I'm beginning to wonder if I'm ever going to get my full and complete "Fall Kick Off Dinner" Menu out there to share with you all. Between Tuesdays with Dorie and Thursdays with Ina, and give aways, and mix ups and my actual real life, I'm getting a little behind. Thank goodness the season lasts three months since it just might take me that long to kick it off. I'll keep patiently posting menu items one by one until we've made our way through dinner and dessert. Starting with this Fall-flavored, intensely delicious and satisfying pumpkin chili. A gorgeous vibrant deep reddish orange color, you might not even guess it has pumpkin at all. So spicy and satisfying and healthful, piquant and bright with fresh garlic and ginger, this one pot wonder has a silky smoothness from humble canned pumpkin. For parties, I always make two kinds of chili; one with meat and one without. I've learned my lesson to make big batches of both, since the carnivores will love this one too. Even my super-manly, Big Stuff dad couldn't get enough of this one. You might have to hoard it in the kitchen.
Fall Kick Off Dinner:
Today's Offering: Spicy Pumpkin Vegetarian Chili
Crock Pot Meaty Chili
Corniest Corn Muffins
Crumbly Oatmeal Apple Bars
Caramel Apple Wedges
Money Saving Tips: If you don't have canned pumpkin, you can swap it for pureed winter squash or even sweet potato, but you may have to add a little extra water to compensate. You can use your own cooked dried beans to save money. 2 cups of pinto beans will cook overnight on low in a crockpot without any presoaking or fuss.
Spicy Pumpkin Vegetarian Chili
Estimated Cost: $4.00 for 8 servings
Notes: You can make this chili a day ahead of time and store it in the fridge. It'll taste even better.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 large bell pepper, chopped (I used some red, some yellow)
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tablespoons chili powder (less if yours is hot)
1 teaspoon cumin
pinch of cayenne
2 (14 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained
1 (14 ounce) can Mexican style diced tomatoes with juices, blended in the blender
1 cup canned plain pumpkin puree
shredded cheese and chopped cilantro for serving
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, 2 cloves garlic, ginger, bell pepper, and carrots. Cook for five minutes, stirring often, or until vegetables begin to soften. Add chili powder, cumin, and cayenne and cook for 1 minute. Add beans and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until all vegetables are softened. Stir in remaining garlic and pumpkin; warm through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with shredded cheese and cilantro, if desired.
A Brief but Delicious Break from our Fall Menu
Lightened Up Cream of Mushroom and Brown Rice Soup