Sunday, 28 October 2012

Pumpkin Eater

It's weird to think of pumpkin carving as anything other than an activity to make children smile, but pumpkin carving has existed for many, many years and it's origin many not be what you think it is.

Pumpkin carving started as a way to honour deceased loved ones and ward off evil spirits as people hollowed out beets, turnips, and gourds to create lanterns. But since pumpkins are bigger than turnips and other veggies, they eventually became the chosen vessel for the lanterns. 

I prefer to eat pumpkins, rather than carve them, but I still like to have a little fun. I think this meal lets me have my jack-o-lantern and eat it too. What do you think?

Pumpkin Chili - serves 8

1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 lbs of ground chicken of turkey
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
2 can of beans, I used chick peas and a mixed blend
1 large can of tomato, chopped
1 small can of tomato puree
1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Plain yogurt, for garnish
Pumpkin toasts, recipe follows

1. Start by browning the ground meat in a large soup pot. Then add in the oil, onion, and garlic. Cook at medium heat until the onion cooks and turns clear, about 5 minutes.

2. Then add in the chili powder and stir to combine. Next add in the veggies, beans, tomatos, tomato puree, and pumpkin puree. Cover and cook about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add in the vinegar and sugar and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Serve with plain yogurt for garnish and pumpkin toasts for dipping.

Pumpkin Toasts - makes 1

1 piece of toasted bread, unbuttered
Butter is desired

1. Cut toast into the shape of a pumpkin with a knife or a cookie cutter. Then cut out a face, if desired.

2. Chop up remaining bits of toast and sprinkle them on top of the chili for croutons and enjoy.

It's much easier to cut the pumpkin face out if your toast isn't buttered, otherwise it may tear easily. Trust me on this. I always butter my toast and Luke doesn't. Guess who's looked better...

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