Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Giving Back Part 1: Pumpkin and Cinnamon Chili

It's time for our client Fall picnic at work and the staff was asked to pitch in and help in various ways.  And of course my way preferred way of giving is through sharing good food.  I thought chili would be the perfect Fall addition.  

A few years ago my sister turned me on to a pumpkin chili recipe.  I thought it sounded great and I loved it after I tried it.   Ever since, I have never made chili without the addition of pumpkin.  It makes it very thick and hearty and gives it that extra glimmer of Fall.  I tried to go back through my emails to find the original recipe, but no luck.  It seems like my chili recipe is evolving each time I make it and this is my latest version. 

Pumpkin and Cinnamon Chili 
*This makes a very large pot of chili.  It fills a 6 quart crock pot and easily serves 20.  Freeze in smaller batches to eat for left overs all winter.  

  • 2 lbs ground beef 
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 29 oz can or 2 15 oz cans Pumpkin
  • 1 15oz can Dark Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 15oz can Light Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 15oz can Black Beans
  • 2 15 oz cans Tomato Sauce
  • 1 15oz can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 green Bell Pepper
  • 1 red Bell Pepper
  • 1 medium Onion 
  • 1 head Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 tsp dried Basil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper 
For Garnish: 
  • Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Green Onion 
Set crock pot on the low heat setting.  

Add pumpkin, tomato sauce, and fire roasted tomatoes to pot.  Drain and rinse dark and light red kidney beans, and black beans.  Add to pot.

I like to use a variety of beans in my chili, but use the beans you like best.  

If you haven't already discovered these fire roasted tomatoes in your grocery store, seek them out.  They add wonderful flavor to chili! 

Brown the ground beef and season with salt and pepper.  Once browned, add to the crock pot. 

Dice bell peppers and onion.  Saute over medium high heat for 3 minutes until slightly softened.  Use a garlic press or grater to add an entire head of garlic to the vegetables.  (I know this sounds like a lot but remember this is a large amount of chili)  Cook for another minute.  Add veggies into crock pot.  

Add chili powder, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, basil, salt, and pepper to the chili.  Let warm for 4-8 hours (stirring occasionally) before serving.  

I find the longer the chili sets, the more the flavors develop.  If you don't have this much time, set the crock pot to high and warm for 30 minutes.  

Makes 20, 1 cup servings. 

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