Winter Veggie Tomato Chili

I love Winter! Well, I love all seasons but I like winter only because of the cute clothes to wear and the food to eat. I'm a Texan so we don't like it that cold, but when it does get cold I love to eat warming foods. Here is a wonderful Winter Veggie Chili you can make for your family this winter. Let me know how it turns out!

 

Ingredients: 1 recipe simmered pintos 2 tablespoons grapeseed, sunflower or canola oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut in small dice 1 red pepper, diced (optional) 2 large garlic cloves, minced 3 tablespoons mild ground chili (or use hot, or use more) 1 tablespoon lightly toasted cumin seeds, ground 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican oregano 2 tablespoons tomato paste dissolved in 1 cup water 2 cups diced winter squash (about 3/4 pound) Salt to taste ½ cup chopped cilantro Grated cheddar or Monterey Jack, or crumbled queso fresco for garnish (optional)

Directions: Heat the beans on top of the stove in a large soup pot or oven. Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy nonstick skillet and add the onion, carrot and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, stir together until it smells really good and 30 seconds to a minute, and add the ground chili and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture begins to stick to the pan. Add the tomatoes and oregano, and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the mixture is beginning to stick to the pan, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste dissolved in water and bring back to a simmer. Season with sea salt to taste then simmer. Don't forget to stir on and off for about 10mins. Stir the tomato mixture into the beans. Add the winter squash and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring often, for 30 to 45 minutes. It is important to stir often so that the chili doesn’t settle and stick to the bottom of the pot.  Taste and adjust seasonings. Before serving, stir in the cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes. It's extra tasty if you top with grated cheddar, Monterey jack, or crumbled queso fresco.

Tip: You can do so much to this recipe. If you would like to add meat to the chili, feel free to add chicken, beef, pork, or seafood. Although, the veggies are filling enough. You could also prepare some brown rice and throw inside or even some Quinoa! Play with it and see what works best for you.