Meatless Monday: Winter squash and bean stew

A hearty bean and squash stew that will last throughout the week.

Novel Eats
A vegetarian stew of hubbard squash, pinto beans, carrots, and tomatoes seasoned with chipotle chili and herbs.

Every Sunday I usually like to make a big pot of beans or soup for us to have for lunches during at least the first half of the week. It makes meals infinitely easier, and allows me to not have to think about what I’m going to eat while I’m in the middle of work. Because I do this fairly consistently, I do like to try new recipes and mix things up a bit.

When I found this recipe for stew, I knew I had to try it. For one thing, I don’t make stews very often, but I do really enjoy them. Another reason was because I still had a lot of my hubbard squash leftover, and I needed to use it. The final thing that drew me in? Chipotle. I love chipotle, mostly for its smoky flavor, but for its extraordinary heat as well. I was excited to try this combo of flavors.

This was such a hearty stew, and perfect to eat throughout the week. The only thing that I might add next time is some textured vegetable protein (TVP) or some Tofurky Kielbasa or Tofurky Italian Sausage to bulk it up more. Otherwise, it’s a great stew and perfect to serve to your favorite omnivores.

Winter Squash and Bean Stew
This recipe is taken from the Hubbard Squash and Pinto Bean Stew found on MyRecipes.com

Note: One nice thing about this recipe is that it does not require the use of a slow-cooker if you do not have one, although I am sure this would also cook nicely in one.

3 cups dried pinto beans
4 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-sized onions, chopped
4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled hubbard squash or fresh pumpkin
1 cup peeled and sliced carrot, about two medium-sized carrots
1 tablespoon chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped (for a gluten-free recipe, you can substitute about 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, undrained
3/4 teaspoon  salt
2 tablespoons pumpkin-seed kernels, toasted (optional)

Sort and wash pinto beans. Check out my post on how to cook dry beans to learn how to sort and wash beans, although you do not need to follow the remaining steps for this stew recipe.

Place the beans in a large pot, and cover with water to about two inches above the beans. Boil them for two minutes, turn off the heat and then allow them to sit for about two hours.

Drain and rinse the pinto beans, then combine them and four cups of water in a large pan, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Cover and simmer an additional 30 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, prep your squash, carrots and onions. Take care while chopping your squash – refer to my post on hubbard squash risotto to see how I recommend cutting open the squash as well as chopping the actual squash meat.

Cut up about two chipotle peppers from your can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

Important: If you are following a gluten-free diet, I discovered that this can of chipotle peppers is not gluten-free. It contains flour, likely to thicken the sauce. I do not know if there is a gluten-free version of this product out on the market, but I imagine that you can use chipotle pepper powder as a substitute.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, squash, carrot, and chipotle peppers. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add to bean mixture, then stir in sage, thyme, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until squash is tender. Stir in salt.

Ladle the stew into individual bowls, then sprinkle with pumpkinseed kernels (if using) – and serve.

Related post: Vegan Squah Gratin

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