I’m sure this time of year you have an abundance of pumpkin on hand, and whether its fresh or from a can, this recipe is a crowd pleaser. It is what I call a ‘one-dish wonder’ and can be made in advance, or right alongside the other dishes you’re cooking up this week.
Pumpkin is super high in vitamin A as beta carotene – good for the eyes and preventing free radicals from invading our system. Pumpkins also contain iron, zinc, and fiber. Iron, of course, is needed by red blood cells. Zinc deficiency may be related to osteoporosis of the hip and spine, especially important as we get older.
Pumpkin Chili – Serves 6
I adapted this recipe from Whole Foods Market and it has become my absolute favorite chili. Canned pumpkin is a shortcut but do take the time to cook dried beans, like these from Rancho Gordo. You can add tempeh in place of the ground turkey, or omit altogether for a vegetarian dish. I served it with a green salad and home baked gluten free cornbread.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, 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 roasted tomatoes, with their liquid (I use Muir Glen)
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked Cranberry beans (kidney beans work, too)
1 cup organic corn
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans and corn. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve. Top with a dollop of sour cream and chopped cilantro if desired.
*To make fresh pumpkin puree, cut a sugar pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds (save for later.) Lightly brush inside with butter or olive oil and place face down on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 45 minutes until flesh is soft. Most pumpkins yield at least 2 cups, but you can freeze whatever you don’t use.