Meat Free Monday

deb recipe

Today I am posting a very special recipe – special because my lovely friend Debbie, is sharing it with us.  Debbie Matriccino Thomas is a cancer survivor who writes her own blog, Debbie’s Cancer Blog and is an inspiration to many. Here is one of Debbies’s favorite recipes for a cold fall or winter evening.  It comes from Cooking Light Magazine. “It is a slow cooker meal, which I love because I can start it earlier in the day and then smell it cooking all day long and have it all ready for the family by dinner time”

Pinto Bean Chili with Corn and Winter Squash

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder (I use a little less so not too spicy)
1/2 teaspoon cumin (I leave this out since hubby dislikes cumin)
4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
3 cups cooked pinto beans (I use 2 x 14oz cans of pinto beans drained and rinsed)
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1 teaspoon salt
1 (14.5oz) can crushed or diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (4.5oz) can chopped green chiles, undrained
3/4 cup (3oz) crumbled queso fresco (I use feta cheese or goat cheese)
6 lime wedges (I never use these)

1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add chili powder and cumin; cook 1 minute stirring constantly.
2. Place onion mixture in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Add butternut squash and next 6 ingredients (through chiles). Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours (or HIGH 4 hours) or until vegetables are tender and chili is thick. Sprinkle with cheese, serve with lime wedges.

“I love to have a nice thick piece of multigrain or sourdough bread with this. It is not too spicy in my opinion and I am a person who doesn’t like a lot of spiciness in my food”.

Thank you Debbie for sharing your recipe with us today – it looks wonderful and I will certainly be trying it out very soon.