Even though we cook fresh meals every night, we definitely don’t have the time to spend much time in the kitchen every day. So there’s always a lot of pasta, buddha bowls, and stir fries happening. However, we have been very conscious of our protein intake since we started to work out more. That is why we’ve been eating lots of beans, lentils, tofu, and so on. I really appreciate a good chili, but most recipes ask for a long cooking time for that nice and flavourful aroma, and an extra thick consistency.
This Chili recipe is perfect for weekdays, and all done in just 30 minutes (a bit more if you roast the spaghetti squash as well). I cheated a bit to reach a lovely texture by adding some couscous, which in addition fills you up very nicely. Instead of soaking and cooking beans (as I usually would), I just opened some cans. I love topping my chili with some nachos, avocado, sour cream, and lime. But whenever I have the time, I roast my beloved spaghetti squash, toss it with butter, salt, and pepper, and throw it on my chili. It is simply the best!
For the roasted Spaghetti Squash (optional, adds 20 minutes to the preparation time):
1 spaghetti squash
1 teaspoon butter
1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper
For the chili:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot or small white onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
150 gram couscous
1 big can of crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 big pinch of sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
1 tomato, sliced
1 hand full of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1. If you choose to prepare the spaghetti squash: preheat the oven to 400°F. Half the spaghetti squash lengthwise, remove the seed with a spoon and place it cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast it for 30 – 45 minutes until tender. Start on the chili 15 minutes later.
2. Add the olive oil to a big pot and heat it up. Add the onions and sautée at medium heat until see-through. Add the tomato paste and couscous and sautée for another 2 minutes while stirring.
3. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir them in. Fill the can with water and add it to the pot as well. Stir, then close it with the lid.
4. Drain and rinse the beans and corn. Add to the chili, throw in all of the spices, stir again, and let it cook and thicken for 15 minutes. Don’t forget to stir regularly and scrape the bottom while doing so.
5. If you opted for the spaghetti squash, take it out of the oven and scrape the squash into strands. Add the squash, butter, salt, and pepper to a bowl and mix.
6. Once the chili reaches your preferred consistency spoon it into bowls, top with spaghetti squash, some fresh sliced tomato, and some fresh parsley. This also keeps well in the fridge or the freezer.