Bacon Bison Butternut Chili!

That’s a lot of B’s! And they all add up to something crazy delicious!  In fact, my husband was quite in love with this meal.  I had to bring it to him at work as I was on MY way to work (oh how crazy life is!)…but he was texting me before long about how much he loved it.  🙂  Funny thing is, I didn’t think he was going to like it very much, because it has a bit of a “twang” to it.  See, my husband is not a huge fan of apple cider vinegar, solely because of the smell.  He always uses different kinds of vinegar in his salad dressings…and he absolutely hates it when I use it to clean!  (It is a great natural cleaner!)  This recipe has apple cider vinegar in it.  And he LOVED it.  I kept asking “it isn’t too tart for you?!”  and he would reply along the lines of “no I love that!”  Maybe this chili will help make a believer out of him.  😉

I have never cooked with bison before.  It was fun…I felt like I was a brave prairie woman making a feast from the land!  Did any of you ever want to be Laura Ingles Wilder?!  Or was that just me?!

Anywho…here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Ground Bison (Grass Fed)
  • 1 Butternut Squash (About 1 1/2 lb)
  • 1 Package Turkey Bacon
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Red Onion, Diced
  • 2 Serrano Peppers, Diced
  • 14 oz Diced Tomatoes (Organic)
  • 1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter (Grass fed is best…we found a brand called Kerrygold)
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • Pinch Cayenne Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*.  Peel your butternut squash and dice into cubes.  Melt your coconut oil and pour over squash, toss to coat, and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until tender…30-45 minutes.
  2. In a large pan, melt your butter.  Add your bacon and cook until done and crispy.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Add bison to the same pan with bacon grease.  Cook until browned.
  4. Add onion, garlic, and jalapenos.  Cook until onions are translucent, then add the spices.  Stir and cook an additional minute or so.
  5. Crumble the bacon into the pan, add the vinegar and tomatoes with juices.  Let this mixture simmer for about 30 minutes, or until it has cooked down a bit and thickened.
  6. When ready to serve, spoon some of the bison mixture into a bowl, top with a handful of butternut cubes, and sprinkle with some cinnamon if desired!  We love cooking with cinnamon so we tried it.  And it was beautiful!!

Thank you to Abel James for this fantastic meal that I could adapt Rodgers style!  I am loving discovering fun, delicious, HEALTHY new recipes!  Okay, time for pictures!

 

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Preheat your oven and start prepping your squash!  Start by peeling it!

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Halving it…

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Scooping it…

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And dicing it!

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Now toss it with melted coconut oil, salt, and pepper and roast until tender, about 30-45 minutes!

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Now for the chili portion!  Start by prepping your veggies!

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Melt a pad of butter in a large pan.  (I do this because turkey bacon doesn’t have as much fat to render…but honestly it makes even pork bacon more delicious!)

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Add your bacon and cook until crispy.  Remove from pan and set aside.

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Add your bison to the buttery bacon drippings and brown.

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Add your diced veggies…

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Stir in and cook until your onions are translucent.  Add spices and cook an additional minute or so.

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Stir in your tomatoes and apple cider vinegar.

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Bring to a simmer and cook about 30 minutes, until everything is cooked down and thickened.

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Your yummy butternut squash will have gotten done at some point in that process!!

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When ready to serve, spoon some chili into a bowl and top with squash cubes, then sprinkle with some cinnamon if you so desire!

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You should definitely at least try the cinnamon because it was heavenly!

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Yummmmmmm!  Let me know what you think!

 

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Fall Chicken Chili (With Beans and Butternut Squash)

Interesting combo, right?!  But stinking hearty, filling, and ooooooooh so delicious!  I actually made this months ago, but didn’t get a chance to post it until butternut squash was out of season.  So I have been waiting for SO long to post this bad boy!!  Well guess what folks?!  Butternut squash is back in the produce section!  And there is a chill in the air (as much as I hate to admit it), which makes it the perfect time to revisit this beauty.  Are you ready?!  I’m ready!!  Let’s do this!!

This is adapted from a lovely book my sweet brother and sister-in-law got me for my birthday!!  It’s called The Everything Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Cookbook!  Check it out, there are countless wonderful recipes in it!!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 Butternut squash, peeled, cooked, and cubed (I’ll give you some help with that if you need)  Alternately, I believe you can purchase pre cubed (possibly pre cooked?) winter squash.  That works too!
  • 2 1/2 C White or Black Beans, Simmered until starting to soften (Or from a can if you want.  I am a firm believer in dried beans :D)
  • 5 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • Fresh Ground Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • 2 Lg Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Small Can Diced Green Chiles

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prep your squash:
  3. This step is optional.  Butternut squash can be very difficult to cut through, so I read somewhere if you pierce it and microwave it for a few minutes, it helps it become more tender and easier to slice into.  I opted to try that way, but if you have more muscles you can skip that step 😉
  4. Chop of the ends and cut it in half to make it more manageable.
  5. Using a vegetable peeler, peel down until the white is gone and you are left with orange flesh.  It may take a few swipes on each spot because winter squash has very thick skin.
  6. Cut open and remove seeds, then cut into cubes!!
  7. Toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until starting to soften and brown.  They are going in to a crock pot to simmer so they don’t have to be completely tender.
  8. While you are waiting for your squash, melt 2 Tbsp of Coconut Oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add in your chicken breasts (after you salt and pepper them lightly) and sear 2-3 minutes per side, just so you get a good dark brown color.
  9. Toss them into the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot.
  10. Melt the other Tbsp of Coconut Oil into the cast iron skillet and turn down to medium.  Add onion and sauté about 3 minutes, stirring so that you scrape up the bits of browned chicken off the bottom of the skillet.  Add the minced garlic and cook another minute or so.
  11. Add the chili powder and cumin and stir until combined and the smell of the seasonings is released.
  12. Dump onion mixture on top of the chicken breasts.
  13. Add squash, beans, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and tomatoes to crock pot.  Cover and cook, preferably on low for 8 hours.
  14. After 8 hours, fish out the chicken breasts and remove them to a plate.  Shred with two forks and stir back into the chili so everything is evenly combined.

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Black Bean Squash Chili 1This step is optional.  Butternut squash can be very difficult to cut through, so I read somewhere if you pierce it and microwave it for a few minutes, it helps it become more tender and easier to slice into.  I opted to try that way, but if you have more muscles you can skip that step 😉

Black Bean Squash Chili 2Chop of the ends and cut it in half to make it more manageable.

Black Bean Squash Chili 3Using a vegetable peeler, peel down until the white is gone and you are left with orange flesh.  It may take a few swipes on each spot because winter squash has very thick skin.

Black Bean Squash Chili 4Cut open and remove seeds, then cut into cubes!!

Black Bean Squash Chili 5See?  Pretty little cubes!!!

Black Bean Squash Chili 6Toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until starting to soften and brown.  They are going in to a crock pot to simmer so they don’t have to be completely tender.

Black Bean Squash Chili 7While you are waiting for your squash, melt 2 Tbsp of Coconut Oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add in your chicken breasts (after you salt and pepper them lightly) and sear 2-3 minutes per side, just so you get a good dark brown color.

Black Bean Squash Chili 10Toss them into the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot.

Black Bean Squash Chili 8Melt the other Tbsp of Coconut Oil into the cast iron skillet and turn down to medium.  Add onion and sauté about 3 minutes, stirring so that you scrape up the bits of browned chicken off the bottom of the skillet.  Add the minced garlic and cook another minute or so.

Black Bean Squash Chili 9Add the chili powder and cumin and stir until combined and the smell of the seasonings is released.

Black Bean Squash Chili 11Dump onion mixture on top of the chicken breasts.

Black Bean Squash Chili 12Add squash, beans, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and tomatoes to crock pot.  Cover and cook, preferably on low for 8 hours.

Black Bean Squash Chili 13After 8 hours, fish out the chicken breasts and remove them to a plate.  Shred with two forks and stir back into the chili so everything is evenly combined.

Black Bean Squash Chili 14Yummy in my tummy!  All the different textures in this were fantastic, and super comforting.  I could go for a bowl right now in fact, if I hadn’t just stuffed my face without Southwester Turkey Meatballs.  Yeah.  That’s a recipe you get to look forward to!!  But for now, make this gorgeous soup, curl up with a blankie…and thank me later.  😉