Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year’s Chili

So here we are at day one of 2011. With my lawn making a surprise visit from beneath the snow yesterday, it’s almost possible to believe there are only six months until the next CSA season begins.

Of course it’s a bit of an illusion. From my window it might look like spring, as it felt yesterday at 45-degrees, but one step outside proves that winter is here to stay for a while. Back in the teens today, with a wind chills that feel like subzero, I’m glad I still have some of my CSA stash to welcome in the chilly new year.

With my eye on the last buttercup squash, and wanting to start the new year out with a new recipe, I decided to make chili of a different sort. The resulting black bean and squash chili was hearty enough for the chill outside and also healthy way to get back on track after my gluttonous past few weeks.

I added buttercup squash, black beans, an onion, about four of my frozen oven-dried tomatoes, chicken broth, cumin, and ground chipotle pepper powder to my slow cooker before braving the weather to run some errands. By the time I returned a few hours later I needed something to warm me up. I knew the chili would fit the bill by the scent that welcomed me back in the house.

The ground chipotle pepper powder added the right amount of heat to the dish, making my nose run when I ate it, my measure of a good chile. The squash and onion added a nice sweetness to the dish, which was good since I had eaten so many sweets all December. I wanted something healthy to move into January, but I wasn’t exactly to go cold turkey.

The meal warmed me up and made me feel good without making me feel too guilty. I’d be lucky if all my meals accomplished that in the coming year. Here’s wishing you the same in 2011!

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