Winter Squash Recipes Perfect for the Thanksgiving Table

So. . . good things have been coming my way lately. I feel very lucky, though I have worked long and hard to get here.  Now, along with my being a contributor to Zester Daily I have become a contributor to!

I hear you all saying “Yeah and what does that have to do with me?” It means more original recipes and food related posts from me, and more recipes from some of the best food blogs on the web!  Win-win, if you ask me.

My first post on is just in time for Thanksgiving and features recipes some great blogs, including this one of course.  “7 Alternatives to Pumpkin Everything or Enough with the Pumpkin Already” has recipes that will fit perfectly on your Thanksgiving table, whether you are vegetarian or an omnivore.


Spiced Roasted Winter Vegetables
Spiced Roasted Winter Vegetables

Chorizo and Bean Chili

Chorizo and Bean Chile | Black Girl Chef's Whites
Chili is one of my favorite comfort foods. Whether it is  turkey, beef, chicken, pork or veggie, I am a chili lover.
I am also a chili with beans kind of gal. Sure, I can appreciate a beefy Texas style chili, or even a mystery meat chili served over a hot dog or fries. But when I whip up a batch of chili, it is going to have beans in it.
One of my local stores makes their own sausages on site, and I really enjoy their Mexican style chorizo.  One of my favorite things I’ve made is Chorizo Stuffed Shrimp. But this Chorizo and Two Bean Chili is high up on my favorites list also.
Add whatever kind of beans you like best. Throw in some chopped tomatoes and corn if you want. That’s the great thing about chili, you can dress it up or down depending on your mood.
Chorizo and Bean Chili | Black Girl Chef's Whites

Recipe: Chorizo and Two Bean Chili


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground pasilla or ancho chile
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 pound chorizo sausage, casing removed
  • 2 cans (15 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounce) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce + 1 can of water
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado or raw sugar


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Over medium heat, stirring occasionally, cook the onion, red pepper, salt, cumin, pasilla chile and oregano for 4-5 minutes, until softened.
  3. Add the chorizo, stirring occasionally, cook the sausage 5-6 minutes, until well browned.
  4. Stir in the beans, tomato sauce, water and sugar.
  5. Simmer the chili over low heat for about 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to blend.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Copyright © Cheryl D Lee.

Chorizo and Bean Chili | Black Girl Chef's Whites

Comfort Food Recipe: Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Hearty Vegetarian Chili Ingredients

Recently I started preparing meals for a new vegetarian client of my personal chef business.  One of my sisters has been a vegetarian so long I can’t remember her ever eating meat, so I am comfortable making vegetarian food.  Of course, I am a complete omnivore who loves her meat, so although I may be comfortable making vegetarian fare, I don’t so it as often as I should.  Like everyone else, I get in a rut with my cooking at times, and stick to the tried and true.  Especially with a three year old in the house, who is an excellent and adventurous eater, but is still a three year old!  Eating a plant based diet has been proven to be very healthy way to eat, so I have decided to incorporate more meat-free meals into my everyday cooking.

My go-to chili  is usually turkey chili.  I made this vegetarian chili last week, and while tasting and tweaking decided this would be a great recipe to make for my family.  It is full of nutritious ingredients, including two types of beans, carrots and barley.  And it got a big thumbs up from the three year old!

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

2 TB olive or vegetable oil

1 onion, medium dice

5 cloves garlic, chopped

3 TB dark chili powder

2 tsp  ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 (15 oz) cans red kidney beans

2 (15 oz) cans black beans

1 (1 lb) package baby carrots or two large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced

1 (28 oz) can chopped tomatoes

1 cup pearl barley

4 cups water

Heat the oil over medium heat in  a large soup or stock  pot.  Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, salt and cinnamon.  Cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes, until the onion has softened.  Be sure to use no higher than medium heat so the spices do not burn.

Sauteeing Spices with Aromatic Vegetables

Add the beans, carrots, tomatoes, barley and water to the pot.  Stir to mix the ingredients, then bring the chili to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, and cook about 45 minutes, until the barley is done and the carrots are tender.

Simmering the Chili

Serve the chili with a loaf of warm crusty bread or biscuits.  If you would like you can garnish the chili with thinly sliced green onions, shredded cheese or sour cream.

Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista

Comfort Food Recipe: Black and White Chili

Black and White Chili

This is and has been my go-to comfort food for as long as I have been cooking.  I have made many variations of  this turkey chili, using different kinds of beans, spices and cooking techniques.  I have made it hot with ancho chili, hotter with chipotle chili, and mild for my young daughter.  In fact, I made a huge batch for her 1st birthday party.  I don’t remember if she actually ate any that day, but I do know the adults enjoyed it.

I’m not going to enter the “Great Chili Debate” of whether chili should be meat (beef in particular) only, meat and beans, or beans only.  Those crazy folks in Cincinnati even serve it over spaghetti and top it with cheese!

This is my chili. Or at least one variation of it. . .

Black and White Chili Ingredients

Black and White Chili

2 TB olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 TB dark chili powder

1 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey

2 10 oz. cans Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilis

2 15.5 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15.5 oz cans white kidney or cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups water

In a large deep skillet heat the olive oil over a medium flame.  Add the onion, cook for 3 -4 minutes, until softened.  Stirring constantly so the spices do not burn, add the garlic, chili powder, oregano, salt and cumin to the skillet and cook an additional 1 – 2 minutes, until the spices are fragrant.  This step is very important, because when the spices are cooked it allows the flavors to deepen and develop.

Cooking the Onions and Spices

Add the ground turkey and stir to blend the onion mixture with the meat.  Brown the turkey, about 5-7 minutes.

Browning the Turkey with the Spiced Onions

Add the tomatoes, black and white beans and water. Stir  to mix all the ingredients well.

Adding Black and White Beans and Tomatoes

Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer.  Cook the chili for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to let all the flavors meld.

Black and White Chili Simmering

Serve with crusty bread, tortilla chips or crackers.

Black and White Chili

Cheryl D Lee on Foodista