Though the weather was balmy last weekend, this week has proved itself to be more autumnal. When the thermometer starts dipping down into the 60s, that means I start cranking up the oven. I have this nesting instinct in the fall and winter that causes me to bake, and even though I am trying to lay off consuming sweets, that doesn't mean that I still can't bake.
I have always loved casserole-type meals; they are easy, take care of themselves, and are always warm and nourishing. Butternut squash is a great vegetable for cooking this way, but since Mr. Scissors has declared that he is tired of mashed squash, I had to come up with something that was less sweet and more savory. Chili spices seemed to me like they would do the trick! I love the sweet, savory and spicy combo of this veggie-heavy chili.
Easy Baked Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, & Chickpea Chili Recipe
vegan, gluten-free, make about 4-6 servings
- 3 cups of peeled and cubed butternut squash (insides removed, of course)
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes (You can used diced tomatoes here instead, or ones with jalapenos. If you would like a wetter chili, then use two cans.)
- 2 TB oil (I used olive, but use your favorite type.)
- 2 TB cumin
- 2 TB chili powder
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (Adjust to your tastes.)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 TB cocoa powder
- 1 TB brown sugar
- 1-2 tsp salt (to your taste) (I used smoked sea salt.)
- crushed black pepper
- Optional: garlic and/or onion powder or hing
- Optional: One chopped red bell pepper (I would have added one if I had one!)
|(L) The chili, pre-baking and (R) Two of my favorite seasonings from Trader Joe's|
- Preheat oven to 425.
- In a large casserole dish (9x12"), coat pan with oil. Add spices and cocoa powder. Mix.
- Place, in an even layer, into the dish: First, butternut squash, red peppers (if using), then cauliflower, then, chickpeas, then tomatoes. Cover pan with tin foil.
- Bake for 45 minutes and remove from oven. CAREFULLY uncover pan (watch out for steam!) and turn over veggie and add brown sugar. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove form oven and add salt and black pepper. Serve over rice, couscous, or quinoa.