Saturday, January 29, 2011

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

There are two days remaining in the month of January and I cannot describe how happy I will be to see this month end. And, only 28 days afterward, I will be even more joyous to say goodbye to February.

We’ve had yet more snow, and another storm is predicted for this weekend. Thankfully the temps are now up in the high 20’s rather than in the mid-teens (as last week), but it’s simply a depressing time of year. I go outside to take short walks because I just cannot stand being indoors, but my exercise is relegated to the exercise bike (“biking to nowhere”). And despite keeping a relatively regular schedule of using this, and logging in 12-14 miles at a time, I still feel as though I am carrying around this past holiday’s goodies around my waist.

A lovely feeling, it is—dim, sluggish, heavy… SPRING! WHERE ARE YOU?!?!??!

Cold days call for hearty meals. Jack is still babying his cracked tooth, so I made chili the other day. Pumpkin chili. I really had intended to make this only once, because I need to continue to use last autumn’s windfall of pumpkins, but this recipe will be added to the ever-growing list of fresh pumpkin recipes that I want to repeat. It looks like I will need to harvest a lot of pumpkins next year and, the way it usually goes, the upcoming fall pumpkin crop will probably be light.

This recipe was posted by Triathlon13 on the Cooking Light food forum when I asked for ideas to use fresh pumpkin. She wrote that she adapted it “quite a bit to what we like”, and I did that to her recipe as well (and also to reflect what was on hand in my pantry). I love beans, but they do not love me, so I didn’t use as much in the chili as I would have liked. Also, I garnished with shredded lowfat cheddar, diced avocado, and a drizzle of sour cream thinned with skim milk.

It is a very good chili and the chunks of pumpkin add a nice (really, not at all odd) texture and flavor.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Servings: 6-8

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

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1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium onions -- finely chopped

1 large bell pepper -- finely chopped

2 medium jalapeno pepper -- minced, optional

6 large garlic cloves -- minced

1 pound ground turkey

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

28 ounces crushed tomatoes

14 1/2 ounces tomato sauce

8 ounces diced green chilis -- (canned)

3 tablespoons chili powder (I used a mixture of medium-hot and ancho)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon Mexican oregano

16 ounces pumpkin – fresh; peeled, seeded, and chopped into 3/4" pieces

15 ounces canned black beans drained and rinsed

Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pot, then sauté the onions through garlic over a medium-low flame until softened.

While the vegetables cook, heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and cook the ground turkey, browning well. Do not rinse out the skillet. Remove the ground turkey to a cutting board (do not rinse out the skillet) and chop into smaller pieces.

Add the chicken stock to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping loose the browned bits of turkey in the pan. Pour this into the softened vegetable mixture. Then add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, chilies, and seasonings. Bring to a boil over high heat, add the pumpkin, stir, cover, and reduce heat to medium and simmer for 40 minutes or until pumpkin is soft.

Using a potato masher (or a sturdy wooden spoon), mash the pumpkin chunks a little. I did about 10 "mashes" through the pot. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the black beans, stir, and cook (uncovered) for 10 minutes.

Serve garnished with sour cream, chopped avocado, shredded cheese, minced onion, etc.

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Per serving: 333 Calories (kcal); 10g Total Fat (2g Saturated); (25% calories from fat); 25g Protein; 39g Carbohydrate; 60mg Cholesterol; 693mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

NOTES : Adjust hot peppers or add hot sauce to desired heat level.