Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ancho Squash Chili Hits The Spot At Roots; Part Of Their Expanded Prepared Food Display

Ancho Squash Chili at Roots
Take my advice knowing that I'm no chili purist, but I really enjoyed a new Roots prepared chili made with squash and ancho peppers.

Again, I'm no purist.  Barbecue and chili tend to kick up comment wars about whether chili can truly have anything but tomatoes and meat.

Prepared foods at Roots
Of course Roots' chili can't have meat.  They serve some, I think.  But the Roots-Great Sage complex in Clarksville is certainly built on the idea of good tasting vegetarian and often vegan dishes.

Roots' ancho squash chili really felt like chili to me.  The right texture -- where it is thick enough not to be stew, but chunky enough to be more than sauce.  I wouldn't have ever guessed it was based on squash.  The lead flavor is that ancho chili, smoky and lightly spicy.  Roots has created an entire kitchen to make prepared foods, and this qualified as a restaurant-quality meal that filled us both with a few slices of bread on the side.

Roots seems to be expanding its prepared food offerings.  I hadn't seen the guacamole and soup section next to the salad bar.  Now they have prepared foods in several refrigerated sections -- sandwiches, quesadillas, soups, and more.  Over recent years, they have added more breads and baked sweets.

I assume it's a smart move to differentiate from Whole Foods.  The new Columbia store must be affecting the organic groceries and other stores.  Roots' prepared items -- including that guacamole -- make it a great stop for quick eats, and it certainly keeps the stores from becoming just competitors selling the same national brands.

What other prepared foods do people recommend at Roots?  We tried some beet hummus.  Lil' Chow didn't take to it immediately, and I cringe at the idea of beet anything when I see the food dropped, thrown and smeared in our kitchen.  But Roots is a great resource in the south county.

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