Two of the many things I love are pumpkin and chili. When many people think of pumpkin, they think of sweet treats, but I love making it savory. I found myself deep in mainland China one Halloween, feeling a little melancholy for rustling leaves, football and costume clad children. A trip to the vegetable market and a find of New England like pumpkins inspired this fusion of flavors from home. It is hearty, healthy and a great twist on traditional tailgate fair.
- 1 1/3 lbs ground beef, crumbled pork sausage, ground turkey breast (as lean as you can get) or 5 cups cooked beluga lentils
- If using turkey or lentils - 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Sesame Oil
- 2 tbsp Picante Passion
- 3 tbsp Rosemary, Hot Pepper and Garlic Vinegar
- 1 med onion, quartered
- 2 cups chopped kale, collard greens, or swiss chard
- 4 cups pumpkin cubes or 2 cups Roasted Pumpkin Puree
- 3 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bag Salsa Bean Soup Mix, prepared (or 4 cups small red or kidney beans cooked, 1 tbsp Picante Passion and 4 cups stewed tomatoes)
- Sea Salt and White Pepper to taste
Heat a large pot over medium to medium high heat. Add beef or sausage (or oil and turkey or lentil). Season the meat with Picante Passion. Break up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon into small crumbles.
Brown meat 5 minutes, then add vinegar, onions, tomatoes and pumpkin. Cook 10 minutes more. Stir in Salsa Bean Soup Mix (or beans and tomato sauce). Bring to a bubble. Let chili simmer 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings and heat level to your taste.
Remove from heat and serve.
Serve with tortilla chips and your favorite shredded or crumbled cheese.
More great tailgate treasures;
Photo Credit: Julie Cecchini