Monday, January 31, 2011

Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Bulgur

Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Bulgur

Since I've been eating such meat-heavy meals when I go out, the recipes I've been leaning on lately for day to day cooking are mostly vegetarian. The first thing I look for in vegetarian or vegan meals is heartiness so that you're not feeling like you want more immediately after you've just eaten. This recipe helps keep you full for a long time after you've eaten which is great for curbing cravings for not so healthy food. I just came across this recipe last week and knew I had to make it immediately. I have been making a lot of turkey black bean chili for my work lunches and knew this would be a great meat-free alternative. I had quite a few firsts with this recipe. It was my first time cooking with dried beans and my first time cooking with bulgur. It could not have been simpler and clean up is minimal. Plus, with the long cooking time, I was able to get a lot done in the interim...ie, cleaning my bathroom and doing three loads of laundry. The chili base is vegan and can be done ahead of time. As with most chili recipes, it only gets better with time and the flavors intensify. The toppings are not necessary, but greatly enhance the eating experience. For example, if you add sour cream, you get the cool creaminess with the bite of the beans, heat from the chili, and sweetness of the squash. This is definitely a recipe I will be making often and perhaps next time I will play with the flavors, but for now, it is perfect the way it is.


Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Bulgur
(Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2011)

Makes 4-5 servings

2 1/4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 14-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes and their juices
8 ounces dried black beans, rinsed
1 canned chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Coarse kosher salt
1 1-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup quick cooking bulgur

Sour cream
Shredded cheese
Diced red onion
Chopped fresh cilantro
Pickled jalapeno rings

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and slightly brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chili powder and coriander and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, chipotle, and oregano. Add 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer over low heat and cover, with the lid slightly ajar. Cook for 2 to 3 hours or until the beans are tender.Season to taste with salt

Stir in the squash and bulgur. Cook, uncovered, over low heat until the squash is tender and the bulgur is cooked through. Season again with salt as needed. Top with sour cream, cheese, pickled jalapenos, red onions, and cilantro as desired.

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13 comments:

Erica said...

YUM! I cooked with dried beans when I have the time (or remember to do the soak & long cook). Chilis are always delicious. And butternut squash is a fun add in. Hope you are having a nice week so far:)

Joanne said...

I've been doing a TON of meat free eating lately because it makes me feel so much more virtuous and allows me to eat MORE with fewer calories. This sounds fantastic! Can't wait to make it.

vanillasugar said...

that adobo will clean out your sinuses too. lol been eating a lot of that lately--hot lil suckers.

Diana said...

I love anything butternut squash so I think this one needs to happen asap! I too need to lose my dried bean and bulgar virginity!

Amanda said...

You blow my mind with your creativity... I could never in all my life have conceived such a fantastic dish! Well done!

Shannon said...

fabulous combination here with the butternut squash, black beans and chipotle! yummy :)

susan said...

esi, i love your flavor combos! any left overs???? x

kellypea said...

We've been eating quite a bit of butternut squash lately and I do like it in chili. The last time I put it in chili, there was also humongous chunks of beef in it though! This version sounds delish :). I can see why you'd make it a lunch staple.

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

yes! i actually had just decided to try and use everything in my pantry that i used only once and now sits there and i kept thinking well what else can i make with bulgar than tabouleh and here it is! you're my hero :)

The Duo Dishes said...

Super hearty. The spice of the jalapenos is great too. That tingle is the fun part.

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

I love hearty vegetarian meals. The reason why I eat so much meat is because I never feel like veggies feel me up enough. Thanks for sharing this recipe

mangocheeks said...

Wonderful combination, one of my favourites in fact. I liek black beans, butternut squash and chipotle. Yum.

Kevin said...

What a tasty looking and healthy chili!