Counterclockwise from far left: Larry, Curly, and Moe
My pumpkin madness continues! (Check out how I DIY a real pumpkin latte here)
We got some beautiful whole pumpkins from a friend who works at a local farm. At first I had no idea what to do with them. I didn’t really know which pumpkins were ornamental and which are edible. I mean, I’m pretty sure they are all edible, but some taste better than others. So, I did some research…
I’ve made a few recipes with whole and canned pumpkins before, and I decided to find one recipe for each of these boys. First up, Larry.
For Larry: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili (Very Loosely Adapted from The Kitchn)
1 small diced pumpkin (I think he weighs about 2 lbs)
a few tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cans of kidney beans
2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups frozen corn
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
salt & pepper to taste
chopped green onions
I’ve made and loved the version from The Kitchn, but it is a lot of work. I simplified the method (modifying it for the slow cooker) and chopped down the ingredient list. You can do it their way, too, if you’re looking to impress people.
If you are working with a whole pumpkin, follow the directions here for instructions on peeling and dicing. Rinse and save the seeds and roast them with salt; they are the best thing ever! If you’re working with cubed pumpkin, congratulations, you have a head start! (Have a glass of wine and wait for me to catch up.)
—In a saucepan, heat the oil and cook the onion until glassy.
—Add the minced garlic. Cook until garlic becomes slightly aromatic, but not dark brown.
—Put all ingredients in the slow cooker except for the green onions. (You can also add half a bag of frozen baby onions, which are delicious in chili.)
—Slow cooker heats tend to vary, but you can’t go wrong leaving it on low heat all day (6-8 hours minimum). If you are in a bit of a rush, you can turn up the slow cooker and cut down the time, but then you have to keep more of an eye on it. When the chili is finished, top with green onions. I also like to add some vegan sour cream, or some Daiya cheese. This chili does not have a lot of heat from spices, so feel free to jazz it up with some Sriracha (I love the original Sriracha, but I also make our own, using this recipe). The longer chili sits, the better it tastes, so this chili is even more delicious on the second or third day, if it is not all eaten by then!
Healthy Cooking Note: I like to use home-made vegetable broth for recipes like this. I save kitchen scraps in a bag in the freezer and then spend one afternoon every so often making broth. It’s about a million times cheaper than store bought broth, and better for you to boot! Since I live in an apartment and can’t compost, this is a really easy way to make sure my kitchen scraps do not get completely wasted.
I’m pretty sure Moe’s fate is to be roasted and pureed, then made into pumpkin bread. I have high ambitions for Larry; he is going to be stuffed with macaroni and cheese and roasted in the oven.
What are some of your favorite pumpkin recipes? Does anyone remember reading Erica Silverman’s Big Pumpkin as a child? I loved its message of cooperation, everyone working together (to get some pumpkin pie). Any gardeners out there who are able to positively identify Moe?
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