Friday, October 10, 2014

Pumpkin Chili -- Tastes Like Fall

Oh, how I love pumpkin. While I'm not a fan of fall's chilly weather, I love the food that comes with it. Autumnal flavors are by far my favorite, with lots of cinnamon and other warm spices. Roasted pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are just so good, and I would eat it every day if I could. 
Luckily, canned pumpkin is also delicious (just make sure you don't accidentally buy pumpkin pie filling... that stuff is gross and basically diabetes in a can). I've crafted the recipe below for canned pumpkin. I've also done a less liquidy version of this and used it over gluten-free pasta! This is gluten, dairy, egg, and nut-free.
Comforting Pumpkin Chili
1 small onion, diced
1 large can of pumpkin puree 
1 large can of pureed tomatoes
2 cups of carrots, sliced or cubed
1 cup frozen kale or collard greens, defrosted
1 lb of ground beef (can be replaced with black beans for a vegetarian version)
1 can kidney beans, drained.
1 green onion, sliced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Brown the ground beef in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add a tbsp of cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper to the beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once the beef is browned, scoop out the meat and put into a separate bowl. Add a dash of olive oil to the rendered beef fat. (If making a vegetarian version, skip the beef and use 1 tbsp of olive oil here instead.)
Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the onion and carrots. Stir and add salt to draw moisture out of the vegetables. When they’ve softened, add the beef back in, as well as a palmful of cumin and a dash of cinnamon (adjust based on your tastes). Add the tomatoes, kale, and pumpkin, and stir until fully mixed.
Let it continue to cook until bubbling, then turn the heat to low. Add the can of kidney beans. Let it simmer for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. If the mixture gets too thick, add some chicken or vegetable stock.
After an hour, taste and adjust salt and pepper accordingly. Garnish with green onion slices (add a little sour cream or Greek yogurt if you want), and enjoy the fall flavors!

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