Every year, at the tail end of August, I am super nostalgic for all things college. Many people wish they could go back and relive certain periods of their childhood. Some people even wish they could re-do high school. Not me! I would go back to college in a heart beat. Of course, to do it all over again properly, I’d need to have the street smarts and know-how I have now…and my hair straightener, of course!
But, in all seriousness, I loved college. I went to Towson University in Towson, Maryland. I applied to several schools and heard back with acceptance from Towson very quickly. My parents and I went for a visit and instantaneously, upon arrival, I just knew. I knew it was meant to be. It was like magic.
I think, at first, what brought me the most excitement and also the most comfort being away from home, was meeting my college roommate. We had two things in common right off the bat…excitement for this adventure before us and FOOD! After we moved in, set up our room and said good-bye to our parents, we were on the lookout for food; specifically, comfort food.
Today, I’m cooking some comfort food in the form of Tasty Butternut Squash Chili. This is not your typical chili because it has a star ingredient: Butternut Squash. It adds and an extra layer of flavor and texture that you don’t normally find in chili. All I can say is YUM! This Tasty Butternut Squash Chili recipe is great any time of year, eaten with a salad, sandwich or as a stand alone meal with your favorite crusty bread. But, in my opinion, chili is best eaten when it’s cool and crisp outside. Just imagine Fall weather, when football is on the tv, the kids are playing and the smell of chili is throughout the house. I couldn’t ask for a more comforting scene.
Tasty Butternut Squash Chili
- 2 Tbsp EVOO
- 1 Medium Onion Diced
- 5 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 1 Tsp Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 2 Tsp Oregano
- 1 lb Ground Turkey 93% lean
- 3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 2 Green Bell Peppers Chopped
- 1 Can Crushed Tomatoes 28oz
- 2 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- 2 Cans Black Beans rinsed well 14 oz cans
- 1 lb Butternut Squash cubed
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Over medium heat, add the EVOO to a large soup pot until hot. Add the garlic and onion and stir until translucent and fragrant. Next, add the sugar, chili powder, cinnamon and oregano. Mix well.
- Add the turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon, break apart into crumbles. Continue until turkey is cooked all the way through.
- Add the tomato paste. Stir and mix thoroughly. Add the peppers, chicken broth and tomatoes. Cover and bring the pot to a simmer for 25 minutes.
- Add the butternut squash and beans. Cook for another 25 minutes, or until the butternut squash is tender. Be careful not to cook the squash too long. It should not be mushy.
- Serve immediately. Toppings could include shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream or chopped flat leaf parsley.