Nick’s Zone – Chipotle Bison Chili with Butternut Squash




I am a huge fan of chili, bison and butternut squash. So, I decided to combine them all, with my favorite, smoky heat additive; chipotle.

To take this fury of flavor to the next level, I Zoned it out. Now, you can crush life with confidence knowing that you are fueled up and IN THE ZONE!

If you don’t have access to bison, or would like to use another ground meat, turkey, pork, chicken, beef, lamb, or wild game will do. The goal of this lesson is to teach you the technique and encourage you to be creative with different meats, veggies and squash. One thing to note is the toasting of the spices at the start. You can always add raw spice at the end, but toasted spices have so much more to give. I don’t provide exact quantities of spices because I want you to learn to work with them and adding and tasting is the only way to do this. Got it? Good.

I just finished up a wild weekend in New Hampton, New Hampshire. It was an amazing experience and I now have a new group of friends who I look forward to seeing again and again. We cooked up over 400 meals and some culinary ninja skills were honed. I will write a recap on the experience so that, if you want to host a similar event, you’ll have an idea of what is entailed. Cool?

Alright, I’m heading to Bob’s Clam Hut for lunch. While it will be hard to “Keep It Paleo!” at Bob’s, I’m willing to make a compromise. I definitely earned my ice cream this weekend, but didn’t eat any ice cream. I’m a sucker for clams, so I’ve come up with a new slogan, “Earn Your Fried Clams”. What do you think?

Have a great day guys, we’ve got a lot of amazing content coming up and will do whatever I can to help you…

“Keep It Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

With the New Hampshire Ninjas

Chipotle Bison Chili with Butternut Squash

Ingredient List:

  • 42 oz. butternut squash, large dice
  • 8 cups onions, large dice
  • 12 cups mixed bell peppers, large dice
  • 4 cups tomato puree
  • 4 cups diced tomatoes in juice
  • ¾ cup fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ½ pounds ground bison
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder or 2 chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, or to taste

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Preheat an 8 quart stock pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the olive oil, chili powder and ground cumin and stir to toast the spices.
  3. Add the minced garlic and stir to incorporate.
  4. Season the top side of the bison with half of the kosher salt and pepper and add to the pot, seasoned side down. Season the top side with the other half of salt and pepper and begin to break it into chunks incorporating the garlic/spice/oil mixture. Cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the onions to the pot and stir. Season with salt. Then, add the butternut squash and stir to incorporate. Cover the pot to aid in cooking and steam the squash. Cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove lid, stir, season with salt and add the peppers. Lid the pot once again and cook for 10 minutes longer.
  7. Remove lid and add tomato product. Stir to incorporate and bring to a simmer.
  8. Once simmer is achieved, turn off the heat and season one last time with salt, chili powder, cumin and chipotle powder or chipotle chiles.
  9. Portion out into 11, 3-block portions. Refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to 6 months. Bon Appetit!

“Keep It Paleo!”

Zone Breakdown:

Protein: (22.5)

We are starting with 2.5 pounds of raw ground pork.  In grams this weighs about 1135g, which after it is cooked cooks down to 942g.  With this being one of the meats we measure as 42g per block, that yields us 22.5 blocks of protein from the ground pork.

Carbohydrate: (45.5)

42oz of butternut squash weighs about 1172g.  At 95g per block uncooked, we are getting 12 carbohydrate blocks form our butternut squash.

In addition, we are using 8 cups of raw onions.  2/3 of a cup raw equal one block, therefore we get 12 more carb blocks here.

2 cups of bell peppers equal one block so with 12 cups total of raw bell peppers, we will get 6 car blocks from peppers.

Tomato puree we count the same as tomato sauce.  One block of tomato sauce equals ½ cup, so therefore since we have 4 cups, we will get 8 blocks from the tomato puree.

Regular diced tomatoes, however, are measured as one block equaling one cup so therefore we get 4 blocks from the tomatoes.

Finally, we are using ¾ of a cup of Garlic.  1 clove of garlic equals about 1 teaspoon, and 10 cloves equal a block. Since we have ¾ of a cup, that equals, 12 tablespoons, or 36 teaspoons, or 36 cloves, therefore about 3.5 blocks.

Fats: (27)

We are using a lot of olive oil, 3 tablespoons worth.  With 1/3 of a tablespoon equaling one block, we therefore have 9 teaspoons, or 27 Fat blocks from the oil.

Balancing Act:

We have a 2-1 balance from the Carbs to the Proteins, with the Fats almost equaling the proteins.  We have total of 45.5 blocks from Carbs and 22.5 blocks from Protein, and a slightly higher, 27 blocks from Fats.  When making this, you can either double the amount of pork you put in the recipe, or just add an additional block to a later snack.  Broken down into meals, you can get about 11 meals worth from this recipe.


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