Wednesday, June 11, 2014

On My Hearth: Slowcooker Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

It's not officially summer but it sure feels like it here in the Sunshine State! I've settled into a bit of a routine, taking my walks before sunrise to avoid the heat, by 9 am it's brutal out there! I love waking up early and enjoying the beach before anyone else arrives; just me and the birds. 

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06.09.14 Morning Walk photo 20140609_054950_zps6otx4d4t.jpg

After walking I come home, have coffee with my hunny, and do my chores. Breakfast is roasted potatoes and a pile of kale..

Breakfast photo 20140607_091955_zpsauu5lcgo.jpg

Lunch is often oven fries with a salad or leftovers from the night before. Yesterday's taters were accompanied by a few slices of roasted squash, extra from the dinner I was preparing (see below).

Baked Fries & Butternut Squash photo 20140610_124746_zpsax2q3kew.jpg

Then comes errands if needed, and a return to the beach in the afternoon, around 3-ish, when the breeze is picking up. I'll take another little stroll or just sit and read or people-watch. To keep hydrated, I whipped up my first batch of Sassy Water, have you all tried it yet? I don't follow the diet, but find the beverage very refreshing!

Sassy Water photo IMG_20140611_071656_zps56feazx1.jpg

Once again, I find myself cooking cool weather recipes despite the warm weather outside. What's up with that? I guess no matter what the temps outside, I am attracted to the same types of food: hot, spicy & comforting! Slowcooker dishes are my favorite since I can do all of the prep work in the morning while the house is cool and the sun is shining brightly through my kitchen window.

Last night I combined a couple of recipes I found around the 'net and, using what I had on hand, came up with this delicious chili.

Slowcooker Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili photo 20140611_082246_zpsuqulnobo.jpg


Slowcooker Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons dark chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 (14.5) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 12 ounces butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth


NOTE: Sauteing the vegetables before adding them to the slow cooker creates a layer of flavor. Do not skip this step.
  1. Heat a little vegetable broth or water in a saute pan, or spray lightly with cooking spray. Add the onions, carrots and celery. Saute for a few minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the garlic and bell pepper, stir and saute another couple of minutes.
  2. Add the spices and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from heat.
  3. Add the vegetables and the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for six hours.
  4. Top with non-dairy cheddar shreds, sour cream and/or diced avocado (not included in nutritional analysis)
Serving Size: Makes 8 one-cup servings.
Nutritional Info:

  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 145.9
  • Total Fat: 0.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 365.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 29.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 8.9 g
  • Protein: 6.6 g

I think I'm settling into this new beachside lifestyle, am ridiculously happy and feel incredibly blessed.

Have a wonderful day,


  1. This looks delicious! I've never tried butternut squash but I do happen to have some green and yellow squash at home that are looking for a new recipe, so maybe I'll try this with those :) I'm the same way with hot/spicy/comfort food all year round. No matter if it's 100 degrees outside, it's always nice and cool in the house!

    I'm so happy that you're settling in and happy!

    1. Laura, butternut squash is delicious, especially w/the Mexican-type of food you love! :) I'm not sure the green/yellow squash would work as well because of consistency. The butternut is very hard/dense, more like a sweet potato, and therefore holds it's shape despite the long cooking time. I'm afraid the summer squash would turn to mush. If you want to substitute, I'd try a sweet potato. Just my 2 cents. ;)