternut squash, tossed it in about 2 T canola oil and roasted it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 375. (keep the oven hot because you’ll use it again for the spaghetti squash)
While that is cooking, dice the onion and green peppers. Note that onion is left out of the pictures since it doesn’t agree with one of my guests (that’s putting it politely).
When the butternut squash is almost done, get 2 T of canola oil heating at medium heat in a large pot and add the onion and green pepper. Stir often until softened, about 5 minutes.
Once the onion and pepper are soft, add just about everything to the pot: the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn kernels, cooked butternut squash, chili spice packets, and salt.
Stir and cover. Cook at medium-low heat while your spaghetti squash is cooking (that’s our next step!).
Cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place skin-side up on a cookie sheet. Add about 2-3 T water to the cookie sheet and bake at 375 for about 40-45 minutes. During this time, your chili can continue to heat. If you see it simmering, just lower the heat a touch.
When the spaghetti squash is done, you will able to pierce the skin easily with a sharp knife. Remove it from the oven and use a fork to scrape out the “spaghetti” flesh. (see this video for help!)
Add a thin layer of spaghetti squash (about a cup) to the bottom of a bowl or plate. Top with about 1-1 1/2 cups of chili. Serve with your toppings: cheese, avocado, green onion, and sour cream!