Manic Mondays

I can't create Bibimbap everyday. Some days I am not incredibly motivated to make something that requires turning on the stove. I like my microwave...and quite frankly, I'm not too concerned with the bad rep it gets. (My co-worker, Sarah, told me that if I just don't stand in front of it when I open the door, the radiation won't get me. Hope you're right, Sarah!!) Anyway, so instead of having to brainstorm, turn on the stove, and wash dishes, I simply made some leftovers using my microwave (I also wrote this on Tuesday). Who doesn't love leftovers? I know I certainly do. In fact, I even love most of them cold (especially cold pizza). I decided though, that leftover chili, specifically Pumpkin Turkey chili...in the winter, is best served warm.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili adapted from Serious Eats


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can red kidney beans
2 cups (1 14.5 ounce can) pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper to taste (at least 3 good shakes)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Saute onion, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper (I actually used a whole yellow pepper), green chiles, and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes. Make room in the center of the skillet, add turkey, and brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans, and pumpkin. Season with chili powder, cumin, pepper, salt, and cayenne.

3. Reduce heat and simmer at least 20 minutes. Stir in fresh cilantro. You can serve topped with Cheddar cheese and sour cream. However, I did not have sour cream so I used cottage cheese (totally acceptable, and really..are you surprised?) I also used leftover chip crumbs for a little crunch. I used Garden Salsa Sunchips.

I love fall. It is most likely my favorite season. One of its perks is that squash is widely abundant. This fall I've been trying to incorporate squash into a lot of my meals because it is delicious, filling and really healthy. I did not LOVE the pumpkin in this dish because it didn't provide a strong pumpkin taste. It may have added a bit of a sweeter bite, but had I not told anyone it was there, they probably would not have realized. It definitely was a texture thing. Usually it is the canned tomatoes that give chili it's almost-soup like texture, but this recipe calls for less tomato while the pumpkin makes up for the rest. However, while it may not have satisfied my need for squash, the chili was definitely still a good, hearty meal on a chilly night (pun intended).

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