Pumpkins aren’t just for decoration in our house. Since I”m not a fan of pumpkin pie (Sorry, but it’s just not my thing.), I’m always looking for other ways to play with this fall favorite. This week, it was vegetarian chili.
Now, when I make chili, it’s kind of your “kitchen sink” version. I take a look inside of the refrigerator and add anything that’s left from the farmer’s market, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s forages of the week and throw it in. But this week, I had a bit of a strategy. I definitely wanted to have the pumpkin flavor but not have the pumpkin be super mushy. Plus, I added a little hint of sweet “mole”ish kick with the chocolate and dark honey. It worked! And the empty bowls (and back for seconds) from Bruce and Sasha strongly suggests that this go into my comfort food rotation.
I hope you enjoy the recipe. And, as usual, play with it to make it your own. Life’s too spectacular to follow someone else’s plan! Be sure to let me know how it came out in the comments below! As well post your chili pics on social media and tag me at bytracye so I can get it on the good stuff!
2 cups dried black beans, cooked according to package instructions
1 small sweet pumpkin, roasted and cut in chunky pieces
1 26 oz box Pomi crushed tomatoes
3-4 small to medium carrots, cut in chunky pieces
2 small zucchini squash, cut in chunky pieces
1-2 cups chopped Lacinato Kale (or greens of your choice)
2 cups water
1 medium to large red bell pepper
1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 ounces good dark chocolate
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon good dark honey
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt (to taste)
red chili flakes (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Use a fork or knife to puncture a couple of small holes into pumpkin. Place on a baking sheet and put into oven to cook for approximately 10 minutes. Note: Cooking time depends on the size of your pumpkin. You’ll want to cook it al dente or even a bit less than that to manage the mush factor. So check in by poking it with a fork or knife. When it starts to give a bit take it out. Cut it in half and let it rest. You can gut the seeds and the gooey stuff in a bit.
Add oil to a pre-heated pot. Add onion, garlic, and spices and cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add cooked black beans, crushed tomatoes, chocolate, honey and water and allow to simmer on low to medium heat for about 15-2o minutes. Gut your pumpkin (Save the seeds and roast for a treat later!), remove skin and cut into chunky pieces. Add pumpkin and remaining vegetables to the pot. Let simmer for another few minutes. Add salt and red chili flakes (optional) to taste and serve.