Meet Katy Cassady, an Applied Food Studies bachelors student at the Culinary Institute of America. Her aspiration is to feed masses and support local communities through sustainable food systems. Katy is currently pursuing jobs for sustainable operations in large institutions.
On the side, she writes various pieces on sustainable food from a culinary perspective, works in CIA’s food recovery kitchen. and runs community outreach programs for CIA students.
One popular community outreach program that she runs is a farming education program with Poughkeepsie Farm Project where students come volunteer and learn where their food comes from.
Katy has recently been inspired by this farm’s CSA and educational programs and has started writing a seasonal cookbook for farm members that do not know how to use some of the less commonly seen produce items. She will be writing recipes based off the seasonal produce at the farm for one year and will publish the cookbook soon after that.
This beet chili recipe is just one of the multiple she is in the process of developing for this cookbook. Look for more to come!
Sweet Beet Chili
Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
1 c. canola oil
2 Tbsp. fresh or dried thyme and oregano
2 Tbsp. salt and black pepper
2 Tbsp. lemon
1 large red beet, peeled and boiled
½ lb. butternut squash
2 tsp. shallot
½ c. red onion, small diced
2 carrots, small diced
2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
3 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 qt. vegetable stock or water
30 oz. chickpeas or black beans, rinsed
12 oz. jarred or homemade salsa
Queso fresco and cilantro
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Halve tomatoes and place on a sheet pan for roasting. Mince the shallot, oregano, and thyme. Sprinkle herbs and shallot over the tomatoes with 1/4 cup of canola oil and the lemon juice. Place in the oven and roast tomatoes for 20 minutes or until tender and the skin is cracked.
Chunk the beets and butternut squash. Place them on another sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Lightly coat them both in canola oil on the sheet pan. Place in the oven and cook until they have color and are tender, about 35 minutes.
Dice the onions and carrots, mince the garlic and ginger, and combine remaining spices into a small bowl. In a large saucepan on medium heat, put 2 tablespoons canola oil. When oil is hot add the onions, carrots, garlic, and ginger. Cook the vegetables until onions are translucent. Add in the spices, water or vegetable stock, and chickpeas.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven and place them in the large saucepan with the cooked vegetables. Add salsa. Simmer this mixture.
When beets and squash have color and are tender, take them out of the oven. In a blender or food processor, puree them together with 1-2 tablespoons of water. Make sure to not over blend, there should be some texture. When the mixture is pureed, add it into the saucepot.
Allow the chili to stew for 10-15 minutes checking it occasionally and adding salt if necessary.
When the chili reaches a thick consistency and the desired spicy-sweet, meaty taste, it is done.
Garnish each bowl with 1-2 cilantro leaves and 1 teaspoon of queso fresco.
Enjoy with corn muffins and citrus salad!