So I never really understood the whole pumpkin phenomenon but last year I decided to hop on the bandwagon for the sake of exploration (I'm all about exploration!) and I have to admit I still didn't get it all that much. This year, however, it finally clicked because I made Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Chili. It's perfect for those of us with busy lives AND for those of us with limited kitchen skills. Enjoy your pumpkin, people.

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Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Chili [Vegan]

Ingredients

For the Chili:

  • 1 15-ounce can, each, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 cups chopped squash, sweet potato, or pumpkin
  • 4-5 tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock, as needed (water works as well)
  • 3-4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons  cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoons allspice and ground cloves
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon chili flakes or cayenne, depending on your love of spiciness
  • Sea salt and pepper, as desired

For the Raw Sour Cream:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
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Preparation

To Make the Chili:

  1. Soak your cashews while the chili cooks.
  2. In the bottom of the crock pot add the oil, chopped garlic, chopped onion, chopped celery, and allow it to sauté in your slow cooker on the low setting.
  3. Once the vegetables have softened, add all the seasonings and mix well. Allow it to continue to cook this way for about 10 minutes.
  4. Bring a pot of water to boil and then add the chopped squash/potato/pumpkin. Boil for 5-10 minutes until the color pops but it is not too soft. Drain and then toss the cubes into the crock pot.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients to the crock pot and stir. Cover and allow it to cook for 4-6 hours on low.

To Make the Sour Cream:

  1. Drain the soaked cashews and add all of the listed ingredients to a high-speed blender.
  2. Blend until completely smooth and creamy and add it as desired
  3. Pour into a glass jar and refrigerate (it will thicken just a bit).

Notes

If you do not have a crock pot you can do this same exact process in a very large pot on the stove. Add a little bit more vegetable broth, as needed, and bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and allow it to cook, covered, for about 45 minutes to an hour.



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