Home » 4th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #9 – Harvest Festival Chili

4th Annual Chili Contest: Entry #9 – Harvest Festival Chili


Is there anything better suited for the day after Christmas than your most favorite pair of sweatpants? I agree. Comfy sweatpants are an absolute post-holiday must-have. With just a few days before the quickly approaching 2014 and all of the resolutions that come with that first day, first few weeks, and perhaps even the first few months of the year…most people are postponing all things healthy…for just a few more days. Never wise!

Some studies report that over 90% of Americans make new year’s resolutions having to do with health, weight, or getting fit. This probably comes as a surprise to…no one.


In the past week, Mr. Prevention and I have slacked on the workouts and indulged in oh-so-good-but-not-good-for-you foods. But it’s not a time to have all healthy habits fall by the wayside. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been on Pinterest and other blogs saving recipes for when the real world resumes and everyone is back in the swing of things.

I doubled up on salad at today’s Christmas meal #3…green vegetables. Amen. Fiber – oh yes! Water, uh huh! I fully anticipate my father-in-law to stride over here, offering me a rare IPA brew before I’m able to hit “publish” on this post…


The holiday season has The Prevention’s feeling very blessed. We’re thankful for great family and friends, health and happiness, enjoyable employment that provides, and the memories made in December to last a lifetime — family photos, YouTube videos not appropriate for all ages, white elephant shenanigans, signing cookbooks, endless games of Uno, psychedelic photos of Lily, and Yahtzee games that bring out the competitive side in all.

I’m also thankful for this little pieces of me — my blog. Thank you for reading and following along with our journey of (mostly) healthy eating. Mwwwah!

This Harvest Festival Chili is the 9th and next-to-last recipe in this year’s chili contest. Yes, I’m running a bit behind…but this year’s chili contest has been filled with winning recipes, including this submission from a long-time reader, Athena. Filled with fiber, lean protein, and moderately low in both calories and sodium, this chili recipe is sure to please.


Harvest Festival Chili
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Traditional flavors and bumped up nutrition thanks to fiber and vitamin-rich winter squash.
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ to ½ tsp cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
  • 1 lb 96% lean ground beef
  • 1 (15 oz) can no-salt added diced tomatoes
  • ½ medium acorn or butternut squash (about 1 lb), peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 (15 oz) can reduced sodium kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 (15 oz) can low-sodium beef broth
  • ¼ tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and green pepper. Stir frequently until vegetables soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper, stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beef and cook, breaking up the meat up until finely crumbled, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, squash, beans, corn, and beef broth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Recipe developed and submitted by Athena Russell
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1½ cups Calories: 284 Fat: 7.4 Carbohydrates: 37.3 Sugar: 6.6 Sodium: 495 Fiber: 9.5 Protein: 21.8 Cholesterol: 30

 One last holiday brunch and set of family photos and I do believe this holiday season will be a wrap. Happy holidays to you & yours!

Be well,


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  1. Biz
    December 28, 2013 / 4:11 pm

    I am not sure I’ve ever put butternut squash in chili – but it looks delicious! Love that you are having fun with family and friends! Seriously – 2014 – we HAVE to get together, even if that means me taking a day trip to Michigan! 😀


  2. Alejandra
    December 29, 2013 / 11:09 am

    Really love the idea of squash in chili–this looks like such a delicious, cozy recipe. Perfect for the cold evenings ahead!

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