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MoFo #11: Main dish — pumpkin chili

11 Oct

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This isn’t as exciting as it sounds, sorry to say! I was inspired by a chili I was served once at a dinner party, which contained sweet potatoes, and I figured, why not kabocha? It’s got a velvety texture that would go really well in chili.

I pretty much just used my go-to chili recipe and threw in some cubed up kabocha. It’s actually really good and the pumpkin broke down and made the broth much thicker than usual. You can’t really taste the pumpkin, but I really liked biting down into those little cubes. So satisfying.

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While I was at the store I saw brussels sprouts and thought, hey, that will go with chili right? I really wanted to roast some sprouts. So I did! They’re just tossed in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Yum!

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Should I include my chili recipe here? It’s not really anything special and I usually adjust spices as I go, so I don’t have all the measurements right. Eh, I’ll just write it down. Do with it what you will!

-1 yellow onion, chopped
-1 green bell pepper, chopped
-3 Tbs chopped garlic
-28-oz cans pinto beans
-28-oz cans black beans
-28-oz cans kidney beans
-28-oz can diced tomatoes
-2 cups water (I usually just eyeball the water…so you may need >2 cups)
-1 cup TVP granules (optional)
-1 cup sweet white corn
-3 Tbs chili powder
-2 tsp cumin powder
-salt, to taste

Saute onion and bell pepper with some salt until softened. Add garlic, stir a few min. Add beans, tomatoes, water, spices, TVP, simmer 15 min. Add corn, simmer 15 min. Adjust spices as desired. If you like sweeter broth (I do), you can add a little sugar, maple syrup, or agave nectar to taste. If you want to try adding some pumpkin, I used about 1/2 a kabocha squash and let it simmer in the chili, covered, until tender.

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MoFo #15: Kabocha Curry

18 Oct

I love Sunset Magazine.  They have so many cool travel and cooking ideas!  Sadly, although most of their recipes are pretty healthy, they rely on a lot of meat and dairy.  Imagine my surprise, and glee, when they featured a vegan pumpkin curry recipe!

Well, I tried the recipe and I found it had potential but was a bit bland for my tastes.  I made some changes, which I’ll include below.

I used kabocha, my new favorite variety of pumpkin.  It’s sweet, a little sweeter than butternut squash, but the thing I love the most about kabocha is its texture – sort of like a silky, firmer sweet potato.

I started by sauteeing up chopped kabocha, which took about 30 min to brown.  I thought I took a pic of it at the end but I guess I didn’t.  It was really pretty!

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I also browned an onion, set half aside for garnish and added 3 minced serrano peppers, crushed cumin seeds, bay leaves, turmeric, and a cinnamon stick to the remaining onion.  I added the onion and the spices to the squash, along with 2 cans of coconut milk (recipe calls for 1 can) and 1 cup water and I simmered the mix until the squash was soft (about 15 min). I wasn’t happy with the taste after reducing everything down so I added 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp Chinese 5-spice, 2 tsp brown sugar, and more salt. My version was a little more liquid-y than the magazine recipe so that I would have more sauce for the rice!

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We served the curry over brown rice and topped it with the remaining carmelized onions. With a little soy yogurt and sriracha on the side, this was a really great dish! It even got the boyfriend’s approval!

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