Black Bean and Butternut Squash Calming Cacao Chili

This Black Bean and Butternut Squash Calming Cacao Chili is one of the dinner recipes from my new 6 Weeks to Less Stress, More Sleep online program, and it’s definitely one of my favourites!

I always recommend to my clients to meal prep a few dishes at the weekend, and chilis are a great option as you can throw them in an instant pot or in a slow cooker, and store in the fridge or freezer. This helps relieve stress in a very practical way as you know you will have something delicious and healthy to eat when you get home from work!

The ingredients have also been chosen to reduce stress, reduce anxiety and help you feel calm in the evenings: black beans provide a great source of plant-based protein, and we need protein in our diets for our bodies to make dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps us feel calm and relaxed. Butternut squash provides slow carbs that help us make serotonin, the second calming neurotransmitter, and cacao is an amazing source of magnesium, the mineral that can help support our physical and mental health at times of increased stress.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Calming Cacao Chili

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil 
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder 
  • 2 teaspoons Himayalan salt 
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper 
  • ¼ – ½  teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 cans (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed,
  • 2 cans (28 oz) chopped tomatoes (with their juice)

Stovetop: In a large 5 – 6 quart pot, heat the avocado oil over a medium heat, and saute the onion, garlic, celery and bell pepper for 6 minutes. Add the remainder of the ingredients, bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for around 45 minutes, or until the butternut squash has softened. Will thicken upon cooling 

Instant Pot: using the saute setting heat the avocado oil and saute the onion, garlic, celery and bell pepper for 6 minutes. Turn off, add the remainder of the ingredients and cook on the chili/bean setting for 25 minutes. 

Slow Cooker: Place all ingredients into your slow-cooker and stir well.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

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