Vegetarian Chili with a Little Something Extra

The other night I made my usual chili (without the corn), but did my little two pot dance wherein I produce an omnivorous dish and its vegetarian counterpart, side by side, on the same stove, at the same time!  I feel like I should add "with two hands tied behind my back,"  but that would not be true.

I browned some ground chicken thigh meat in a skillet and started my chili in a Dutch oven.  Once I had added everything except the meat (and vinegar, which is almost a garnish, added at the very end), I pulled out a smaller pot and ladled about one-third of the chili into it.  I then put the chicken into the mix in the bigger pot and added a little already cooked and frozen quinoa into Maddy's vegetarian version.  The spirit had moved me earlier in Mom's to buy some frozen butternut squash, an item I have never before purchased, and I added that to the pots proportionally, as well.  I let them simmer a little more just to let the chicken incorporate and the butternut squash thaw and warm.  Too long and the squash would just puree.

I feel certain that this sounds much more complicated than it is!  If you too have a mixed family, give it a whirl.

I made this again with ground turkey and decided that the combination of turkey and butternut squash is a perfect fall nod to Thanksgiving.  This is also the recipe that won in the Greater DC Whole Foods Market cooking contest for best chili.  You can link to the full recipe here!