Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Chili

I was reading an article about what to do with leftover pumpkin and one of the suggestions was chili. It sounded a little strange but I really like pumpkin so I gave it a try. We were having a chili cook-off at work and there were quite a few vegetarians so I created this recipe. Needless to say it was a hit in spite of some people saying "you put what in this chili?" Once they tasted it, they were hooked on pumpkin.
The recipe is for vegetarian but you can add your favorite meat to it. I've used turkey sausage, ground beef, "bambi" and for my husband the carnivore added chunks of beef. Just cook the meat and pour off any fat and toss it in. I like to put it in the crockpot and just let it cook on low.

You can put it in 1 qt. freezer bags. Fill bag with about 2 c. of chili. Stand it up and fold the top down to get the air out. Seal the bag and lay it flat. Bags take up less space in the freezer and will thaw quicker.

The main ingredient here is Libby canned pumpkin. It has no added sugar, salt or artificial ingredients. You don't want pie filling, just a big can of pureed pumpkin. You can use 3 cans of kidney or pinto beans if you don't want black beans or chickpeas (garbanzos).

1 chopped onion or you can use frozen trinity mix (celery, onion and green pepper
2-3 garlic cloves (smash with the flat side of a knife and you can easily take the skin off and then chop)
Pam spray
1 lb. turkey sausage, "bambi", ground beef or beef chunks (optiona
1 can Libby pumpkin (1 lb. 13 oz.
1 can Swanson vegetable broth (you can use chicken or beef broth if using meat)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chili
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can chick peas (rinsed and drained)
1 can kidney or pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup corn (canned or frozen)
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 chipotle chili chopped and adobo sauce (only if you like it hot, hot)
1-2 jalapeno seeded and chopped (only if you like it hot)
1 teaspoon oregano

Spray skillet with Pam. Cook onion and garlic until the onions "sweat" and are soft. Brown meat in same pan. Drain off any fat. Put everything in the crock pot and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.

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