For years I have been menu planning every week. It is truly the only way I can keep us on budget and healthy. When I slip a bit we end up eating out almost every night or throwing together some random meal no one likes. It is my kitchen sanity.
For years you would also notice a trend come October. My meal plan starts to look like this:
Mon- Chili ; Tues.- Something else; Wed.- Chili; Thurs.- something else; Fri- Chili; Weekend- Leftover Chili
I like to mix up my chili so we don’t get bored but let’s be clear, in the fall and winter we eat a LOT of chili. Sometimes I follow recipes (I have a whole chili Pinterest board), but often times I kind of plan my chili around what we have on hand. It is a good way to clean out my pantry a bit.
Last week I put together this recipe after realizing I didn’t have any kidney beans but still wanted chili. I also had gone a little crazy buying canned pumpkin and using one of the recipes I pinned I got a little creative. The result was such a rich, delicious chili, I thought I would share the recipe with you.
Chocolate Pumpkin Chili
2 T. oil
2 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 t. dried oregano leaves
2 T. chili powder
2 T. ground cumin
1 1/2 T. unsweetened cocoa
1 t. ground allspice
1 t. salt
1 can pumpkin puree
1 can diced tomatoes
2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 c. beef broth
- Heat oil in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until they’re translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
- Crumble the ground beef mixing to combine. Continue to cook the meat, stirring often, until it’s no longer pink.
- Add oregano, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, allspice, and salt.
- Add pumpkin, the tomatoes with their juice, black beans, beef broth, and water to the pot. Stir well.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the chili enjoys a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for at least two hours. The longer you simmer, the richer you’re flavor will be.
- Serve topped with your favorite chili toppings (green onions, olives, cheese, sour cream, avocados, etc.)