Making a big pot of chili on a cold day is just perfect. When I’m cold, I definitely don’t crave salads. I want something warm, healthy and satisfying. It’s even better when I can use seasonal winter vegetables!
We made some chili on Sunday, and added some winter flavors by using butternut squash and all-natural, nitrite-free turkey/chicken sausages.
Squash, including butternut squash, is in season in Ontario until March, so this is a great time to experiment. It’s a bit of pain to peel and cut, but it’s worth it. It has a creamy, sweet flavor and is so good for you, providing beta-carotene, vitamins and minerals. You get all that for only 82 calories per cup.
It’s also really versatile. You can roast it for a simple side-dish, add it to pasta, stir-fries, chili or stew! I even came across a recipe the other day for which it was used in muffins!
Changing your diet with the seasons is a great way to plan your meals. Not only will you save money, but eating seasonally usually coincides with what our bodies crave during those seasons. Think about all the fruit and crunchy veggies that are in season in the summer when it’s hot, and we crave raw, cooling foods. In the fall and winter when it’s cold, the squash and root veggies available are usually the ones that are cooked and served warm. Eat seasonally, and try this winter twist on chili!
Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
3 turkey/chicken sausages (all-natural, nitrite-free)
1 medium yellow onion diced
4 stalks celery diced
1 butternut squash peeled & diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 bell pepper diced
1 can organic diced tomatoes
1 can organic black beans
1 can organic kidney beans
1 can organic chick peas
4 cups organic vegetable stock (cubes)
2 tbsp chili powder
4 tsp cumin
½ tbsp of raw sugar
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp Sea Salt
Fresh ground pepper
Diced avocado (optional)
Chop onion, celery, butternut squash & red pepper.
Remove sausage meat from casings.
In a large pot, heat oil on medium-high, and brown the sausage for about 10 minutes.
Make vegetable stock mixture.
Add chopped onion and celery, and sauté for five minutes with the sausage.
Add butternut squash, red pepper, garlic, half the spices and 2 cups of stock. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover and cook for 12 to15 minutes.
Drain and rinse beans.
Add diced tomatoes, beans, and the rest of the vegetable stock and spices, sugar and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low, and let simmer for 10 to15 minutes or until squash is cooked through.
Serve in bowls, top with diced avocado and enjoy!