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This is the perfect recipe for the cold weather. The butternut squash and carrots add visual contrast to this healthy, warm, sweet and spicy chili.


4 slices bacon, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
1 cup carrots, sliced
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 – 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1  1/2 cups butternut squash (1 small), peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until golden and crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and crumble the ground meat into the pan with your hands, then break up large chunks using a wooden spoon. Continue to cook and stir until the meat has no pink spots, about 7 minutes.

Reduce the heat slightly and add onions, green peppers, jalapenos, garlic, carrots, and celery to meat in pan. Cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth, salt, black pepper, tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and tomatoes along with the reserved bacon and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Add butternut squash, simmer for another 45 minutes or until the squash is tender.

If chili is too thick, add a bit more vegetable broth to thin. Serve with slices of avocado, chopped tomatoes, or onions for a delicious hearty meal.