Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Black Bean and Butternut Chili

It's chilly out, and I was looking for something warm to put into my body. Possibly a vegetarian chili made with black beans and diced butternut squash.

I came across a recipe that was shared by The Splendid Table and it included most of my favorite fall ingredients.
Included was this recommendation which I did pay attention to:  "The chipotle chile is deliciously smoky and rich, but quite hot. With that and the 3 tablespoons of chili powder called for in the recipe you get a stew for hot pepper lovers. My advice is to use the chipotle, but if hot spice isn't appealing, use a very mild chili powder for the 3 tablespoons. See the note after the recipe for specifics.

One other thought: This recipe illustrates, too, that mixing hot spice with sweet ingredients (the squash and cider), softens the heat's impact – a trick to remember when someone gets carried away with seasonings."

Black Bean and Butternut Chili.
Source:  The Party Vegan: Fabulous, Fun Food for Every Occasion by Robin Robertson 

(Makes 4 to 6 servings)

1 small butternut squash, peeled, halved, and seeded

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

1 medium orange bell pepper, coarsely chopped (optional)

1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cups cooked or 3 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 chipotle chile in adobo, minced

1 cup apple juice

3 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the squash into 1/4-inch dice and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the squash, onion, carrot, and bell pepper, if using. Cover and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, and chipotle. Stir in the apple juice, chili powder, allspice, sugar, and salt and black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Uncover and simmer about 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately. If not using right away, bring to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks, then thaw before reheating.

The reviewer also stated the following "The recipe has a hefty amount of chile. The chipotle is hot. So if you are sensitive to spicy foods, add the chili powder a teaspoon at a time (the 3 tablespoons measurement equals 6 teaspoons) to get the amount of heat you prefer. For mildest of mild chile, use sweet Spanish, Hungarian or California paprika; for slightly hotter, try ground Ancho."

I garnished the chili with some parsley and pomegranate juice infused dried cranberrries. Ohh-la-la are they tasty!

Do you love pomegranates as much as I do?

I set up a small dining table near the fireplace for atmosphere. 

Once the candles are lit, they add significant sparkle.

I used a liberal amount of gold and burgundy in this setting for two.

Dinnerware by Oneida (Ala Mode pattern)
Square wooden placemats (a gift)
Bless This Home - Kirkland's 2007 
Candlesticks - Bienvenue 2004
Tapers - Partylite
Goblets - Tuesday Morning
Napkin rings - Christmas Tree Shoppe 2009
Napkins - Crate and Barrel (several years ago)
Silverware - Oneida
Acorn bowls - TJ Maxx 2008

For more tablescape fun, visit Susan at  Between Naps on the Porch

Too see what's cooking for Foodie Friday, visit Designs by Gollum.

Thank you so much for stopping by!
Debbie@Mountain Breaths
Debbie@Mountain Breaths

Hello, I'm Debbie.I enjoy hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the Adirondack Mountains (thus Mountain Breaths). I live in Upstate NY with my supportive husband and have three precious sons..


  1. WOW - the tablesetting is gorgeous!

    I like all the ingredients in the chili too - this recipe sounds like a keeper.

  2. Beautiful table, Debbie! and the chili looks awesome, perfect because it's finally chili weather!

  3. Oh Debbie!
    I wanna come eat with you at that LOVELY charming table!
    You have a gift my friend!
    Love the acorns!
    And that chili...YUMMMOLA!

  4. You've done some beautiful design work here, Debbie! I love the new header and this recipe sounds delicious. Beautiful fall tablescape too. The bowl of acorns is so cute!

  5. Your table is very striking, perfect colors for fall, Debbie! The chili sounds delicious. I have never used squash in anything...I almost always just roast it and put maple syrup and butter on it. I may have to try it with chili.

  6. Your table is gorgeous and the chili looks very "warm and inviting". I think I would tone it soen some since my digestive system is not partial to super spicy foods!
    Super photos!!

  7. Beautiful tablescape, Debbie!! I love all the colours togerthers. We are coming into spring in Australia so things are brightening up here.

  8. Love how your little table looks! The bowls are so pretty!
    A lovely table for you two!

  9. What a beautiful table and the chili sounds great, love that it's vegetarian-thanks!

  10. Very pretty table. Love the colors. My favorite is that beautiful tray.

  11. Your chili looks so delicious and your tablescape looks so pretty, Debbie. I love the colors of all the dishes....Christine

  12. The colors on this table are just beautiful to me. I love the place setting and those acorn bowls. I would LOVE to have some like that.

    You managed to make it look cozy and warm but colorful at the same time. Such a great job!

    And the chili recipe looks like a keeper too.

  13. Debbie, what a delicious chili, and I just loved your place settings with those adorable acorn tureens! Such great colors on this table, too. Thanks for sharing this cute tablescape with us and the great recipe!

    Happy Tablescape Thursday...


    Sheila :-)

  14. very cute, you know i love the poms, thank you :) great acorns too~

  15. What a delightful setting for two, two very spoiled people that is!!! The chili looks incredible. I love butternut squash but have never had it with spicy. I bet it was fantastic, any left?

    What fun dishes and they went with the fire of the chili and the yellow of the squash.

  16. I really like how you set up that area "for two" with the "centerpiece" going down the length of the wall by the window. It allowed you to use that gorgeous "themed" platter and the candles beside it amongst the fall "foilage" - it looks great! The chili sounds/looks delish! I'm not a spicy food lover so appreciate the tips on how to "tone it down"!


  17. Beautiful! And those plates are so interesting -- such nice patterns to combine. The acorn bowls are wonderful.

  18. Lovely. I am drooling over those acorn bowls. This is my kind of dinner.

  19. Yum! Love the recipe and the advice to cut back on the chili -
    The pomegranate plates are beautiful - everything is very attractive!

  20. Thank you for the recipe..I have a table full of butternut squash right now! Your place settings are so pretty. I love the plates that say pomegranate.

  21. I love these warm colors -- such a cozy, welcoming table! Yes, I love pomegranates -- and you even have the plates to prove you do!

  22. You've set an elegant table in gorgeous colors. Thank you for sharing the soup recipe and for the tips about the spices. Cherry Kay

  23. What a beautiful table. I love the acorns! The chili looks delicious (I would have to do the mild chili). It makes you happy that it's autumn!!

  24. I was just wondering where you got the acorn bowls when I saw they came from the Maxx. They are perfect for your setting....which is beautiful!!!!

  25. I DO love pomegranates! Very pretty!

  26. Hi Debbie...

    Ohhh my...what a gorgeous autumn table! I really do love everything about it! Love the red and yellow together...it brings such a beautiful color to your table! Your centerpiece is gorgeous with all the autumn leaves and I the tray/art is sooo pretty! Love those little acorn bowls...just delightful! Thank you for sharing your recipe for the balck bean and butternut chili...it's sounds delicious! And...thank you for sharing your gorgeous table!!! Such a treat!!!

    Warmest autumn wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  27. That chili looks delicious! I just love your pretty table. Those colors are so full of the season. I love your pomegranate plates and acorn tureens. Such pretty napkins too.

  28. Yummm! Looks delish...I love the centerpiece and those acorn bowls are adorable! Gorgeous!

  29. That chili looks delicious! I love the warm autumn colors in your setting.

  30. Wow! What a coincidence! Just a couple of weeks ago I made a new recipe that my family is now calling "Chili Light" - it's made with pink beans and butternut squash, with a small amount of chili powder. It was wonderful! Now I'll have to try it with black beans! Thanks for the recipe!

  31. Wow, do I covet those acorn bowls- I know that is so wrong!Beautiful table love the colors.


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