Pumpkin Turkey Chili
Its a relatively cold and rainy day here in San Diego (getting rain is a blessing after the hot summer we had this year). October is a month where we really start seeing the holidays make their presence; Halloween advertisements, Christmas decorations are beginning to appear in stores, and roasted vegetables are every where on the cooking channels. But, with the rainy weather, I knew I wanted to make a turkey chili. I have never actually cooked with pumpkin before, so I tried a new version of my normal turkey chili recipe. The pureed pumpkin offers a very subtle flavor in this chili, but make no mistakes, pumpkin was a great addition to this recipe. I saved the seeds from my pumpkin and made a toasted pumpkin seeds recipe that is a great snack. The meat of the pumpkin itself if often mixed with a ton of sugar and added to a pie this time of year. I opted to add it to the chili; very low calorie (30 calories per one cup of cooked pumpkin), 1 cup of pure pumpkin meat offers 200% of your daily dose of vitamin A and more potassium than a banana. Who knew a happy little pumpkin could offer so many health benefits?
2 pounds extra lean turkey meat
3 cups pureed pumpkin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Preheat your oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit. Using a medium sized pumpkin, carve the seeds out and chop the pumpkin into quarters. Make sure to scoop out all of the strings so you are left with just the meat.
Place your pumpkin meat side up on a large baking sheet. Using 1 tablespoon of olive oil and basting brush, coat all the meat of the pumpkin with the olive oil. You do not want it to be greasy and the oil to collect in the middle of the pumpkin, so just brush it enough to coat the surface with the olive oil.
Once the oven is ready, put the baking sheet with the pumpkin into the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Using a fork, scrape out the meat and place into a large food processor. Pulse until smooth (maybe 1 minute) and set aside.
In a large dutch oven, use the remaining olive oil and heat over medium high heat on the stovetop. Add the finely chopped onion and saute until translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add the ground turkey and brown, about 8 - 10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and stir well. Next, add all of the spices