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One-Pot Wonders: Vegan Black Bean and Squash Chili

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[Photographs: Yasmin Fahr]

I feel like I can already read the comments below: "This is not a REAL chili. Real chili has XYZ..." And it's probably deserved (though I hope this admission thwarts them a bit). This isn't a Texas chili, or whatever type of chili you happen to be loyal to, but I'm quite proud of it nonetheless.

This version is quick, healthy, and vegetarian. It gets substance from butternut squash, peppers, and black beans, while dried oregano, cumin, and chipotles in adobo add flavor and heat. Avocado and cheese (use vegan cheese or forgo it altogether to make this dish 100% vegan) are necessary additions, not only for added flavor but also for their creaminess, which helps to offset the heat from the peppers.

You're probably used to recipes that have you cook the onions first in the oil and then add the other ingredients, but since this is a one-pot column, we're doing things a little differently. First, we're going to get some color on the butternut squash. Then comes the onions and peppers, followed by the remaining ingredients—a hearty, filling and good-for-you dinner in 25 minutes.

With winter's unavoidable approach, having quick and easy go-to recipes like this one are essential to keeping you eating healthy and staying warm. Plus, while a 'real' chili will have you cooking for hours, this one can be made in less than time than it takes to watch your favorite TV show.

About the Author: Yasmin Fahr is a food lover, writer, and cook. Follow her @yasminfahr for more updates on her eating adventures and discoveries, which will most likely include tomatoes. And probably feta. Happy eating!

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