Butternut Squash Chili

I love Chili and all things beans, but sometimes they don’t love me.  And beans never love my teenage son.

With butternut squash we can have a nice thick beanless chili without spending a fortune on extra meat. Originally I planned to cut the squash into bite sized squares for a nice texture similar to beans.  Then I remembered my kids aren’t big fans of squash…yet.   I have all sorts of secret plans to turn them into squash fans, mmmmmwwwwahahahahahaha.  It’s a work in progress.

I sauteed the squash in a skillet with a little coconut oil and chopped onion, then pureed it in a blender with a can of broth.  When I stirred it into the crushed tomatoes, the squash and onion disappeared.  Chili powder’s dark color made the camouflage complete.  You could totally save a step and use canned pumpkin puree instead.

Butternut quash’s mildly sweet flavor complements the spicy seasonings perfectly.  The kids gobbled this up.  It’s a hearty, comforting autumn meal that is lower carb and won’t cause bloating or other gastric distress.

Butternut Chili Con Carne

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 onion, diced

1 can, 15 oz beef or chicken broth  (or 2 cups homemade, cool in temperature)

2 lbs ground beef or turkey, browned and drained

1 can, 28 oz crushed tomatoes

3 Tbs chili powder

1 Tbs cumin

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

Saute squash with onion in a little bit of coconut oil until fork tender, about 15 minutes.  Add to a blender or food processor with broth.  Puree.  (You can leave it whole if you like the texture.)  Combine everything in a stock pot and warm through.  The longer it simmers the better the flavors will meld.  This can be stirred together in the morning and held in a slow cooker on low until dinner.

Topping ideas: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped chives, chopped tomatoes, olives, crushed tortilla chips, oyster crackers….

1/8th of the recipe prepared with 93% lean ground beef = 318 calories, 9g fat, 19 net carbs, and 34 grams of protein

This is day 11 of 31 Days of Pumpkin Recipes

1 Pumpkin spice mix

2 Homemade pumpkin puree

3 Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

4 Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

5 Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

6 Pumpkin Bagels

7 Butternut Chicken Stew

8 Healthy Pumpkin Pecan Scones

9 Pumpkin Waffles

10 Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

11 Butternut Squash Chili

12 Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

13 Pumpkin Muffin/Drop Cookie Mix

14 Easy Pumpkin Cake

15 Pumpkin Dump Cake

16 Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

17 Pumpkin Mousse

18 Pumpkin Cheesecake

19 Pumpkin Latte

20 Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

21 Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

22 Pumpkin Biscuits

23 Maple Pumpkin Butter

24 Stuffed Sugar Baby Pumpkins

25 Pumpkin Pancakes

26 Pumpkin English Muffins

27 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

28 Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

29 Pumpkin Biscotti

30 Pumpkin Caramel Monkey Bread

31 Impossible Pumpkin Pie

Southwest Butternut Chicken Stew

A few years ago I was searching for butternut squash recipes and found a beautiful picture of a chicken stew.  I clicked over to read the recipe and was immediately disappointed.  The black bits in the stew were olives, and I’m not a fan.  The black color was part of what made the dish so beautiful, so I wrote up the recipe I was hoping to find.  Then I threw it in the crock pot and fed it to guests, because I live dangerously like that. It was delicious.  The slightly sweet flavor from the butternut contrasted perfectly with the spicy southwest flavors.

Did you know that Butternut squash and pumpkin are in the same family?  If you’d like a homemade dark orange, thick sweet puree for your pumpkin recipes, consider subbing butternut instead.  There has been a rumor going around that canned pumpkin is really butternut squash…but after some research I’ve found that to be false.   And also learned about a new strain of pumpkin that is destined to be in my garden next year.   If you have one of these KING of eating pumpkins, you may use that instead in this recipe.

Southwest Butternut Chicken Stew

1 1/2 lbs Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed

4 cups chicken broth

1 lb boneless chicken

1 onion, chopped

1 can, 15 oz black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can, 10 oz Rotel tomatoes, undrained

1 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 cup, dry quinoa, rinsed

1/4 cup Cilantro

1/4 cup Sour Cream

In a slow cooker, combine everything except the quinoa and cilantro.  Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6.  Pull out chicken and chop or shred, then return to the pan. Stir in quinoa and cook for 30 minutes longer.  Garnish with fresh cilantro  and sour cream just before serving.  Serve with tortilla chips or Fritos.

Butternut Squash is fairly easy to work with.  It’s easier to cut through than the some of the tougher squashes.  I just trimmed off the ends, then scooped the seeds out of the bowl.  I love this squash so much, I saved and dried my seeds to try in the garden this spring.

A vegetable peeler works great for removing the skin.  You’ll just need to make more than one pass.

If you still see streaks of green on your squash, there’s still skin there.  Keep using the peeler to remove layers until it’s just orange.  Then you can cut it into cubes.

This is day 7 of 31 Days of Pumpkin Recipes

1 Pumpkin spice mix

2 Homemade pumpkin puree

3 Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

4 Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

5 Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

6 Pumpkin Bagels

7 Butternut Chicken Stew

8 Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

9 Healthy Pumpkin Pecan Scones

10 Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

11 Pumpkin Muffin/Drop Cookie Mix

12 Easy Pumpkin Cake

13 Pumpkin Dump Cake

14 Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

15 Pumpkin Mousse

16 Pumpkin Cheesecake

17 Pumpkin Latte

18 Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

19 Pumpkin Chili

20 Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

21 Pumpkin Biscuits

22 Maple Pumpkin Butter

23 Stuffed Sugar Baby Pumpkins

24 Pumpkin Pancakes

25 Pumpkin Waffles

26 Pumpkin English Muffins

27 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

28 Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

29 Pumpkin Biscotti

30 Pumpkin Caramel Monkey Bread

31 Impossible Pumpkin Pie



Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

One of the lowest cost food categories is soup.  Soup is mostly water but still filling and comforting.  I love that soup is a meal in one, saving prep time and money on side dishes.  I usually add a hearty bread for the men, but skip it myself to stay on track with my fitness plan.

Recently the weather has turned super cold and white, so we’ve been enjoying night after night of various soups.  Is there a limit on how many days in a row one can serve soup?  I don’t think so–that would be like saying there was a limit on the number of days in a row you could eat pizza.  Crazy.

I posted this photo on instagram and got a couple of requests for the recipe.  My husband’s sisters made this soup for the family when they were growing up and the first time I tasted it, I begged the recipe from them.  It’s the perfect thing for a crowd or when someone isn’t feeling well.  Full of rich bone broth, it’s soothing and healing.  When someone is suffering and I feel powerless to help, I make soup!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

1 whole roasting chicken (4-5 lbs)

12 cups water

5 tsp mineral sea salt (you can use less, but we go for 1 tsp per quart of food/liquid)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp fresh black pepper

6 carrots, peeled and sliced

4 stalks of celery, chopped

1 onion chopped (I had red on hand, but any kind will work)

Combine everything in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for about an hour or until the chicken is falling apart.  If your chicken was frozen, allow 2.5-3 hours to cook.

Remove chicken and bones to a bowl to cool enough to touch. Skim any foam off the top of the broth and discard.

Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove vegetables to a second bowl.

Remove meat from bones and chop.  Store meat with the vegetables in the bowl.

Keep a bowl of water close for re-wetting your hands as you work with the noodle dough.  This will keep it from sticking.

For noodles combine:

2 cups of unbleached flour

1 tsp salt

2 tsp olive oil

2 eggs

4 Tbs water

Knead everything with damp hands then roll out 1/4 inch thick.  Dough should be dry and barely hold together. Cut with a pizza cutter into strips about 3/8 inch wide and 2-3 inches long.  Bring the chicken broth to a full rolling boil and drop the noodles in.  Separate with a spoon when they first go in.  Boil for 15 minutes then turn off the heat.  Return vegetables and chicken back to the soup and sprinkle the top with dried parsley.  Don’t skimp on the parsley–it makes it so pretty and appetizing.




Creamy Southwest Soup: A slow cooked masterpiece

I ♥ pinterest.  From homemade Valentines, to kitchen remodel, to new healthy recipes–the inspiration is all there.  Tonight’s dinner is no exception.

Mondays and Wednesdays I play Mama Taxi and arrive home at dinner time.  By then blood sugars are low and tempers are high, so using the Slow Cooker is a must.

The original recipe for this dish came from Jenna at Held Scraptive.  I modified it to fit my pantry stash and to enlarge it for our family.

Creamy Southwest Soup

2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 can tomates and green chilies, undrained

2 cans whole kernel corn, undrained

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (we used 2 cups of black beans cooked from dry)

1 brick, 8 oz,  1/3 less fat cream cheese

1 envelope ranch dressing mix (I had some of JPs Bacon Ranch Mix that was a gift that I used, but next time I’ll use a homemade ranch mix recipe.)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic salt

1/4 cup cilantro chopped

1 cup brown rice, cooked (we had some leftover from Sunday so I threw it in to make the soup stretch.) (I also threw in half a can of leftover enchilada sauce, just to use it up.)

In a 4-5 quart slow cooker, combine tomatoes, corn, and beans.  Place the brick of cream cheese on top, in the center away from the sides. Place chicken in a single layer over the top, sprinkle with spices.  Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours.  Turn off the heat.  Shred the chicken with two forks, and stir in the cream cheese, brown rice, and cilantro.   We served ours with cornbread muffins.

How it went over with the family:  I thought it was delicious (but I will eat anything….). It fit in well with my FYM healthy eating plan.  1 Cup has 255 calories; 22g carbs, 7g fat, and 22 g protein.  Darren said, “Wow, this has great flavor but it’s going to be spicy for the kids.”  Heidi drank 3 tall glasses of water but ate her whole bowl.  She declared it tasty but HOT.  Caleb, Heather and Brandon ate it all without a word (but I had to feed Brandon’s to him).  Dub didn’t mind the spiciness but hated the look of it, especially the tomatoes.  Darren had to feed him every bite and hid the tomatoes under stuff.  All in all for as picky as my family is, this is a recipe that I would try again.

I am just about sold on boneless skinless chicken.  It has been going on sale around here between $1-$1.39 a lb and to come home and just shred with 2 forks and eat was a huge mind reliever.  If DH was out of work, I would have used a $.69/lb whole chickens and not complain, but wowza was this easy and delicious.