Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

It's been a yearly tradition that on Halloween (or close to it) I make Rachel Ray's Chipotle-Pumpkin Black Bean Soup while we carve pumpkins and watch Halloween or Nightmare on Elm Street and pass out candy to whom ever dares come near the door thanks to some pretty vocal pups (Wow. Run on sentence much?).


Anyways, while in Denver I started thinking that the base of the soup, plus a couple other ingredients, would make an amazing chili. Let's forget that i've been home for a month and am now trying this recipe for the first time, shall we?

And let's forget the blurry camera phone photo I am about to show you...use your imagination ;)

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili, serves 4-6 (Vegan, Gluten Free--although i'm no expert on that subject)

2 T canola oil
1 med yellow onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 T chili powder
1 T oregano
1 T cumin
3 t garlic powder
1 t smoked paprika
1 1/2 t chipotle powder
1/2 t cinnamon
2 t Braggs liquid amino
12 oz Negra Modelo
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 can water (I just measure it in the tomato can)
2 c. pumpkin puree

*In a large soup pot heat 2 T canola oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for about 2 min until slightly translucent. Next, add diced bell peppers and saute for about 5 minutes to soften. Once soft, add spices and cook for about a minute while stirring (I like to do this to "wake up" the dried spices). Add in remaining ingredients and simmer until desired thickness~about 25-30 minutes.

Couple side notes:
~Feel free to add fresh minced garlic instead of the powder. I'd say 3 med sized cloves minced would be perfect.
~No chipotle powder? Remember you can order it here. If you don't want to do that, sub in 1 chipotle in adobo minced finely and maybe about 1 T of the adobo sauce.
~Don't like it spicy? Omit chipotle and double the chili powder. But, seriously, who doesn't like some spicy~ness every now and again? :)
~Don't have Negra Modelo? Sub in any dark beer. I use it because I love it. So there.
~No need to specifically by the bell pepper varieties I used here. Green would be just as fine I just got all 3 of the peppers for $2.88. Score in my book.

**Garnish with sliced scallions, cheese, sour cream (vegan or not). More pumpkin puree...why not? :)

Now, this may not turn out quite like you expect a chili might be. It's a tad creamier thanks to the pumpkin puree. It's delicious nonetheless. Next time I may up the Braggs & the cumin. I simply can't get enough cumin. I've gone through 2 jars in probably 4 months. Yup, goes with/on everything!

Now, what goes better with some chili? Some may say corn chips...I say cornbread! mmhmm

Beer & Cheddar Cornbread serves 9...maybe
Inspired by Ashley's cornbread recipe.

1 c finely ground cornmeal
1 c all purpose flour
3 T ground flax meal
3 t baking powder
1 t garlic powder
1 1/4 c Negra Modelo (why not?)
1 t Braggs liquid amino
3 T canola oil
4 T agave nectar (can sub honey, brown rice syrup or maple syrup)
1 c + 1/4 c Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Oil a 9 x 9 baking pan with canola oil (or spray with cooking spray).

In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, flax meal, baking powder & garlic powder. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine beer, liquid aminos, oil & agave (in that order--oil 1st makes agave come out so easily). Add liquid to dry and stir until combined. It may look really liquidy. Keep whisking! It will eventually come together. Mix in 1 c. cheese. Pour batter into an oiled baking pan (mine was 9 x 9 I believe). Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 c cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Side notes:
~Wanna make it vegan? Swap Dairy cheese for Daiya cheez.
~Scallions would make a nice addition mixed into the batter. Cumin would be good too.
~Gluten-Free? See Ashley's recipe. I'm a firm believer in the saying "If it's not broke, don't fix it".

This was pretty delicious. I cooked it for 25 minutes and the knife came out clean. I think it could have cooked a few minutes more. It was a bit doughy to start. Also, was told it resembled banana bread....less agave next time for sure! Not bad for my first vegan cornbread. I have plans for version 2. Oh yes.

All I have to say is thank goodness my food is better than my photos.

Happy Halloween!


  1. This sounds great! I can imagine what body the pumpkin would add, and subtle sweetness... A new chili place just opened up near me too, so I've been craving it like crazy!

  2. This chili sounds fantastic, Jen. I can never get enough Chipotle flavor. I love Chipotles in Adobo, and also the Tabasco Chipotle sauce. I've never used Chipotle powder though - I bet if I keep my eyes out for it I'll be able to find it at some of the stores I frequent.

  3. Hooooly goodness, the whole meal looks amazing!! Comfort food at its finest :D I've been wanting to bake beer bread for awhile, but never thought to combine it with cornbread!! Awesome :D

  4. @Hannah
    Pumpkin does add a nice sweetness! Definitely not overpowering though. You should definitely make it, cost you much less than going to that chili place ;)

  5. @Diana @ VeggieNextDoor This is why we are food friends! We really love the same things :)

  6. @Char @
    I absolutely adore a big bowl of chili all year long. And the spicier, the better :)

    I will keep my eye out for some beer bread recipes in the future!