Autumn has officially arrived (or so they tell me) and with the change in weather (which I have yet to witness) we change our cravings for things of warmth and comfort.
Granted, living in LA has its advantages, but Fall may just be one of the most sacred times of the year and I am bemoaned to tell you all that Autumn in its truest form does not exist here. Sweaters, boots, jackets… not dieing of heat in denim, drinking copious amounts of coffee and chider, what more can you ask for! My heart aches when seeing all of the fall filled photos that friends have been posting up like the falling leaves back east (all of you are giant teases). However, just because I can’t go walk in the crisp Autumn air and hear the leaves crunch under the heavy soles of my boots, doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate the oncoming season in my own way.
Fall is the time of the Pumpkin, and I swear to you I could eat pumpkin in just about any form. Last fall I discovered this dish and it quickly became a favorite. Seeing as how chili is one of the most comforting cold weather foods, I thought it would be the perfect thing to share.
Pumpkin Chili & Gluten Free Corn Bread Muffins (I promise they are amazing and taste nothing like cardboard!).
For the Chili-
1- 32 oz container of Chicken Broth 1lb ground beef (I used 85%-15%)
1- 15 oz can of Pumpkin Pure (Not pumpkin pie filling) 1- 15 oz can of Corn
1- 15 0z can Black Beans 1- 15 oz can of Kidney Beans
1- 15 oz can Pinto Beans 1- 28 oz Diced Tomatoes in Juice
1- 15 oz can Tomato Sauce 1- can of Corn
3- cloves Garlic Finely Chopped 1- Yellow Pepper Diced
1- Red Pepper Diced 1- Whole Sweet Onion Diced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil 1.5 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon .5 tsp Dried Parsley
.5 tsp Dried Oregano 2 tsp Cumin
1-2 Tbsp Chili Powder
*Secret Ingredient- 2 TBSP Honey
Start by opening all of your canned beans and corn (not the tomatoes) and rinse them using a colander-
Chop Peppers and Onion and place in a Large pot with 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil
Using the flat side of your knife and the heel of your palm smash the garlic cloves until the outer casing comes off easily, peel and chop finely. Add to the Peppers and Onion in the pot.
Saute until the onion is slightly clear, remove from the pot, pour into a bowl and set aside.
In the same pot, place 1 lb Ground Beef and cook until the meat is browned. Drain off any extra fat from the meat by tilting the pot slightly to the side and absorbing with a paper towel.
Add the Pepper mixture back in, stir with the meat. Pour in the Stock, Tomato Sauce, Diced Tomatoes (with the Juice) and add the beans, corn, and pumpkin into the mix.
Finally add in all of your spices. Truth be told, I never really measure, I tend to be a “Season to taste” kind of girl.
Let Simmer for 1 hour.
Now while your delicious Pumpkin Chili is set to simmer, why not whip up a batch of Corn Muffins to go with it?
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees ferinheight
1 Stick of Butter softened (please note that those are two mini sticks in the photo)
1 Large Egg
1 cup of Milk (I used Almond Milk) Slightly scalded
1/4 cup of Honey
1.5 cups Gluten Free Baking Mix (Pamela’s is my personal favorite, though it does contain Dairy for those who are Dairy Free)
1/2 cup Gluten Free Corn Meal
2 tsp Baking Powder
Dash of Salt
Combine Butter, Egg, Milk and Honey, Mixing until smooth. Add in your dry ingredients and stir until all of the lumps are disolved.
Pour the batter into muffin tins until each cup is half full.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
And so, after patiently waiting and smelling that distinct “Fall Food” scent wafting from the kitchen Drew and I sat, in our sun soaked living room, dreaming of crisp air, cloudy days, and sweater filled night, and ate our feelings in chili.