Let me be perfectly clear: while I understand what I should and shouldn’t eat, it doesn’t always go as planned. However, when I have time to prepare a meal, it is usually pretty darn healthy. This chili is no exception. I have made it several times, had great results and been asked for the recipe several times. This time I’ve served it over spaghetti squash. Other times have served over spinach or potatoes. So, here it is:
Dairy-free, bean-free, potato-free, pasta-and/or-rice-free, yet full-of-flavor chili.
Serves 6 (or, in my house, 2 for dinner, and 2 days worth of lunches).
3 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 large onions, diced
6 cloves of garlic, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
2 8 ounce packages of mushroom, sliced
3 cans of diced tomatoes (14 ounce), or 1 can of crushed tomatoes (28 ounce)
2 12 ounce packages of cut up butternut squash (Sure, you can get a whole one and cut it up yourself, but this is supposed to be a simple, easy to prep meal.)
Salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, crushed red pepper to taste
3 Bay leaves
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place squash on cookie sheet and bake for about 40 minutes until soft. Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot. Add beef and brown. Remove meat from pot and discard the fat. Add onions to the pot and saute until they start to soften (5 -10 minutes). Add garlic, bell pepper and mushrooms as well as the seasoning. Stir and saute for another 3 – 5 minutes.
Add beef back into the pot, add bay leaves and tomatoes, stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to simmer.
Mash butternut squash with a fork or potato masher and add to the chili.
Let simmer for an hour or more. Serve with chopped jalapenos over spaghetti squash, spinach, rice, pasta or potatoes. Really, it is a very versatile dish.