Two Squash, Two Bean, Tomato-Free Chili

A little background. I have an allergy to tomatoes but love chili. I had to come up with another way of doing chili, and I have seen starters for white chili, but those also have tomato. I saw that pumpkin, when sauced, has a similar texture. So I thought, why not do that. Went to purchase a pumpkin and through it would go well with acorn and butternut. Someone suggested that I roast the squash before making the chili. It would give it a better flavor.

So here is what I did. I halved the acorn and two butternut squashes and cleaned out the seeds and sinew. Brushed with olive oil and seasoned with black pepper (mélange) and pink Himalayan sea salt. Added fresh rosemary and roasted for 45 minutes at 350.

As I pulled the squash from the oven to let it cool, I saluted the beef (1 pound) in olive oil and added a generous amount of taco seasoning. When the meat cooked, I added more taco seasoning and mixed again. Set to warm to keep.

While that sat, I sliced a yellow and half a red onion and added to the beef. I also added three diced green onions, two tablespoons of horseradish, and eight cloves of minced garlic.

The squash had cool enough but was still pretty hot. Using a melon baller, I scooped the insides of the squashes and added to the pot. Also added a 26.5 oz. can of black beans and 15.5 can of kidney beans. Before I discovered my issue with tomatoes, I used to add two cans of kidney beans to the chili I made then. The single can seemed sufficient with this recipe.

At this point, I realized there was no room for the pumpkin, so it was out. I also realized I had too much stuff in the pot that I would not be able to pressure cook as I wanted. With the beef cooked and the squash malleable, there didn’t seem to be a need. AND because the Instant Pot is an all in one device, I simply turned on the slow cook function and set it on Normal.

I had premixed Dark Chili seasoning from a local spice shop and added half of that (about 4 oz.) and mixed with everything else. I let cook for two hours and tested. I unintentionally made Cincinnati chili in the past, never knowing what it was until I saw a recipe for it. I like it, but that wasn’t what I was going for. It has a sweetness that this reminded me of because of the two squash types used. At this point, I added one tablespoon of cayenne pepper, 1.5 tablespoons of a standard off the shelf chili seasoning, and a ¾ tablespoon of red pepper flakes. There were also a few lumps of squash, about five total that was mashable with the spoon I was mixing everything with. I turned up the heat from Normal to More. Let it cook another 30 minutes and tasted again. Added another ½ tablespoon of the cayenne pepper and let cook for another 30 minutes. It finished, and the right amount of heat and sweet.

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