Friday, January 6, 2012

Save Me, Pumpkin!

Apparently, there was a research study done in China on the effects of pumpkin and type 1 diabetes. Those crazy Asians! Some preliminary results suggest that ingesting pumpkin can help defend the lives of pancreatic insulin-producing cells that are normally killed off by the Big Bad Diabetes! Unfortunately, these preliminary results were from research conducts on rats. Mildly different then if they were on, oh, I don't know, say, a human!

I have decided to help out our Asian rat friends by testing this pumpkin theory myself by trying to squeeze pumpkin into almost every recipe I can think of making! So far this season, it's been 8 cans of pumpkin and counting!

Chipotle Pumpkin Chili

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 package tempeh, crumbled - to give some meatiness or you can opt for real meat or TVP
1 can pumpkin puree
1 can kidney beans
2 - 3 tbsp tomato paste
1 can crushed tomatoes w/ green chilies (Trader Joe's brand)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 chipotle peppers, or more (with or without seeds stripped) with 1/2 tablespoon adobo sauce (removing the seeds will lessen the heat)
1 Pumpkin beer (or vegetable stock, but that's not as good to drink!)
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and peppers. Cook for 5 - 6 minutes before adding the garlic. Cook for a few minutes longer.
2. Add crumbled tempeh and let brown. 
3. Add pumpkin puree, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, beans and chipotle peppers. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add stock or beer.
4. Bring chili to boil over medium heat and turn to a simmer for about 2 hours.

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