Chili. No onions. Add pumpkin.

The picture has nothing to do with chili. It was just pretty, and had a pumpkin in it -- this is a local place that sells apples. This time of year is great for pictures!

The picture has nothing to do with chili. It was just pretty, and had a pumpkin in it -- this is a local place that sells apples. This time of year is great for pictures!

So, I was asked to make chili tonight for a Boy Scout function, but the restrictions were that we couldn't have any onions or pork.

No onions??
All right, here was a challenge for the ages, because my kids can't have any beans or sugar, both of which I usually add to chili to make it taste good.
My husband recently won a chili cook-off by adding mango puree to the pot, so I had a good place to start.

And I kept seeing recipes with pumpkin in them, so that was another idea.
To hell with it: Throw them all in, and see where it gets me.
And you know what? It was a very good pot of chili.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Chopped garlic -- however much you like
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper -- whatever color you like
  • 2 lb. ground beef 
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1 can mild Rotel
  • 1 can of mango chunks, pureed, or use fresh mango, or whatever sweet/fruity/whatever thing you have in the house that might work
  • some frozen or canned corn, if you have it and can eat it (we didn't, but it would have been good)
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder, if it's mild, or less if it's hot
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
  • salt to taste -- mine needed at least a couple of teaspoons
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ground black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

HEAT olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add ground beef; cook until browned. Drain.

ADD everything else except the cocoa powder and salt, and add a couple of cans of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Mix the cocoa powder in a small bowl with a little of the chili and add to the pot. Salt to taste. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Meagan McGovern