Savor Somethin…Fall Harvest Chili

There is nothing better than a warm bowl of chili on a fall night! Fall makes us want to cozy up in the softest silkiest clothes, curl up by the fire, and indulge in warm meals that truly make you feel content. Maybe our bodies think we need to prepare for hibernation? LOL. Nonetheless, I am not complaining about this spell that is cast over us during the fall season and I plan to participate to the fullest. One of the first fall festivities I got to check off my list was making chili, and not just any regular chili, PUMPKIN CHILI. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, this bowl of velvety goodness will have you in a food coma in no time.

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What you will need:
1. 1 white/yellow onion, chopped
2. 1 green bell pepper, chopped
3. 1 jalapeño (Don’t be scared! You do not taste the spiciness once it gets cooked out. Be sure to seed the jalapeño, the seeds are the spiciest part.)
4. Minced garlic
5. 1 lb ground turkey  (I always buy organic ground turkey, usually the Jennie O. brand)
6. 15 oz. can of white beans of your choice (I used Great Northern with Reduced Sodium. I always recommend buying canned foods with reduced sodium so that you can control the amount of salt.)
7. 15 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes (I bought organic, but you do not have to)
8. 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree (I bought organic, but you do not have to. This can also be substituted for butternut squash puree)
9. 1 cup of vegetable broth
10. Olive oil
11. 1 tablespoon (roughly) of chili powder
12. 1 teaspoon (roughly) of ground cumin
13. Rice
14. Salt and pepper to taste

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For the toppings:
1. Shredded cheese
2. Light sour cream/plain yogurt
3. Avocado slices
4. Jalapeno slices
5. Sliced scallions

Instructions:
1. Heat the olive oil and minced garlic in a large pot on medium-high heat.
2. Add the sliced onion, green pepper, and jalapeño. Cook these down, stirring constantly until the onions start to become soft and translucent.
3. Add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink.
4. Once turkey is almost cooked through, lower the heat to medium/medium-low and add in the can of tomatoes, pumpkin puree, chili powder, and ground cumin. Stir to combine.
5. Drain the can of white beans and add into the pot. Stir to combine.
6. Add the vegetable broth and cover with a top. Leave this simmering for about 30 minutes for the flavors to cook through. Stir occasionally so that the bottom of the pot does not start sticking/burning.

Serve over rice or quinoa, add the toppings and enjoy!

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When I was adding the pumpkin puree I debated on only adding half the can because I was scared that the pumpkin would make the chili too sweet. I stuck to the recipe and added the whole can and I am glad I did! The pumpkin provides a light undertone of pumpkin goodness to your palette but does not take over at all. If you didn’t know that it was in there, you probably wouldn’t detect pumpkin puree specifically. It mostly gives the chili a more velvety texture.

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I thought about saving the insides of the pumpkin that I carved to make my own pumpkin puree, but kicked that idea to the curb once I realized how many seeds I would have to separate out. So organic canned pumpkin puree it was!

I try to buy organic ingredients as often as I can. Most people would be surprised that it is not much more expensive than regular items, and you feel better overall about what you are putting into your body. The organic fire roasted tomatoes and pumpkin puree were only about 15 cents more expensive than the regular items.

Let me know in the comments below how your chili turned out!

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