Thursday, October 29, 2009

Turkey Bean Pumpkin Chili

I know what you're thinking...pumpkin in chili?!  I know, those were my exact thoughts, too.  But I saw this recipe in a blog that I follow and out of intrigue I bookmarked it.  In honor of Halloween, I decided now was the perfect time to give this one a shot and I'm glad that I did.  You can barely detect the pumpkin...I feel like it contributes a velvety texture and a boost of nutritition but under the radar!  Who doesn't like recipes with extra hidden veggies?!  Not to mention turkey chili has to be healthier than the typical beef versions...

I was hestitant at first to add the cinnamon but then I figured Skyline Chili is rumored to have cinnamon (and chocolate!) in it and I LOVE it so maybe it'd be good in this type of chili too (and makes sense with pumpkins, in my mind).  When I first did and tasted it I freaked out because it tasted so prominent and weird and I thought I had ruined my chili.  But by the end of the simmering time the spice flavor had mellowed and it added a nice note of complexity to the chili.  Delicious!

Turkey Bean Pumpkin Chili
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Photo Credit: Erin's Food Files

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
2 14.5oz can diced tomatoes with jalepenos
1 14.5oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 cups (1 14.5 ounce can) pumpkin puree
1 12oz can tomato juice OR 1 14.5oz can tomato sauce (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
cayenne pepper to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
dash of cinnamon (optional)
fresh cilantro (optional)
shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Saute the onion, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes. Make room in the center of the skillet, add turkey, and brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans, pumpkin, corn. Season with chili powder, cumin, pepper, salt, and cayenne.  If preferred, thin the chili with tomato juice or sauce and add a dash of cinnamon.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer at least 20 minutes. If preferred, stir in fresh cilantro and serve topped with Cheddar cheese and sour cream.
Source: Adapted from Erin's Food Files

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