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Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil (or water), onion, and jalapeño pepper. Season with a healthy pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add garlic and sauté (stirring occasionally) for 2-3 minutes more, or until onion, pepper, and garlic are softened and slightly browned.
Add butternut squash, 2/3 of the chili powder (2 Tbsp as original recipe is written), half the cumin (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written), smoked paprika and stir to coat. Cook for 3 minutes.
Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetable broth and stir to combine. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat.
Once boiling, add quinoa (see photo) and reduce heat to medium-low or low, so it's at a gentle simmer. You want to see bubbles, but you don't want it boiling. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until quinoa is mostly tender. As it's cooking you may need to add more vegetable broth or water if it's looking too dry and the quinoa isn't submerged (I didn't find that necessary).
Next add kidney beans, black beans, 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, and remaining cumin (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written) and chili powder (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written), coconut sugar, and stir to combine. If adding the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (optional), add now.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat slightly to low (or medium-low), cover, and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes to meld the flavors together. Stir occasionally.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more chili powder or cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, or a little coconut sugar to balance the heat and draw out the other flavors.
Add kale (optional), cover, and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Serve as is, or garnished with lime, chili cheese fritos (or tortilla chips), fresh jalapeño, cilantro, red onion, and/or avocado (all optional).
Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 5-6 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until hot.