Beauty Foods: A Sweet Vegetarian Chili to Make Your Skin Glow

With the crispness and dryness in the Fall air, I couldn’t help but include all the pumpkins and squashes in today’s chili. My skin is beginning to dry up, so I’m turning to food to nourish myself from the inside out.

Sweet Pumpkin Chilli 2

You might already know that phytonutrients are nutrients that protect the plant from damage, and this means that they pack major antioxidant properties.  Lycopene, beta carotene and lutein are forms of these compounds and are bountiful in the tomatoes, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato and pumpkin in this dish, and provide dietary protection of the elements for your skin. Studies show that a diet rich in phytonutrients may produce continual, whole body protection from UV damage that leads to cellular degeneration.

I often consider the health of my skin and hair when I am putting a meal together.  I call it, “recipes with benefits”. This sweet chili is perfect as we approach the cooler weather, it warms the heart and soul, and certainly offers up protective benefits for the whole body and skin. High in fibre, the black beans and lentils help to keep the digestive system healthy, which plays a direct role in your skin’s glow.

Sweet Pumpkin Chilli

Chili ingredients:

  • 3 C cubed butternut squash
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 small head broccoli florets
  • 1/2 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 jar tomato sauce or 1 large can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can lentils
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup water or adjust for desired consistency
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 small can organic corn (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chili powder (optional if you want a spicy chili)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (optional is you are using chili powder)
  • olive oil for cooking


  • Cut the butternut squash and sweet potato into pieces, toss in olive oil, and roast until soft at 350F
  • Sautee onion until clear in a large pot with olive oil
  • add garlic, diced carrots and cook until soft
  • add water, broccoli, lentils, black beans, pumpkin puree, tomato sauce or roasted tomatoes, corn, salt and chili powder
  • add the cooked butternut squash and sweet potato
  • cover the pot and let simmer on low for minimum 1 hour to let the flavours marry
  • serve with diced avocado and plain yogurt with dill or cilantro. My Dairy-free Tzaziki dip is delicious here as a vegan option
  • BONUS: My favourite side kick to this dish is the Maple Sweet Potato Cornbread Muffins by Ambitious Kitchen. Drizzle them with a little honey while they’re warm. Find her recipe here
Sweet Pumpkin Chilli with Cornbread Muffins

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