With October underway, there are pumpkins everywhere for decorating and carving. Local grocery stores will stock them, as will farms and produce vendors. Beyond decoration, however, pumpkins can be turned into a number of delicious savory dishes, including this comforting and soothing pumpkin chili.
Though chili may be considered a fattening guilty pleasure, this pumpkin chili happens to be perfect for your looks. Pumpkin is loaded with fiber (three grams of fiber per one cup of pumpkin), which helps keep your waistline small, while the carotenoids in pumpkin reduces wrinkles and fine lines in skin. So why not treat your taste buds with this affordable and nutritious chili? You deserve it!
This chili is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and can also be made vegetarian/vegan (see notes below). The ingredients in this chili can be acquired for very little money, helping you Eat Your Way to Debt Relief. It’s the perfect meal to go with a cozy blanket and a good book!
Comforting Pumpkin Chili
1 small onion, diced
1 can of pumpkin puree (or 3 cups of fresh steamed pumpkin, pureed)
1 can of pureed tomatoes
2 cups of carrots, sliced or cubed
1 cup kale, cooked
1 lb of ground beef (can be omitted for a vegetarian version)
1 can kidney beans, drained.
1 green onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
Start browning 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!