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Pumpkin Chili - Parsnips & Paleo

Updated on November 28, 2014
Serve with grated cheese for a little extra flavor (and a spice softener of sorts)
Serve with grated cheese for a little extra flavor (and a spice softener of sorts)
Cast your vote for Pumpkin Chili

Some years after receiving my first cookbook, I discovered the Paleo lifestyle, and I am hooked. Now, two years into the Paleo lifestyle, I have changed so much for the better. I became a much less picky eater (I still won't touch pickles though); my blood sugar became stable, my asthma disappeared, headaches stopped, and I had more energy and stamina than I really knew what to do with. I began to lose a lot of weight, and with all this extra energy, I started exercising more. I began to learn about gluten, GMO, and Monsanto, and how severe my allergies were to wheat, grain, and all the gluten and sugar that accompanied them.

The first year of Paleo, I lost 25lbs, about 3 inches, and was a size 10US. As of now, approaching my second Paleoversary (2 years on Paleo in January 2015), I weigh 145lbs for a total loss of 35lbs and wear a size 6-8US, for a total loss of 4 sizes.

We feel great, and we do our best to support local produce, including responsibly sourced meat and vegetables from farms and ranches that treat their animals with dignity and respect. It means so much to me to be a part of this movement and this lifestyle, and I could never go back now. I have committed. I am at my healthiest I've ever been. Not only that, I know how to cook so many things, even though I still jump for joy and squeal with happiness when something comes out right (there is always a chance it won't).

Home grown tomatoes!
Home grown tomatoes!
I prefer to use mostly onions but mushrooms are a great additive if you're running low on onion! (or you have mushrooms that really need to be eaten before they go bad)
I prefer to use mostly onions but mushrooms are a great additive if you're running low on onion! (or you have mushrooms that really need to be eaten before they go bad)

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Ready in: 2 hours 15 min
Yields: Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 24 oz pumpkin purée
  • 6-7 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 small mushrooms, diced (optional)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups broth or stock
  • 2 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp red pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
Blend the meat and onions with the spices well before adding the rest of the ingredients!
Blend the meat and onions with the spices well before adding the rest of the ingredients!
  1. Crush or grind the coriander seeds (if necessary) and combine with all other spices, set aside. In a large skillet or dutch oven, sauté the onions with the garlic over medium heat (if you are using mushrooms, add them with the onion and garlic). Once soft and translucent, add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink.
  2. Once the beef is browned, add the spice mixture gradually, cooking and stirring frequently until blended (about five minutes or so). Add broth, tomatoes, and pumpkin and bring to a boil. Stir frequently and turn down the heat and allow to simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours, until flavors are fully mixed.
  3. Serve with grated cheddar and enjoy!
Forget to thaw your pumpkin purée? Not to worry! With 1 1/2 hours to simmer, that frozen purée will quickly disperse throughout the chili!
Forget to thaw your pumpkin purée? Not to worry! With 1 1/2 hours to simmer, that frozen purée will quickly disperse throughout the chili!

Tips and Final Note

I love this chili recipe- but I'm slightly disappointed that the pumpkin is not always noticeable. If you'd like to try a more pumpkin-y flavor, try using a combination diced and puréed pumpkin, or simply add more purée. I would sauté the diced pumpkin with the onion and beef, and add the purée at the normal time. Also, if you're feeling bold and want to give it a shot, try adding a pinch of cardamom to the pumpkin itself to help bring out the squash's sweet flavor.

Even without a strong, distinct flavor of the pumpkin, the sweet-spicy flavor of the chili is still very unique to this chili dish, and the chili would be quite boring without it!

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