Kitchen Creations

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chasing the "chill" away

This past fall I scoured recipe sites for a squash stew of sorts in order to use up an ENORMOUS squash given to us by our friends, the Weavers.  I had an idea of the flavors I wanted to combine and since none of the recipes fulfilled all of them, I decided to take some basic ideas and trek out on my own.  I was amazingly happy with the result and tried it out on my mom when I visited for my dad's surgery this past November.  She became its biggest fan and she doesn't even like sweet potatoes!  It's packed with good vitamins and protein.  The protein in my recipe comes from the beans and quinoa.  I didn't add meat, but some roasted chicken could easily be added and would taste great in this "chili/stew".   You can combine it with a nice cornbread or a crusty loaf of french bread and a green salad, to have the perfect soul-warming winter meal.

Chase away some winter chill with this delightful meal!

Squash-Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili

4 medium sweet potatoes (you can use any variety - yellow or orange)
1 medium squash (butternut is one of the best for this - any squash with a nice "meaty" center, not stringy)
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper 
1 large sweet onion, chopped 
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle pepper, minced (These little guys are spicy so for reduced spice, remove seeds or substitute 4 Tbsp. of the "sauce" in the can)
3 cups cooked (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed) black beans or pinto beans
1 cup fresh or frozen corn (optional - I no longer add this because my oldest has decided he's not a fan of corn unless it's on the cob)
1 20-28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 package of your favorite chili spice mixture - or the equivalent of your own chili spice mixture
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup of uncooked quinoa 

  •  Peel squash and sweet potatoes and cut into cubes.  Toss cubes with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and salt and pepper (about 1 tsp. each) and put into a 9X13 baking pan.  Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes (until the squash and potatoes start to turn golden).  ****Side note, this alone makes an amazing side dish by just adding about 1/2 tsp. of sage!

  • While squash and sweet potatoes are baking, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil and add chopped onion and garlic, saute for 1-2 minutes.  Next add  the chipotle chili, beans, corn, chili spice mix and cooked squash & sweet potatoes.  Stir well. 

  •  Now add crushed tomotoes and broth.  Let mixture come to boil.
  • Add uncooked quinoa and stir well.  Let chili cook on medium for another 30 minutes to ensure quinoa is cooked through.  

Click here for printable recipe  

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