Monday, September 13, 2010

Spicy Pumpkin me it is gooooooood!

This weekend we welcomed the first signs of Autumn!  The weather cooled significantly and we had one nice day with sun, and another nice gloomy day.  Either way, I love Autumn weather! I do not trust the Carolina weather systems to stay this way for long.  It is tricky around here.  Once you pull out your sweaters and jeans, the sun will bite you in the butt, and you will be left sweating all day.  For now, layers will have to do!

But that didn't stop me from making my first of many Chili batches this Fall!  The cool weather and non-vegan company inspired me.  When I make chili, it is always different, but it is always sooo good! I don't mean to brag, but I make a mean bowl of chili! And when I say mean, yes it really can be mean! I like my chili spicy!  So if you have a weak tongue, lay off the spices on this recipe!

Spicy Pumpkin Chili

1 tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 green pepper diced
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp hot mexican chili powder
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans black beans
1 can corn
1 can pumpkin
2 cans diced tomatoes with chiles
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth or water


In large crockpot or stove top pot heat olive oil.  Saute minced garlic for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add chopped veggies and saute 5-7 minutes until soft
Maybe he's just sad summer is over- poor guy!
Sprinkle all seasonings and cook another 2-3 minutes
Stir in diced tomatoes, pumpkin and tomato paste
Did you know? Americans use 100 million tin and steel cans every day! Recycling them saves 74% of the energy used to create them.  RECYCLE YOUR CANS!
Rinse beans well and add to the pan.  Add corn and vegetable broth or water. You can choose to cook this recipe all day or for a few hours.  Either way, add in your beans and corn 1 hour before you serve just to heat up. 
This is the first time I have ever used pumpkin in my chili, and I have to say I really loved it.  I am going to try it again with more pumpkin and no tomato sauce for the creaminess.  I loved the flavor of this chili, but it really is spicy so go easy on the chili powder or buy diced tomatoes without chiles if you do not like spice.

We also chose to make cornbread to go with the chili.  There really isn't anything better on a cool, Autumn day!

Mr. Kummerow's Jalopeno Cornbread
2 cups Cornmeal mix
5 pickled jalopeno slices, chopped and 1 tbsp juice from jar
1 cup and 1 tbsp almond milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal mixed with 3 tbsp water)
Don't mess with a man and his mixer
In a bowl (we used a stand up mixer) combine all ingredients except jalopenos until just smooth.  Fold in chopped jalopenos and pour batter into prepared muffin tins.  (We used paper liners).  Bake in a 400* oven for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.  Serve with Earth Balance butter and chili!
These weren't very spicy at all but had just a little bit of a kick.  You could add a little more sugar if you like yours sweet.  If I made these again, I would omit the oil and sugar and substitute with apple sauce.  But I didn't have any apple sauce on hand.
And dinner was served:
I love the harvest table cloth! We served our chili with pickled jalopenos, soy cheese and chips and salsa!
What is your favorite Autumn meal to make?

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