Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

The first day of real rain in months and I roast butternut squash and break out the Le Creuset to make a pot of chili. Now you know I am longing for cooler weather. I took advantage right away. This chili is one of my favorite recipes... 

Shelly's Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

1/2 pound Ground Beef (or Turkey)
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
1-2 cloves Garlic, chopped fine
1 stalk Celery, chopped
1 (4 oz.) can Mild Green Chilies, chopped
1 (15 oz) Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Tomato, whole, crushed
1 cup Butternut Squash, cubed and roasted
1 1/2 teaspoons Cumin
Salt to taste
a few twists of Black Pepper, to taste

Peel and cube the butternut squash (or cheat like I do and buy it already peeled and cubes, Costco has a great 2 lb package.) Drizzle with little olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Roast for 40-45 minutes or so at 425. Stirring a once or twice. You'll use 1 cup of cooked squash in the chili. Use the rest in my favorite Fall casserole.

Saute onions till golden. Add garlic, celery, ground meat. Cook meat till no pink is seen. Add chilies, beans, tomatoes (crush them a bit when you stir them in), cooked squash and seasonings. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. This can be made ahead and reheated the next day... chili always tastes even better the next day when all the ingredients get a chance to love on one another.

I topped my bowl with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. This is a mild chili (Mum is not a spicy fan) so if you like it hot maybe use a hot green chilies or add some hot sauce to taste. Also I prefer to use whole, canned tomatoes and crush them a little as I stir them in... I like chunky chili but you could use diced tomatoes too.

I have to share the lovely message I received today from a blog reader Heidi J. It made my day. Thank you Heidi!
Happy Sunday Shelly! I just wanted to drop you an email and say thank you for your blog and sharing your story!  I just had the Vertical Sleeve surgery on July 17th and am already down 83 pounds!  I had a baking day with some friends yesterday and we made mini protein muffins and mini protein donuts!  I am so unbelievably pleased with the results and am sharing these delicious bites with my fellow teachers.  Even though I am the only WLS person, my colleagues are LOVING anything I bring in made from your blog (Bento Box lunches included)! Thank you so much for the inspiration! With much appreciation, Heidi 
I am so happy for her and I love how she's embracing and sharing her new life with her friends and co-workers. Oh and she sent some photos of the baking day yummy looking results... Yum!