“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” -George Eliot
In my book, there’s really no better time of year than fall. The days turn pleasantly crisp, the colored leaves are stunning, and the season of comfort foods begins.
The setting sun shone brightly on us yesterday evening as we took the kids to a nearby pumpkin patch. It was a simple activity, a little family excursion that both kids will likely forget, but for a moment, it helped me see more clearly God’s blessings in my life.
We capped off our day with bowlfuls of this easy to prepare Pumpkin Quinoa Chili. It comes together quickly with pantry ingredients, and after a 30-minute simmer to allow the flavors to develop, dinner is served. Fiber, protein, antioxidants – this vegetarian chili has it all. And the flavor? It definitely reads as chili, but the additions of pumpkin, brown sugar, and cinnamon give it a signature fall twist.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups diced onion
- Kosher salt
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinse
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (Libby’s is my fave!)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- 3/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- Optional garnishes: thinly sliced green onions, sour cream, and/or grated cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onions, season with kosher salt, and sauté for 5-7 minutes until tender.
- Add the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, black beans, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, thyme, chili powder, cumin, salt, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf. Stir the ingredients to combine, heat to boiling, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the quinoa, return to boiling, and cook for 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Taste and add additional salt if needed.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with garnishes, if desired.