Pumpkin Chili & Pumpkin Pancakes

November 11, 2012

To quote Will Ferrel in Old School, “I’m Back…and you know it!”

That’s right, I am in my second trimester and can eat again! Amen & Hallelujah.

I was so excited to be cooking again I made something I have never made before -Pumpkin Chili. I should mention that chili and turkey burgers seem like the most over-written recipes out there.  They are always on the cover of food magazines and in newspapers.  But this one is worth sharing because it combines what  I love about vegetarian chili with the heartiness of beef chili.  The vegetables include pumpkin, red beans, black beans, and rhutabaga.  That’s right, rutabaga!

If you have never tried this strange-looking vegetable, it is so delicious.  It is a type of turnip with a distinct perfumed nutty flavor. We used to have it growing up all the time and it is the perfect side dish when you just cube it and boil it like carrots or potatoes, about 20 min or until tender, and then toss it with salt, pepper, butter and parsley.  Since I was looking for veggies to add to the veggie-loaded chili, I thought I would try it. SO good.

I lined up the usual suspects for chili and added a few surprises.

Pumpkin Chili (to print, click here)

2 T. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. ground beef

1 T. chili powder

1 T. cumin

1 T. oregano

1 t. garlic salt

salt & pepper to taste

1 28 oz. can peeled tomatoes

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes

3/4 c. water

1 rutabaga, cubed into 1-inch squares (the smaller cut the faster they cook)

1 can kidney beans – not rinsed

1 can black beans – not rinsed

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 T. chili powder

1 T. cumin

1 T. oregano

1 t. garlic salt

1. t. pumpkin pie spice (or just cinnamon.  Trust me on this one).

salt & pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in pan on medium high heat.  Add onions and cook for 5 min. Add garlic and cook for 1 min.  Add ground beef and cook through. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and garlic salt along with salt and pepper (about 1 t. salt, 1/2. t. pepper). Note: I really season chili to taste.  You may want to add more of all of these seasonings at the end). Add tomatoes, squeezing peeled tomatoes in hand to break up.  Add water and rutabaga. Put lid on top and cook for 20 min or until rutabaga is soft, stirring frequently so middle of pot doesn’t brown.  (You want the hard veggies to get soft, so you want the mixture to be simmering. If tomatoes are not bubbling, increase heat being careful not to burn bottom).  When rutabaga is soft, add beans with their liquids, it is a natural thickener. Stir and taste, adjust seasonings if necessary.  Add pumpkin puree, stirring in well.  Add water if needed to desired thickness. Garnish with cheese, creme fresh or sour cream, green onions.


Since I had the pumpkin puree open, I made pumpkin pancakes for the kids (they love breakfast for dinner and are so-so with chili. And if I add white chocolate chips to anything they will eat it, though the grown ups ate ours without the chocolate chips).  Turned out it was SO yummy with the chili, like blintzes or crepes.  The flavors in the pancake really picked up on the flavors in the chili.  I used Martha Stewart’s recipes:

Pumpkin Pancakes (to print, click here).

Whisk 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour; 2 tablespoons sugar; 2 teaspoons baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt; 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg; and a pinch of ground cloves. In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup milk, 6 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 egg; fold mixture into dry ingredients. Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side; serve with butter and syrup. Makes 8 to 10.


I can’t wait to bring back yummy new food to the blog!!!! See you all soon!





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