All we can do is eat, and all we can eat is soup – the heartier, the better. And there is nothing better than chili, especially not chili with an unexpected pumpkin-y twist.
The pumpkin in this recipe makes the chili taste a little sweeter, a little creamier, a little heartier than you would expect. It makes the chili a beautiful, rustic orange-red color and much thicker in consistency than the traditional stuff made only with crushed tomatoes.
But this chili also has all of the usual suspects: a tomato base, meaty chunks, fragrant spices, and even a heavy (but not invasive) dose of vegetables. The only typical chili ingredient it is lacking is the beans but, since the quinoa adds the chewy protein in their absence, you certainly won’t miss them. You can definitely add them back in if you want to, in addition to or in place of some of the quinoa.
- As I said, make it stick to your ribs even more by adding 1 can of black beans or red/kidney beans.
- Make it vegan by adding 1×15-ounce can each of red beans and black beans instead of the turkey.
- Bump up the nutrition by adding chopped greens like spinach or kale.
- Technically, since quinoa is a seed, rather than a grain, it is paleo. But if you object to, or have a hard time digesting quinoa, simply leave it out and replace it with chopped sweet potatoes, cooked brown rice, corn, or any combination of the three.
- Double the batch and freeze it for a
There is an option here for anyone you might need to feed, making this recipe a must-make for anyone who needs an antidote to February right now. I know I do!
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- 3 cups crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water or chicken or turkey stock
- 1 can pumpkin puree, 15 ounces
- 2 teaspoons smoky paprika
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped zucchini and/or green pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 can black beans, 15 ounces, optional, rinsed and drained
- Fresh cilantro, optional, green onion and pumpkin seeds for garnish
- Cook the quinoa in 2 cups boiling water until water is absorbed and quinoa is soft and fluffy.
- In a large stock pot, sautee the onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender and translucent.
- Add the ground turkey (breaking it up into bite-sized chunks) and saute with the salt and pepper until mostly brown on the outside (it's ok if it's still partly pink).
- Add the crushed tomatoes, water and pumpkin and stir a few times to incorporate, then stir in the spices.
- Finally, stir in the veggies, cooked quinoa and (if using) black beans, and simmer for 10-20 more minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro, green onion and pumpkin.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.Suggested variations:- Make it stick to your ribs even more by adding 1 can of black beans or red/kidney beans.- Make it vegan by adding 1x15-ounce can each of red beans and black beans instead of the turkey.- Bump up the nutrition by adding chopped greens like spinach or kale.- Technically, since quinoa is a seed, rather than a grain, it is paleo. But if you object to, or have a hard time digesting quinoa, simply leave it out and replace it with chopped sweet potatoes, cooked brown rice, corn, or any combination of the three.- Double the batch and freeze it for another day.