What’s better on a cold Sunday afternoon than football and a pot of chili? If you’re not a fan of either, then I guess you can think of a lot of things, but in my house, football Sundays are sacred. And since MOST of us in this house are Redskins fans (I’m married to a Dolphins fan..whatever), this coming Sunday night is going to be the biggest football event around here since..well..almost forever, or at least since the last time the Skins won the Super Bowl..which really does seem like forever, doesn’t it?
In previous years my husband and I would spend our football-watching time snacking on chips, dip, pizza, soda, and whatever other junk food happened to be in the house. This year, we’ve eliminated the unhealthy snacking, and instead I usually make a hearty but healthy meal that I can throw together during half-time or between games, then let it simmer on the stove until we’re ready to eat.
Last Sunday, which was another big football day around here, I made this chili. Normally I use canned beans, but I made a huge pot of pinto beans a couple days earlier so decided to use them in my chili (just like my mom used to do) along some leftover cornbread (you just can’t eat pinto beans without cornbread..it’s against the laws of nature).
If you’ve never tried pumpkin in a savory dish, trust me, it’s great. The first time I used pumpkin, everyone who ate it loved it much more than my non-pumpkin chili, so I’ve vowed to never make pumpkinless chili again. Pumpkin really doesn’t have much taste to it, but when added to the chili, it seems to take away some of the acidity of the tomatoes while adding a healthy richness. Just give it a try and see for yourself!
Oh I almost forgot..go Redskins!!!
- 2 TB olive or canola oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 pound ground turkey breast
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 TB chili powder
- 1 TB ground cumin
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp allspice
- ¼-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or omit if you don’t want any heat)
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups of cooked pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 TB brown sugar
- 1 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-2 cups water
- In a large pot over medium heat saute onion in 1 tablespoon of the oil over until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir often so that onion doesn’t brown.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, all of the seasonings (not the sugar or cocoa powder) and the turkey to the onions. Stir well to evenly distribute the spices. Cook over medium-high heat until turkey is done (no pink remaining), about 10 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of water to the pot and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom.
- Add the beans, pumpkin, tomatoes, brown sugar, and cocoa powder and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.
- Once chili begins to boil, reduce heat to low and place lid on pot slightly ajar so that some steam can escape.
- Simmer 45-60 minutes, stirring about every 10-15 minutes making sure the chili doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- If chili becomes too thick add more water ½ a cup at a time.
- Add additional salt and/or spices to taste.