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 By Wendy Ng

pumpkin-with-kid

What do you think of when you think of pumpkins? I think of fall, and especially jack-o-lanterns for Halloween.

But as you know, pumpkins are more than just for decoration—every time I go to the grocery store, there are more and more pumpkin items!  Did you know that pumpkins are a part of the squash family, and that there are over 40 different types?  They are a great source of vitamin A (important for vision) and fiber (good for digestion and your heart).  You can create so many recipes with pumpkins!  Here’s a great one for pumpkin chili.

Turkey-Pumpkin Chili

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or beef)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 15.5-oz can cannellini beans (or other beans you’d like), drained and rinsed

Directions

  1. Warm the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add ground turkey or beef, sauté, breaking up any large chunks, until no pink remains, about 3 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a bowl; cover to keep moist.
  4. Add onion and bell pepper to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  6. Add the meat back to the pot.
  7. Stir in tomatoes, pumpkin, broth, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. (Add more chili and cumin if desired!)
  8. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the beans.
  9. Cover and simmer until chili thickens slightly, about 30 minutes, and serve hot.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/turkey-pumpkin-chili

Wendy Ng is a dietetic intern at Simmons College.

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