pumpkin kale CRAZY

14 Oct

So since I started this blog around the fall time, pumpkin and kale are taking it over! Particularly pumpkin. I’m trying to devise a way to make pumpkin zucchini bread right now….. But in the meantime, I made pumpkin chili last week and this weekend I’m making pumpkin beef stew and cast iron skillet gluten free corn bread! YUM! The great thing about pumpkin is when you add it to chili, stew, whatever have you, it is subtle, and doesn’t overpower. It just adds extra good for you vitamins and yumminess! I also made pumpkin soup this week! I have a problem……HAHA!

Cooking is really a stress relief for me. It eases my soul. The last week has been really long and arduous. I haven’t had much time for my 1/2 marathon training runs or yoga, or anything really. I have had a ridiculously long, boring paper due, getting last minute things for my family and whatever else done for my brother’s wedding, have been working on my relationships, yadda yadda yadda and it’s just been long and tiring. Oh well. BUT this week should be really exciting! My little brother is getting married to probably THE nicest, smartest, most wonderful girl he could ever ask for. I am so so SO happy for them. I can’t wait to finish with this coming up week and get into the wedding fun!

Today it’s a rainy day outside in Chicago and it definitely is the perfect metaphor for last week, rainy and cold. But, everything happens for a reason and I am hopefully getting stronger as days go on, stronger in my runs, stronger in who I am and stronger in anything else that comes my way. It’s amazing what you can learn in your lifetime, even in a couple months of a couple weeks!

The nice thing, if you know me, is that I love to cook, and I can always go back to the kitchen to give my brain a reset! Last weekend, and yes, I know I’m behind, I made a REALLY yummy pumpkin chili for dinner and then ate it for a couple lunches. I really love food like that lately that I can make for dinner and then eat for a couple meals. Granted, I hate leftovers, so it has to be something that reheats well! Stews, soups, caseroles and chilis tend to do that nicely. Don’t get me wrong, I eat a lot of salad, A LOT, during the week, but it’s nice to have something warm and comfy! I also am REALLY into juicing lately. It’s so nice that when I don’t use an entire bag of kale and it’s about to go bad, I juice it! So far my favorite juicing combination is kale, spinach, apple, celery, ginger and beet! If you don’t have a juicer, you should get one. It’s a nice way to get good nutrient in your body, give you some energy and use up produce you wont eat in time! I generally drink a glass of the green juice in the morning. YES, I know, green juice? Gross, right!? NOT AT ALL! Something about juicing it really makes it taste amazing, all those flavors, yum! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a way to get your veggies in, don’t let it take over eating good healthy, raw or cooked veg, it is just a nice way to start out the day. If I remember to drink a glass of green juice that I make when I wake up, with my breakfast, it gives me that little boost in the morning and is healthier than coffee! SO eat your veggies people, particularly pumpkin haha, and enjoy these recipes! Trust me, more pumpkin recipes to come for sure!

SPICY YUMMY PUMPKIN CHILI

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil or what have you
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1-2 zucchini cut and cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4-5 Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 1 can pumpkin purée
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

Wash and prep your veggies. Chop your onions and bell pepper and dice your garlic super fine. In a dutch oven, or large pot, heat your oil and toss in the onion, zucchini and bell pepper with the garlic. Cook until almost soft. Throw in the ground beef and italian sausage. Cook until brown, breaking up as your go. Once that is ready, add your can of pumpkin, tomatoes, spices and stir until combined. Let that cook down a bit, stirring occasionally. Then rinse your black beans and add those. NOTE: If you don’t eat beans, don’t add them! It’ll be yummy without! Also, use whatever meat you want, turkey, beef, pork, the list is endless, and that’s the great thing about chili! Taste for salt and pepper and spiciness content, add more if necessary. Let cook for about 15 minutes after this and then serve it up! It’s REALLY yummy with fresh avocado on top!

PUMPKIN BEEF STEW WITH ROOT VEG

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or whatever oil you’d like) and 2 tablespoons grassfed butter
  • 1 lb beef stew meat (or more if you;d like)
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (or whole wheat or regular, spelt, whatever you use)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 can organic pumpkin puree
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 lb bag of carrots, this is about 10 carrots, regular size
  • 1 bag of red skin potatoes, about 15 potatoes, medium sized

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat your pot on high heat and add your oil and butter, this is a LOVELY combination. Add your stew meat and dump in your flour. Stir around so you coat the meat and it make a thick roux with the oil, butter and flour, coating the meat and browning it. Add your beef stock and pumpkin, salt, pepper and thyme and bring to a boil. While this is coming to a boil, roughly chop your carrots, onion and halve or quarter your potatoes. Turn the heat off the pot once it boils and add all your veggies. Stir together and put in the oven, covered, for 2 hours, checking occasionally to stir. You also can check seasoning levels and add more salt and pepper as needed. NOTE: If you gravy is too thin as it cooks and you want a thicker gravy, make a slurry. You take the flour of your choice, like coconut, spelt, whole wheat or white, and add water to make a thick paste, add it to your stew and stir it in. The slurry will make it not lumpy and thicken your stew gravy.

Once the stew vegetables are fork tender, your stew is done! Check seasoning and serve alongside some YUMMY gluten free corn bread! I actually pour my stew over a bed of fresh baby kales, but you know me, I LOVE kale. You can eat it plain, or have it over some yummy kale of fresh spinach. It will lightly cook the kale or spinach from the heat and add some extra veggie yumminess! ENJOY on a cold rainy Sunday and heat up throughout the week for yummy lunches!

ROUX

Here is a GREAT link to making roux! Basically, you take dripping from a roast and add flour to make a basic slurry to create gravy, but it also gives you an idea of how it can work in other dishes! Rouxs are great for making cream sauces, gravies, yummy things like that!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/good-eats/white-roux-recipe/index.html

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One Response to “pumpkin kale CRAZY”

  1. Anne October 16, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    Your chili & stew both look fantastic! I love the idea of pumpkin in both. Yum!

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