Ahhhhh, the temperature has dropped outside and the leaves have begun to glow with toasty warm autumn hues. It is almost time to tuck away summer clothes and pull all of those warm fuzzy sweaters and boots out of the back of the closet. This is my favorite time of year for camping and gathering with family and friends around a campfire that crackles and coaxes fun stories out of everyone. Do you know what else is perfect this time of year? A robust and spicy bowl of chili!
One of the dietitians I work with is in her element working cooking demonstrations for a crowd. Recently I watched curiously as she put together a vegetarian chili. I was skeptical. Not because I don’t love all those delicious vegetables but because I just don’t associate ingredients such as butternut squash and cinnamon with chili. However, as a dietitian and nutrition nerd, I am always open to trying new things. Especially combining new flavors that I’d not thought before to pair together. As my colleague worked on this chili and the aroma began to waft down the hallways, people were drawn to us like bees to honey. It smells so alluring you just can’t resist trying it! And trust me, the many who were willing to try it were pleasantly surprised. Including myself!
Nutritionally, this recipe is a rich source of vitamin A and B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine, and an excellent source of poly-phenolic antioxidants as well as a mineral profile that touts iron, zinc, copper, potassium, phosphorous and more! It is rich in dietary fiber and protein which promotes a filling of fullness. Isn’t that exactly what you expect from a comforting bowl of chili?
A few helpful tips:
- To save time search your grocery store for precut butternut squash.
- The chipotle in adobo sauce is typically found in the Mexican section of the grocery store. Don’t throw away the unused portion! It can be frozen in a small zipper bag for later use.
- This recipe works well as leftovers and may be placed in portion sized containers and stored in the freezer to bring along for lunch (so long as you have access to a microwave).
- Rinse and drain those black beans to cut back on the sodium content.
- Try adding some chopped fresh cilantro (I’m going to try this next time!).
- Top with sliced or diced fresh avocado to add color and additional nutrients, including heart healthy fats.
So get busy cooking and be prepared to attract the entire house with that delicious aroma. You may even find the neighbors at your house! Enjoy!
**recipe adapted from Cookie + kate