Winter Treat – Butternut Squash Chili

by Anouk Booneman

The Groundhog has spoken again. We have about six weeks of winter left. I have been in Upstate New York long enough to predict that there will be a lot of shoveling left in the near future. I also predict that I will make a lot of soups, stews and chilis as well. They are easy to make, nutritious and deeply satisfying. Make a big batch on the weekends and enjoy them during the week. The following recipe is from the Minimalist Baker, one of my favorite blogs. The chili can be frozen. I made the dish using Burlap & Barell spices. In the last year, these have been one of my favorite spices and are slowly taking over my space drawers. They import directly from small independent farmers around the world. Their chili spices are outstanding. I particularly like their cumin. It has to be ground though, and I have a designated coffee grinder for that purpose. Old El Paso sells soft tortilla bowls (I bought mine at Market 32). They make a very appealing presentation for your chili (or other food). 

Butternut Squash Chili (Adapted from the minimalist baker)

  • 2 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil (sub water if avoiding oil)
  • 1 small white or yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 jalapeño (minced // remove seeds for less heat)
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups diced butternut squash
  • 3 Tbsp chili powder of your choice
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin 
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 15- ounce cans fire-roasted (or regular) diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (always make your own, its as simple as simmering water , carrots, onions, celery and garlic for 45 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 15- ounce can kidney beans (slightly drained)
  • 1 15- ounce can black beans (slightly drained)
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 1 small chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (for heat) (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped kale (or other sturdy green) (optional)


  • Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (or water), onion, and jalapeño pepper. Season with a healthy pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add garlic and sauté (stirring occasionally) for 2-3 minutes more, or until onion, pepper, and garlic are softened and slightly browned.
  • Add butternut squash, 2/3 of the chili powder , half the cumin , smoked paprika and stir to coat. Cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetable broth and stir to combine. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once boiling, add quinoa and reduce heat to medium-low or low, so it’s at a gentle simmer. You want to see bubbles, but you don’t want it boiling. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until quinoa is mostly tender. As it’s cooking you may need to add more vegetable broth or water if it’s looking too dry and the quinoa isn’t submerged
  • Next add kidney beans, black beans, 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, and remaining cumin (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written) and chili powder (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written), coconut sugar, and stir to combine. If adding the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (optional), add now.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat slightly to low (or medium-low), cover, and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes to meld the flavors together. Stir occasionally.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more chili powder or cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, or a little coconut sugar to balance the heat and draw out the other flavors.
  • Add kale (optional), cover, and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Serve as is, or garnished with lime, tortilla fresh jalapeño, cilantro, red onion, and/or avocado, or sour cream if you want.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 5-6 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.


Anouk Booneman, co-founder of Spring Into Health, was a baker at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies before moving to Clifton Park, NY. She believes that Industrialized eating has created major health crises all over the world and that food can be the strongest medicine. Real Cooking (not reheating or microwaving) with real food (mostly plants) will make people happier and healthier. She is the mother of a teenage son who eats most of her cooking. She wishes that she had the willpower to exercise five days a week.

Spring Into Health with Anouk and Danielle Maslowsky offer cooking classes that promote cooking with real, well grown, unprocessed foods. Their next class ison Vaentine’s Day.

Click here for Facebook Account. In addition they have been doing fun yoga walks this winter followed by a brunch. Check it out.

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