Continuing on the “clean-out-the pantry” streak, I decided to use some of the dried mixed beans I had on hand. This recipe on Real Simple (one of my fave magazines) looked appealing enough, perhaps especially because I got to use my slow cooker. I soaked some beans overnight and then in the morning I used: red pepper, onion, garlic, sweet potato (asian potato), beans, butternut squash cubes (frozen), 2 cans of 12oz diced tomatoes, some hot sauce, and then the other ingredients listed. Though the whole thing probably cooked on low for about 12 hrs (I had a ridiculously long work day) some of the beans were still a bit hard. Edible, but just not the same texture as if I used canned beans. I suppose I should have cooked them a bit before adding, but I had no idea. I put on some sour cream, and fresh green onions on top. It hit the spot pretty well late at night, and we all know chili always tastes better as leftovers. Im sure one could add meat, but lately I have just been craving more veggies, and seafood rather than sausage, and the like. The squash completely vanished. I couldn’t find a single chunk. Oh I also didn’t add the cocoa powder since I didn’t have any, but I’m sure it would have added a richness to the flavor if I did. All in all though, it was a good recipe, just one I would recommend using canned beans.