March 22, 2012 by Amie M
The Man and I went to Mountsberg Conservation with Vanessa and Rashaad the Sunday before March Break. It was a gorgeous day for some maple syrup tasting. Apparently all the families in the area thought so too. Knowing we were going to be out all day, and likely hiking and therefore hungry when we got back, I threw a chili together in the slow cooker before we left. It was a hearty, yummy, spicy, and sweet vegetarian chili. Too bad Vashaad didn’t want to stop in for supper.
Most of this recipe was based off one in the Modern Classics cookbook, but I eyeballed the measurements and portions knowing The Man’s tastes and picky tastebuds.
You will need: onions, red and green pepper, butternut squash, canned tomatoes, corn, garlic, tomato sauce, canned beans. Then for the seasoning cinnamon, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, and to replace red pepper flakes I used piri piri. I love a little kick in the pants.
Dice your onions and garlic, then golden them in a little oil and butter. Golden is now a verb. Then toss in your slow cooker.
The best way to peel a squash is to cut slits in the skin at intervals around the fruit. Then microwave for 2-3 minutes to soften the skin. The squash will self-steam, and when cooled, the skin will peel a lot easier.
Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes.
Throw them in the slow cooker, then dump the can of tomatoes on top. Oh and here is your little dose of The Princess. She’s been around, and loving the spring weather. All her favourite windows are now open and she can click away at the birds to come hither. Just a little closer. I am a bird, too. I won’t hurt you. What would you do if you ever caught one, Sweetie?
Then toss in your seasonings. Clockwise from top right: 1 t cinnamon, 1 1/2 t cilantro (cilantro and coriander are from the same plant, and a lot of chefs agree there is no difference between the two in flavour), 1/2 t piri piri, 1 t cumin, 1 1/2 T chili powder. Then once around with coarse sea salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Stir and let this sit and stew while the other ingredients are prepped.
Chop up your peppers and add them.
Then layer on top the corn. I used leftovers from last summer that was from a huge corn on the cob purchase at the farmer’s market. 4 dollars for a baker’s dozen? Yes, please!
Then layer on whatever canned beans you have on hand. I had a can of bean salad in the pantry for a couple years, checked the expiry, rinsed and then dumped it in.
Close her up, and let the juices cook it on low while you leave, and wrestle with the SUV driving young families for a parking spot at the conservation area. Walk around with hungry stomachs with syrup in the air, decide against waiting in the 2 hour line for pancakes, and then go for a good drive-in style lupper on your way home.
We didn’t eat this that night, but it ended up as lunches for most of the week. The flavour just got better and better.