Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I was actually kind of skeptical of Pumpkin Chili.  I mean, really, pumpkin in chili?  I've always thought of pumpkin in sweet stuff only.  I'm in a groove right now trying out new recipes and making them my own.  I get the basic ideas from posted recipes and then I add, subtract, and enhance the ingredients.  I was a basic kind of cook who thought of making dinner as a chore until I had bariatric surgery, lost 125 pounds, and have amazing energy.  I now LOVE to cook and enjoy making my own recipes and enhancing others, or just trying things that I thought would be too hard.  I have come to realize that fresh herbs are the only way to go and you can hide vegetables in just about EVERYTHING.  So, I made the pumpkin chili...it was just too intriguing...and it being a slow cooker recipe made it even more appealing.  I got the recipe on Pinterest and here:  http://punchfork.com/recipe/Crockpot-Pumpkin-Chili-with-Ground-Beef-Black-Beans-and-Kidney-Beans-Kalyns-Kitchen
I basically went by the recipe with just a couple of additions and subtractions.  Here is what I came up with.

Anaheim chili pepper, green (2oz) - I had a fresh one that I roasted in the oven, removed the skin and cut up
Dried chili pepper, red (1) - I pulled the stem out and poured out the seeds.  I then put it in my Ninja and made it in to a course powder.
jalepeno pepper (1) - finely chopped with seeds removed
2 cans black beans - rinsed
Fresh Cilantro - as much as you like..I LOVE cilantro
Ground Cumin - 1Tbsp
Fresh garlic - 3 cloves minsed or 1Tbsp
Green Bell Pepper - 1
Onion - 1 medium to large
Fresh Oregeno - 2 Tbsp
Fresh Rosemary - 1tsp
Fresh basil - 2tsp
15 oz fresh pumpkin puree (you can use 1 can puree, not pie filling)
28oz fresh tomatoes (I had some fresh frozen roasted tomatoes but you can use 2 14oz cans diced tomatoes)
1lb ground beef
1Tbsp chili powder
2tsp Olive Oil
Sea Salt and fresh ground black pepper - to taste
Dash of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper - to taste
1 yellow squash
1 zuchini squash
1 carrot
1 celery stalk

Brown ground beef until almost done and then add herbs and seasonings...sautee for about 2 more minutes then remove and set aside.  In the same skillet, add some olive oil and saute onions, bell pepper, jalepeno pepper, squash, carrot, and celery until almost soft then add garlic and saute for another minute.  In a blender (I use my awesome Ninja) add tomatoes and sauted veggies.  Pulse a few times until almost pureed.  Add beef, tomato veggie sauce and the rest of the ingredients into a slow cooker (crockpot).  Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.  Remember, the longer you cook this, the more the flavors will be incorporated and enhanced. 
We put this on fritos for frito chili pie and added some cheese and sour cream (or greek yogurt for more nutrition.)
I now have a favorite chili...and yes, I'm from Texas and like the beans in this chili.  About the pumpkin...you really do not taste it but it does enhance the flavor with just a tad sweetness to tame the peppers, and add a little thickness.  This is a must try.  The following picture is from the original recipe owner.  Thank you Kaylynskitchen for this wonderful concoction. 

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