Paleo & Whole30 Chili with Avocado Cream in an Acorn Squash Cup

5 Jan

Sorry for the long title.  I think chili might be one of the most perfect cold weather dishes.  Warm, hearty, delicious.  Serving chili in a roasted acorn squash half accomplishes two things.  First, it gets more vegetables into your meal.  Second, it adds some sweetness to cut the heat of the chili.  I know most people love to top their chili with a dollop of sour cream or some cheese, but if you are going strict paleo/Whole30 that’s a no-go.  This avocado cream is the perfect cooling dollop to drop onto your chili without adding a cheat to your meal.

Chili in roasted acorn squash cup with avocado cream

Chili in roasted acorn squash cup with avocado cream

Ingredients:

Acorn Squash

Olive Oil

Kosher or sea salt

Pepper

Chili

2 tbl. olive oil

2 pounds grass fed ground beef

1 sweet onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

29 oz. can organic tomato sauce

28 oz. can organic crushed tomatoes

2 jalapeño peppers, sliced or diced

8 stalks celery, chopped

5-6 cubanelle peppers, seeded and chopped

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. dried basil

4 tbl. chili powder

2-3 tbl. crushed red pepper

Avocado Cream

2 small ripe avocados

1/2 cup paleo mayonnaise (I wanted to use unsweetened cultured coconut milk yogurt, but couldn’t find any at the store)

2-3 tbl. lime juice

Pinch of kosher salt

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cut acorn squash in half width-wise and remove seeds.  Coat inner side of squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place squash on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F until fork tender, usually 30-50 minutes depending on squash size.  Heat 3 tbl. olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  When hot add onion and sauté for 4 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add ground beef, breaking up with a spoon or fork, and cook until meat is browned.  Add remaining chili ingredients to the pot and cook at a simmer to the desired tenderness of the vegetables.  For the avocado cream reserve one avocado pit for the storage container you will keep your cream in (it will help prevent it from oxidizing…I don’t know why it just works), discard the other pit.  Scoop your ripe avocado flesh, mayonnaise, lime juice, and a pinch of salt into your food processor and process until well blended.  How much lime juice and salt will depend on your personal preference.  Store avocado cream in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

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