Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chilli

I don't really like butternut squash. But it's one of those things that come up all the time when you're looking for vegetarian or vegan recipes, and I thought it was probably high time I got over this dislike. There's not much I can eat now dammit; I'm slowly realising this as I approach Day 8 of veganism. Any limitations on what I actually like should be (s)quashed. 

If I'm going to eat squash, then it needs some bold ballsy flavours to help me along with it. I attended the launch of a new Mexican chilli sauce called Gran Luchito; its deep smoky spiciness seemed to be the perfect foil for this sweet squash. Made with Oaxacan pasilla chillis which have been smoked to dry them, the sauce is sweet and addictive. I resisted temptation to use it all in a mezcal bloody mary. That's for the weekend. You can buy it here.

I won't lie, this is one spicy mother. With no sour cream to temper the flames, I made a chilli-less guacamole to try and offset the burn. It worked, for a while. The sweetness of the squash actually works really well here, balancing out the rich black beans in its tomatoey sauce. 
I brushed some flour tortillas with oil and grilled them until crisp to make a pretty damn fine lunch. The squash was edible, which is pretty high praise for the squash-dodger I am. You won't get me eating the root of all evil though, those cursed sweet potatoes.

Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chilli

Serves 4

1 tetra pack of black beans in water (I used Sainsburys Organic)
Half a butter nut squash, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 chipotle in adobo, or a chipotle chilli rehydrated in hot water and minced
1 onion
1 carrot
1 rib of celery
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp Gran Luchito smoked chilli tapenade (or substitute for another chipotle, and a tsp sugar)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 can of peeled plum tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar 

Dice the onion, celery and carrot. Mince the garlic. Fry them in a little oil in a saucepan, then add the chillis & sauce until the onion has softened and then add the cumin. Add the black beans with their water, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the butternut squash chunks, then add the tomatoes.

Add the salt and sugar and then simmer gently for 35 - 40 minutes. Stir occasionally - if it's looking a little dry pop the lid on and lower the heat some more. 

Serve with rice or tortillas as described above, with guacamole. 


Miss Whiplash said...

You know you can eat vegetables you DO like too, right? ;-)
I love sweet potatoes. But they're definitely sweet, not savoury - try thinking desserty thoughts while you're eating them - I find it helps a lot :-)

Shu Han said...

have you tried other squashes? i really like kabocha and crown prince squash, they're sweeter and denser than butternut, kind of like a sweet potato.. oh wait. hmm. good job on veganvember so far anyway! looks like you're having as yummy a time as you can with the limitations. just, stay away from photos of tonkotsu ramen in the meanwhile!

Keen on Food said...

We're following your progress over here at Yogi Kitchen. Just wanted to lend a hand of support and offer loads of recipes too. I liked you last post on Sagar; I think Indian is the way to go if you're used to meat. There is just so much flavour that you're completely fulfilled as well as massive variety. We cook mainly Indian and, in fact, that's where we are now for 3 months. We always do a write up of the veg-vegan street food of Mumbai. We did one last year and keep a look out for one coming up. Now that is a place I'm sure you could stay vegan (if you wanted..).

kladoink said...

I'm not the biggest BNS fan either but I like it blitzed in soup with thai curry paste & coconut milk, or just roasted with cumin and chilli.

Also I just thought I'd point you at this chili recipe which is a stonker and vegan - it's not my recipe but I thoroughly recommended it. She posts it regularly whenever the weather takes a nosedive.

Helen said...

Wow, times are changing dude. I never though I'd see the day.

Gin and Crumpets said...

I forgot you don't like butternut squash. Chilli looks lush anyway. You're making me think I need to do more vegan cakes,. Always a bit tricky, vegan cakes. Eggs are such magical things.