Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pumpkin Chili

Yeah, I REALLY like pumpkin.

I saw this recipe online, and I was a little suspicious. Pumpkin in chili? Yeah, nope. I don't usually go too far out of my way for chili anyway, but weird chilli? Nah, I'm good. But the more I thought about it, the more I was ok with it. I mean, pumpkin's just a squash, why not toss it in like any other veggie? Plus I was craving chili anyway. I was just getting over the worst cold ever, a "get you out of class for two days but it's not really worth it because you feel so poopy" kind of cold, and needed something to clear out my sinuses. Like super spicy chili.

I thought about following the recipe, I really did. I started to, only because I've never actually made chili before. I started with all the right veggies. Except I only used one jalapeno, I'm a whimp. More on that later.

Then came the meat. Recipe said turkey. I like turkey, and it's healthy! My roommates last year were super healthy, one's a nutrition major with a diabetic sister, and one doesn't have a gallbladder. Apparently you can't have tasty things, like taco bell, if you don't have a gallbladder. So all last year, I made everything super healthy, low fat, and low sugar. And with turkey instead of beef. But you know what? Sometimes you just need a little ground beef in your chili, sorry about it!

And that's about as far as the recipe went. Start the round of "find the most colorful ingredients you have in the house and toss 'em in!"

Beans? Tossed in the one can. But I'd used extra meat and pumpkin, so in went a second. I like lots of leftovers, it means I don't have to cook again! Hmm, needs more veggies. A can of corn? Why not. One more can of beans while we're at it, they're healthy! Measuring spices? Eh, just toss lots of cayenne and cumin in, give it a zip. Let it simmer for forever, and tastes good to me!

Tastes REALLY good to me! The pumpkin was basically a substitute for tomato paste, and I really liked it. It gave it a little bit of an earthy, nutty flavor, but it mostly just gave it a great texture! Definitely not making boring tomato chili again any time soon!

Oh, and about that jalapeno? Not fun. I washed my hands, I promise. Multiple times! But alas, a few hours later, I rubbed my eye, and HOLY CRUD MY EYEBALL'S ON FIRE!!!!!! It kinda hurt. Somehow in the process of washing it out, I got more pepper in my other eye. Just to add insult to injury, once I got vaguely cleaned out, the pepper oils decided to soak into my skin, so my fingers were burning all night. Could it get worse? Hopped in the shower the next morning, rinsed more of the oils back in. Four freakin days later, I could still taste it biting my nails. I am never ever EVER using fresh jalapenos again!

Pumpkin Chili
Adapted from

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground white or dark meat turkey
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
I also added 1 can corn, 1 can pinto beans, and 1 can great northern beans

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment