July 15, 2013

Summer Slow-Cooker Meals: Spicy Pumpkin Chili

Click for Recipe for Slow Cooker Spicy Pumpkin Chili
Slow Cooker Spicy Pumpkin Chili

There are days I get burnt out as a stay-at-home mom. This has been one of those weeks. I love my kids and spending time at home with them everyday. However, there is also the flip side. I started working as an intern when I was 17. I stayed at the company for 7 years until I moved to West Virginia. During grad school I worked three jobs, including teaching a class. I met my husband and got married during my master's program and have stayed home since. Then there are the moments when you realize all the things that your high-school friends that got married and had kids later have accomplished. Some of them have been very, very successful. There is always that awkward situation when everyone that I knew back in Seattle talks about how smart and successful I was when I was younger. I know they don't mean it the way it comes out, but it still gives me pause. My husband thinks that I should start claiming that I work at home since I blog and take care of the household. Maybe he's right. I can always hope that one day my blog will become vastly successful, but we all know that's unrealistic. In the meantime I remind myself that my kids are growing up surrounded by my love and knowledge. That's enough rambling for now, onto the cooking! This weekend I chose to keep my cooking simple and I relied on my slow cooker. I tried a new recipe for Spicy Pumpkin Chili from the new All Recipes magazine.

This recipe has 18 ingredients. It takes 1 1/2 hours of total time, 15 minutes of which is active and makes 10 servings. I did make a few changes to the original recipe. First, I allowed my chili to cook in the slow cooker for 4 hours on low. I like my flavors to fully come to fruition so I increased the total cooking time. It would also work well on the stove in a dutch oven or a big pot with a lid. I was unable to find my crushed red pepper flakes, so I was forced to leave them out. Finally, I used a full 8 ounces of tomato sauce with garlic. I also found that I needed to add more salt than the 1 teaspoon suggested by the recipe.

My husband liked that this recipe has the health benefits of pumpkin without the taste being overly noticeable. He isn't a big fan of pumpkin, but he was surprised by how much he enjoyed this recipe. I love pumpkin and chili so this was a dish I really liked. It made a very big batch, more than enough for at least 10 servings. For the servings for my kids I added cheese and sour cream. They aren't big chili fans so these additions made them willing to eat their bowls. If you like your chili on the spicy side I would suggest adding jalapenos or a bit of cayenne. Since I cook with my kids in mind I always try to have my recipes be on the mild side.

For the recipe go to Spicy Pumpkin Chili.
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