When the pumpkin bug finally hit me, the results were glorious – these Pumpkin Pie Muffins were a huge success. Ever since their departure from the oven, I had been antsy to get my hands on some more of the puree. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one with this desire on my mind.
I swear, the pumpkin bug is just like the flu. Around this time every year, it spreads like an orange wildfire, and almost always I encounter a shortage at the grocery store. No more PUMPKIN!? What an autumn dilemma. How’s a girl supposed to experiment with pumpkin in everything from chili to hummus without a steady supply at my disposal?
If I were still in my school days, I’d hop my butt over to the closest farm patch and get my hands slimy with a fat, fresh ol’ jack-o-lanterm. (If you’ve never roasted one, the pumpkin seeds alone are totally worth the effort.) But those days are gone and my free time seems to be too.
Luckily, I still find time to stalk the grocery store. Perhaps if I ditched my grocery store hobby I’d have more free time…but then I wouldn’t be around for restock day. My last pumpkin purchase led me to this chili, which is given a nice creamy heartiness from the seasonal ingredient. The chili itself gets a full-bodied flavor from its heavy load of spices, complimented by an earthiness from the chard. That being said, don’t expect the pumpkin to be the star flavor here, although I could definitely picture actual pumpkin chunks or butternut squash as a nice addition to this dish.
Instead, as I said before, the pumpkin lends an element of richness to this dish—one that happens to be incredibly fiber-filled, fat-free, and packed with vitamin A. Like most chili, this makes a great tummy-warming meal for a crisp autumn day, and the pumpkin only adds to that feeling.
- -2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- -1 large onion, chopped
- -1 bell pepper, diced
- -4 cloves garlic, diced
- -16 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
- -2 cups vegetable broth or water
- -1/4 cup dry red wine
- -1 (15 oz.) can black beans
- -1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans
- -14 oz. Gimme Lean sausage style
- -15 oz. (1 can) pumpkin puree
- -1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
- -2 Tbsp. chili powder
- -2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- -1 bunch of chard, chopped
- -2 Tbsp. ketchup, optional (will add a touch of sweetness)
- -Liberal dashes of salt, pepper, and Cholula, to taste
- Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and bell pepper, and sauté for a few minutes. Stir in garlic and sauté for another minute. Add mushrooms. Continue to cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms are nearly tender.
- Make a well in the vegetables. Break up vegetarian sausage with your hands and add to pan. Use spatula to stir and prevent from sticking as it begins to brown.
- Deglaze pan with wine. Add broth/water, and the entice contents of the cans of beans, diced tomatoes and pumpkin. Stir in chili powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and ketchup, if using.
- Bring to a low simmer, and let cook for 45 minutes, or until mixture reaches a creamy thickness. Add chard, and cook until wilted and tender, about 10 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper, and add Cholula or hot sauce, if desired. Serve with rice or cornbread.