I’m convinced there’s no better way to eat chili than with a constant stream of snot flowing from your face. Which means you have to either a) eat it by yourself, or b) eat it with someone who loves you. A lot. I know, eating with a snotface isn’t exactly favorable, but it’s an indication that you’re eating a really good bowl of spicy chili. I mean, is there any other way to eat chili than spicy? I guess, if you’re a wuss. But I grew up with five brothers – if there’s anything I’m not, it’s a wuss – so I take my spicy chili. And what I really meant to say was ‘chili spicy’, but sometimes my fingers are dyslexic.
I use dried beans, tomato paste from a jar and fresh tomatoes because I refuse to knowingly eat anything that comes from a can. In case you weren’t aware, most aluminum cans are lined with Bisphenol A. And BPA kind of freaks me out. If you want to use dried beans, soak 1 cup kidney beans and just a little over 1/2 cup black beans in cold water, overnight. I soaked mine for 24 hours because the longer you soak ’em, the easier they are to digest. Or, if you want to use lentils instead, replace the 4 beans with 2 cups of dried lentils. I’ve got to warn you though, it may be your new favorite way to eat chili.
*Oh, and I’ve been told by more than a few meat eaters that this was the best chili they’ve ever had.
SPICY PUMPKIN CHILI (GF)
3 tbsp olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 white onion, diced 2-3 small jalapenos, finely chopped 5 c. diced tomatoes 1/4 c. tomato paste 3 c. water 2 tbsp lemon juice 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
2 1/2 c. kidney beans 1 1/2 c. black beans 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1 1/2 tsp ground paprika 2-3 tbsp chili powder 1 3/4 c. pumpkin puree 1/2 c. TVP 2-3 tsp fine sea salt
In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the oil to a simmer. Sauté the garlic and onions; cook until the onions become translucent. Add the jalapenos and tomatoes; stir for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the tomato paste, water, lemon juice and bouillon cubes then cover saucepan and reduce heat to medium; bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the beans, cinnamon, paprika, and chili powder, then cover, reduce heat to the lowest setting and let simmer for at least two hours; stirring occasionally. After two hours, mix in the pumpkin puree, TVP and sea salt; let simmer, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes, or until the chili thickens.