Tag Archives: Entree

Chili in a Pumpkin Bowl

For some reason, Sundays always feel way shorter than Saturdays do.  I think it’s that impending doom of Monday and knowing that my remaining free time is growing shorter…and shorter…

Plus I still have to do my ortho homework.

But before I do that, I’m gonna blog about the delicious dinner that I made tonight.  It was a beautiful fall day and I thought it would be a perfect time to make chili–and then put it inside a pumpkin!  I bought two small baking pumpkins a few weeks ago for decorative purposes, and I thought it was finally time to put them to good use.  And Fritz was happy with that idea.

Pumpkin Bowl Chili

  • small baking pumpkins
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey or beef (I actually used leftover steak and ground it in a food processor)
  • 2-3 C red kidney beans
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 t red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

First order of business is to get your pumpkin bowls ready.  Buy pumpkins that are made for baking so the pumpkin is of eating quality and not just carving quality.

Cut off the tops–make the opening wide enough to easily scoop your chili out of the bottom of the bowl.  You don’t want chili all over your hands, do you?  Then scoop out the seeds and set them aside for future roasting (or throw them away.  Whatever).

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Oil the inside and the edges of the pumpkins with a bit of olive oil to keep it from drying while baking.  Put them in a glass pan, and pour 2-3 C of water around the bottom of the pumpkins.  Let them bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until soft.

You can make the chili while the pumpkin is baking.  Cook the onions and peppers over medium heat in 2 T of canola oil until they are soft and the onions are translucent.

Next, add the meat and stir frequently.  When the meat is completely cooked through, add the beans and tomatoes.  Lower the heat and summer on low, adding the spices to taste (I like chili hot! hot! hot!).

By now, your pumpkins should be finished baking.  Test ’em with a knife and make sure they are soft.  Let them cool enough to handle.

Fill the bowls with chili, add a sprinkle of cheddar and voila!  Delicious!  When you are eating, scrape the side and bottom of the bowl to pick up a bite of pumpkin with each spoonful–it’s even better with the pumpkin.

This is an incredibly hearty meal, and you probably won’t finish a whole bowl.  Even Fritz couldn’t quite make it–but chili is even better the second day, and that’s why we love leftovers!

We also had a great salad today for lunch–trying to eat more raw veggies everyday.  Iceberg lettuce (which I normally hate), chickpeas, diced apple, walnuts, unsweetened coconut chips, leftover pork, and some balsamic vinegar.  I actually enjoyed eating it–and I’m not normally a big salad fan.

Remember how yesterday I went into the city to visit Bre and Eber? It was such a nice trip.  Bre and I went to an Australian bar/restaurant for lunch (and a glass of wine, obviously), then shopped in a few stores before we got some tea and headed over to Bryant Park where we met Eber.  It was so nice just to be in a beautiful city with such beautiful women on a beautiful day.

  
Already looking forward to the next time I see these ladies!  Tune in tomorrow for an update on Meatless Monday–17 bean soup edition!

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Crock Pot It: Spanish Rice and Sausage

Today was just one of those good days.  I slept in ’til 8:00, had one class, then babysat for the night.  Since the weather outside has turned chilly again, I bundled up the little munchkin and we took a two-mile ocean-side walk.  Seriously. The family lives near the shore, and there’s a street that runs parallel to it.  The road is swallowed by trees and it was windy, so there were piles of orange and red leaves drifting around to Charlie’s endless satisfaction.  And this beautiful day was allowed to happen so easily because of our second car.

I love that thing.

So anyway, last night I decided to break out an old friend of Fritz’s: 

We never ate slow-cooker meals when I was a kid (mom only recently discovered that particular joy), so I don’t often think to use it.  But Fritz loves it when I do, because he knows it will result in a rice-and-meat-saucy-one-bowl kind of meal, which is his ultimate favorite…mostly likely due to its portability and convenience for the next day’s lunch.  Not to mention it’s really easy to use and there’s only one pot to clean after.  Bingo!

Spanish Rice and Sausage (adapted from this recipe)

  •  1 lb sausage (we used sweet italian)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 C water
  • 1 C brown rice
  • 1/2 C wild rice
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 t red pepper flakes
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 t chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

This is the best part: spray the pot with canola oil or olive oil, add all the ingredients, and cook on low for four to five hours. 

 

Serve immediately.
 

Yum!  And because I’m just that nice, I’ll give you something else yummy to look at:

Tomorrow we are going to a PT-school Halloween party extravaganza, and I think that I might attempt to make scary cake pops to bring while we figure out our costumes.  I also found a recipe for some healthy ginger bars that I want to bake sometime this weekend.  Have a great night!

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