Turkey and Pumpkin Chili (and a bad case of Jalapeño Hands)

The fall brings a bounty of wonderful things every year – crisp air, Halloween, awesome seasonal produce, and an extra hour of sleep à la daylight savings.  Aside from butternut squash, pumpkin is another one of those pleasures the fall season presents.  [Disclaimer: a slew of treats highlighting delicious pumpkin is looming, so stay tuned for updates!]  First and foremost, I thought I’d throw in something I made featuring pumpkin that isn’t a dessert!

I found this great recipe for Turkey and Pumpkin Chili on the Whole Foods recipe website a couple of years ago.  Any excuse to sneak healthy and delicious things (i.e., quinoa, veggies, pumpkin, etc.) into my food is always welcome, but I was really impressed with the nuttiness that the pumpkin adds to an otherwise pretty standard chili.

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Side story – I diced a jalapeño to throw in some guacamole over the summer.  I’m not sure what kind of radioactive jalapeño I brought home from the market that day, but that little green pepper set my skin ablaze.   The burning sensation started in my fingertips, spread into my cuticles, up my fingers, and all over my hands.  Any part of me that I touched felt like it caught fire.  I washed my hands a dozen times and even took a shower to try to make it stop.  It even spread into my nostrils and eyes after I washed my face, and stayed there.  My boyfriend at the time did a quick Google search for “jalapeño hands” and found out my dilemma wasn’t as uncommon as we had thought.  The intense burning lasted about 4-5 hours (all from just one jalapeño) til it finally subsided on its own, but it was unbelievably uncomfortable.

Anyway, the point of that little digression is that when I cut up the jalapeño for this chili, you can be damned sure I wore gloves.  I recommend wearing gloves to anyone who might make this yummy chili too!

Here is the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground white or dark meat turkey
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned.
  2. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, 1 cup water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more.
  4. Ladle chili into bowls and enjoy!

4 thoughts on “Turkey and Pumpkin Chili (and a bad case of Jalapeño Hands)”

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