Vegan Butternut Squash And Bean Chili

This Vegan Butternut Squash And Bean Chili is so delicious and so comforting. Nobody’s going to miss the meat in this one!

Vegan Butternut Squash Chili

Fall means big pots of warming comfort food on the stove. It means soups and stews and homey foods. It means chili. Lots of chili.

A few months ago, Steve and I moved out of Manhattan and bought The Harvest Inn in wine country on the North Fork of Long Island. I guess most people know this already, but for those who don’t, I’m telling you now because I am sitting here trying to create a recipe for some type of breakfast chili — so far it’s been pretty fun experimenting, and eggs really do seem to go pretty well with chili… but that’s for another time…

This chili, this Vegan Butternut Squash And Bean Chili is not a breakfast chili… it’s a perfect football Sunday, snuggling on the couch with a blankie pot of chili.

I’m not one for re-making the same foods all the time. And sometimes this is to my detriment. I’ll create a recipe, cook it up, serve it to willing (or even not-so-willing) participants and then even if they love it, sometimes they’ll never see it again. Yes, it’s a problem. Well, it can be a problem for my eaters, not for me…

Anyway, I make lots of chilis. Did you know you can make chili out of anything? Yes, literally anything.

If a steaming bowl of chili gives you all the good feels, try some of these favorites of mine: Pork Chili With Bok Choy, Vegan Beet And Butternut Squash Chili, and Black Bean And Pork Chili.

Okay, back to this particular chili… tis the season for everything winter squash. So, it’s got to go into a chili. I mean, it only makes sense. Oh, and you really can substitute any winter squash or pumpkin that you like. A cheese pumpkin would be awesome. I say that with a big smile on my face because last week I bought and roasted a cheese pumpkin for the first time ever and now I’m a huge fan. Really, it’s pretty awesome that no matter what you put into your simmering pot of chili, it always ends up tasting awesome. So, even though when we think of eating seasonally, oftentimes we think of big fruit and veggie platters or salads, eating seasonally is the forte of a chili cook.

I know that it could be a concern of football Sunday fans that a pot of vegan chili may not be what your guests are looking for me. We are a big football Sunday house here, and trust me when I tell you, that nobody will be unhappy with a big bowl of this Vegan Butternut Squash And Bean Chili. I make this and serve it with a big dollop of plant-based yogurt or sour cream on top and omg when you stir it, it gets all creamy and even more amazing.

Also, I love to top it with diced avocado, shredded vegan cheese, and even sourdough croutons.

It’s 8:00 in the morning as I type this, and I want chili. Ugh… I ate the last bowl that was left in my fridge yesterday afternoon. I spent the last 3 days in Manhattan, came home ravenous, opened the fridge and there was one bowl left. Score!

Vegan Butternut Squash And Bean Chili

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this Vegan Butternut Squash And Bean Chili:

Butternut squash is more than just a delicious vegetable; it’s really good for you. It’s a good fever reducer, it can lessen stomach pain and it can be a comfort during pregnancy when the baby feels like she’s doing acrobatics. It’s also rich in carotenoids and Vitamin B6. This means it’s good for your heart and can help lower bad cholesterol. And, because butternut squash can help reduce inflammation in the body, it benefits almost everyone.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. It’s also a Chinese herb called Da Suan. It is used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

In Chinese medicine, black foods are known as the best foods to strengthen the body and nourish the blood. We recommend them for many people who suffer from chronic lower back pain, knee pain and infertility. Black beans have the highest amount of antioxidants of any bean, they are high in fiber and are good for the heart.

White beans are good at boosting energy and calming the mind. They can help improve your memory and can lower cholesterol. And, they are a great source of protein.

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia.

Vegan Butternut Squash Chili

Vegan Butternut Squash And Bean Chili
Recipe type: vegan, vegetarian, nut free, gluten free, grain free
Cuisine: chili, stew, soup
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
This Vegan Butternut Squash And Bean Chili is perfect, simple comfort food. It will warm you up and make you smile... and it makes for great leftovers.
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 lb cubed butternut squash
  • 7 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • sea salt, to taste
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • Optional toppings: diced avocado, vegan shredded cheese, dairy-free yogurt
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot, over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and sauce 3 mins, then add the squash, garlic, bell peppers and salt. Cook, stirring, 5 mins.
  3. Stir in the chili powders, cumin, and turmeric. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  4. Add the bay leaf, tomatoes with their juices, beans, and broth.
  5. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, about 30 mins or until the squash is tender -- check on it often so it doesn't overcook.
  6. When the squash is tender, add the spinach, stir, and cook just until wilted.
  7. Ladle into bowls and top with yogurt, avocado, and cheese.



Dairy Free Cheesy Sweet Potato Fries


These dairy free cheesy sweet potato fries will make you smile from ear to ear. They are perfect as football food, for a casual dinner party, or just as a treat because you deserve it!

dairy free cheesy sweet potato fries

If I had to pick one food that makes me happy every single time, I think it might be fries. Any type of fries — traditional fries, sweet potato fries, crispy fries, not-so-crispy fries, curly fries, spicy fries, cheese fries… well, you get the picture. I’m a little obsessed with fries.

Years ago when my friends and I would go to the diner after a night of partying, my order would almost always include a big plate of French fries with gravy. To me, there was nothing better. And just because I am a lot more health conscious now, it doesn’t mean that I don’t indulge in fries. These Dairy Free Cheesy Sweet Potato Fries take me right back to that diner.

I have made platters of dairy free fries and nachos more times than I care to admit. I’m a sucker for so many variations of this diner food. Each version has its pros and cons. Okay, maybe that’s not really true — I can’t really think of any cons…

This particular recipe is inspired by Paleo Running Momma. The credit for this delicious cheese sauce with the perfect texture goes there — many thanks Michele!

This cheesy gooey platter of deliciousness is perfect for football Sunday. I mean, just imagine how good this will be next to a bowl of chili or a platter of chicken wings. In my house, we don’t wait for Sunday though. We’ve been having them here with family dinners whenever I get the urge. They are easy to make and are a big crowd pleaser. In fact, the next time I have some people over for dinner, I’m planning to make a triple batch of these and put them out on the coffee table with a bunch of forks and just let everyone chow down while I’m getting dinner together in the kitchen.

The cheese sauce here is made from cashews. Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healthy choice.

dairy free cheesy sweet potato fries

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Here are some of the great healing ingredients in these Dairy Free Cheesy Sweet Potato Fries:

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healthy choice. I use cashews in cream sauces and faux cream soups. I also love cashew yogurt… this is one of the greatest inventions since sliced bread…

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels.

dairy free cheesy sweet potato fries

Dairy Free Cheesy Sweet Potato Fries
Recipe type: paleo, whole30, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, sugar free
Cuisine: appetizer, vegetable, side dish
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
These dairy free cheesy sweet potato fries are so delicious. I love to put out a huge platter and just hand everyone a fork to dig in -- no plates necessary!
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 6 Tbs warm water
  • 5 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2-1/2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • generous amount of sea salt, to taste
  • 1 very large sweet potato, cut into fries (no need to peel it; just scrub it well)
  • 2 oz thinly sliced pepperoni
  • big handful fresh basil leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato fries with 2 Tbs oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread them out on a single layer on the baking sheets, trying not to crowd them.
  5. Place in the oven and roast for 15 mins. Flip them over with a spatula, and roast for an additional 10 mins or until they are just cooked through. Switch the oven to broil and broil for about 3 mins or just until the top tray starts to color, then switch the trays so the bottom tray is under the broiler and broil about 3 mins, being careful not to burn them.
  6. Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce: In a blender, combine the cashews, lemon juice, water, garlic powder, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until silky smooth.
  7. Transfer the fries to a platter. Arrange pepperoni and basil among the fries.
  8. Pour the cheese sauce over (using as much as you like; be prepared to have some leftover sauce for another use).
  9. Serve with a bunch of forks and enjoy!

dairy free cheesy sweet potato fries