Pumpkin Chili

Apparently, this weekend is all about the pumpkin.  I’m really taking this “it’s the first weekend of Fall” business seriously!  I came across this recipe a few days ago and just knew today would be perfect for it.  I had a beautiful long-ish run this morning and I knew I was going to be watching football afternoon so I did’t want to be spending a lot of time standing around in my kitchen.  It’s time for the crock pot, baby!  We love us some chili in this house – no, it does not matter that it’s 86 degrees outside! – and this chili has pumpkin in it!  I was totally intrigued and just knew we had to try it.  So, after about 15 minutes of prep, the chili was in the crock pot and I was sitting on the couch watching Rich Eisen on NFL Game Day on NFL Network (shameless NFL plug).

Chili is one of those great meals that usually comes together pretty quickly, you can make as spicy (or not!) as you want, you can pick your protein whether meat or vegetarian and will frequently clock in as healthy and low fat.  What a great way to feed a family (or a hungry runner!) and make everyone feel good!  I entered all the ingredients into the recipe section on the My Fitness Pal app on my phone – did you know you could do that?! – and this recipe clocked in at 254 calories per serving with only 2 grams of fat.  Certainly can’t argue with that!  Hearty yet light, delicious, and easy.  What more could you ask of comfort food?


Pumpkin Chili

1 lb ground beef (I used 93/7 lean)

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice (I used Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes.  Like I said, we like things with a kick.)

2 cups tomato juice (I used Spicy Hot V8.  See above.)

2 (15.25-oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

2 tbsps chili powder

2 tsps ground cumin

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Hot sauce to taste

1.  In a medium saute pan, brown the ground beef; drain.  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

2.  In a slow cooker, combine the diced tomatoes, tomato juice, beans, pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, pumpkin pie spice, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.  Stir to combine.  Add in the cooked beef mixture and stir.

3.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with your favorite chili toppings such as cheese, sour cream, or tortilla strips.

Yield:  8 servings

Calories 253; Fat 2.3g; Cholesterol 29.5mg; Sodium 495.4mg; Potassium 652 mg; Total Carbs 26.9g (Dietary Fiber 7.1g, Sugars 4.6g); Protein 17.1g