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What the….?!? Is Kabocha? More often than not, you have seen this beautiful green and speckled squash thinking it more ornament than edible. I love the “corny” undertones and sweetness this flesh contributes to dishes.  Besides the obvious antioxidant properties, based on color alone, I think it lends a thickness and richness to dishes–in this case Chili– without pastiness.

Kabocha squash.  Soooo pretty!

Kabocha squash. Soooo pretty!

By all means substitute acorn, or butternut, squash.  It’s up to you, your comfort level and availability in your store.  Whatever you do!!!  DO NOT BE AFRAID!!!  You cannot master the culinary “high dive” if you don’t take the plunge.

Because this is chili , there’s no set formula.  Let your tongue guide you.  Make IT work for YOU.  I’m just sharing with you a rough estimate of what I did, and I’m happy with what I did.

Beans are optional.  I like the lentils because they create a creamy-ness to the chili.

Assemble your ingredients:

Cumin, Allspice, & Chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce

Cumin, Allspice, & Chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce

I also was generous with Bragg Aminos.  If you don’t have this on hand, you can substitute soy sauce. I do recommend a lower sodium variety.

I used one small can of tomato paste.  This stuff is so jam packed with cancer-fighting and free-radical-damaging lycopene, that all of us should spoon it  daily!  It adds another richness and fruity component to the chili.

And your meat:

Turkey and lean ground beef.  Probably 4 lbs worth.

Turkey and lean ground beef. Probably 4 lbs worth.

And the chopped stuff:

Happy proportions of Vidalia onions, orange bell peppers, Serrano peppers, and garlic.

Happy proportions of Vidalia onions, orange bell peppers, Serrano peppers, and garlic.

I love Serrano pepper for their compact pepper-ness.  They are amplified green bell peppers with a bonus zip.  Besides the Habanero, these are so very high on my food chain.

The important thing here is balance; you want the proportions to equal out.  I did press the garlic into the meat versus chopping.  Why?  I wanted a subtle essence that cooking and small pieces would afford without overpowering.  Depending on when you add a potent ingredient into your dish…will determine how much of it you and guests will taste.

 

 

Covered with microware save wrap.  Ready to go!

Covered with microware save wrap. Ready to go!

After cooking; it’s up to you.  I pureed mine, and this is how:

Scooped out and ready for oil and purified water..

Scooped out and ready for oil and purified water..

This is puréed.  Add to chili.

This is puréed. Add to chili.

Adding some extra Chipotle sauce for smokiness.

Adding some extra Chipotle sauce for smokiness.

 

 

 

Red lentils & Aduki beans. Powerful, yummy, and AMAZING!

Love my beans.  I like to add them at the end, and let them absorb all that meatiness to release the creaminess that they offer while nourishing my brain with much needed carbohydrates.  o

Serve my way….

 

Garnish with avocado, dollop of Greek yogurt, and dive DOWN!!

Garnish with avocado, dollop of Greek yogurt, and dive DOWN!!

 

Yummy.  Healthy. And so amazing!

Huh.  80% diet.  20% workout.  100% results. GUARRANNTEEDDD!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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