The weather has turned colder here. We actually turned the furnace on last week. A few mornings were in the mid-20’s with wind chill readings in the teens. That is when I start craving comfort foods like soups, stews, chili, and pumpkin.
Tuesday brought a much needed get away for my Domestic Goddess friends. We were celebrating a couple of birthdays, and wanted to meet half way between Cottonwood and the Cities. Hutchinson it was. We ate lunch at Zellas Restaurant (zellas.net), and a few hours later ordered dessert. I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when four women get together for lunch, talking happens.
I had a most excellent mix up meal of half a grilled cheese sandwich (Provolone and cheddar cheese with a sun-dried tomato aioli on whole-grain bread), and a cup of Tomato Basil soup that was topped with a couple of shaved Parmesan cheese swirls and a drizzle of what appeared to be a nice balsamic vinegar. Very delicious! For dessert, I had a slice of carrot cake. Very moist, and not too sweet. I should have taken pictures, I know! All of these are comfort foods in my book, and totally hit the spot.
Fall weather makes me want to bake, and cook up new things as well. This year, my pumpkin kick is a little stronger. I love Starbucks’ Pumpkin Scones, but they are not exactly the best thing to eat regularly. I have also been craving chili, but Jonathan typically isn’t a big fan of it, but I think it is mostly due to his body’s intolerance of any peppers. I found a recipe on SparkPeople.com called Unique Healthy Chili that tasted good even though I left out the green pepper. The icing on the chili cake? It contains pumpkin puree! I tried it out on the family and Nick (our part-time hired help) yesterday, and they loved it! It had great chili flavor, without being too spicy. You could kick it up a notch if you like your chili to have an alarm status, but for us it was good as written. Well, sort of. Grandma Bredlow’s recipe altering habit is alive and well in this granddaughter!
This recipe is how I made it. The original called for 1 cup of bell pepper, ground turkey, chili beans, and water. With those ingredients, it is 212 calories per serving.
Unique Healthy Chili
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound ground pork
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 can pumpkin puree
1 ½ Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon granulated beef bouillon
Salt to taste
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup vegetable stock (can use more if you like your chili more soupy)
Heat oil in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, and sauté the onion and garlic until tender.
Stir in the pork, and cook until evenly brown.
Mix in tomatoes, pumpkin and black beans.
Stir in beef bouillon and vegetable stock.
Season with chili powder, cumin, pepper, and salt.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or put in slow cooker.
Serve with shredded cheddar cheese over top if desired.