Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Play and Pumpkin Chili

I love fall.  There's just something about the colors and the smells and the cooler temperatures...

and the food!

It's been pretty warm here in TN and we have been bombarded with the most irritating gnats in our front yard.  I think we just need a good freeze to get rid of them, but until then, they will just continue to be a pain.  So last week, when we got a good rain and they all went into hiding, we headed out for some good bike riding.
Of course, to double-up was Rachel's idea.  She is her daddy's child.

Trial run while her sister was distracted.

And we're off!

Still going!
And just in case you need the real thing...

I also find myself craving all things pumpkin and apple once the temperatures begin to dip and last night, we made pumpkin chili for the first time this fall.  I can't lie, the first time we saw it, we crinkled our nose at the thought.  But every time we make it, we can't believe how good and flavorful it is and I encourage you to give it a try if you even remotely like chili or pumpkin pie.  

Something about the sweet and spicy combination...probably the same reason why they would always serve cinnamon rolls with chili in elementary school...or was that just my elementary school?

I got this recipe out of an Oxygen Magazine about a cagillion years ago and it's so worn from being referenced so many times that I don't have all the information to reference it properly.  But I am openly saying that this isn't my recipe and I don't alter it.  Well, because it's so good!

Pumpkin Tomato Chili
By Nancy Kennedy and Bobby Strom via Oxygen

1 tsp olive oil
2 lb extra lean, ground turkey breast
1 large onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
5 1/2 cups no-sodium tomato juice (I used V8)
(2) 14 1/2 oz cans no-salt, peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (I just used the whole smaller can - it's a little more than this)
2 tbsp sugar-free maple syrup (or the real stuff if that's what you have)
1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Add olive oil to large pot and brown the ground turkey.  Drain off fat and add onion and red pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.  Stir in beans, tomato juice, diced tomatoes, pumpkin puree and maple syrup.  Season with pumpkin pie spice, chili powder and nutmeg.  Simmer for 1 hour, serve.

Now if you are a spice-wuss like me, this will be perfect for you.  However, if you like any sort of heat with your chili, my husband recommends adding red pepper flakes and hot sauce to the final product.  To each his own!

We also love this with a little fat free sour cream, shredded cheese and lime Tostitos...mmmm...which also ups the bad-for-you factor, but the chili itself is so clean, you can get away with it.  (At least that's what I tell myself!)

Trust us on this one and try it!  And I hope your fall weather is bug free so far!!

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