Pumpkin Tofu Chili {football fridays}

by Melissa on September 30, 2011

The weather in Georgia is finally starting to cool down. In the mornings it is 65 degrees outside, so our patio has become my current office space. Aside from the children playing in the school playground a few blocks away and the occasional sounds of a garbage truck, it is a pretty perfect place to get some work done.

In honor of our newly cooler temperatures, I thought I would venture into making one of my favorite cold weather foods: chili.

This is one of those foods that I have missed dearly since becoming pescetarian. There’s just something so comforting about a hot bowl of chili in the fall.

And have you noticed? It’s also pumpkin season. I’m going to miss my summer fruits and vegetables, but I am welcoming the arrival of pumpkins with open arms.

For my chili dish, I decided to make fresh homemade pumpkin purée instead of using the purée from a can. Because when these pumpkins are everywhere, you might as well have the fresh stuff, right?

It does take a little bit of work, but if you make a few batches, you can freeze these little babies and have homemade pumpkin purée for months to come. I used this recipe by The Pioneer Woman to make the pumpkin purée.

(Make sure to save the seeds and roast them for a great snack!)

Just look at this fresh pumpkin purée, so vibrant and healthy looking! I love it.

This chili was great – one healthy, one-pot meal. You can either prep at home and re-heat at your tailgating party, or just bring the ingredients and cook the chili at the tailgate. The longer the chili simmers, the more flavorful the end dish.

Pumpkin Tofu Chili (serves 4)

1 sugar pumpkin (or a 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored and finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 package (14 oz.) extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 cup water
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chili powder
3 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt, to taste

Let’s Cook!
1. Using this by Pioneer Woman, make pumpkin puree.
2. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat, add the garlic, onion, red bell pepper and jalapeño pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes until tender.
3. Add tofu, water, kidney beans, tomatoes, pumpkin puree, chili powder, cumin and salt then bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes.
5. Serve and enjoy!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Regan @ The Professional Palate
September 30, 2011 at 11:29 am

What a great idea! I’m actually not a huge chili fan normally b/c I always find it to be so “heavy.” I think this would really make me very happy ;-)

And thanks so much for participating in the bloghop. I’ve no shortage of great ideas for all football season long now ;-)


September 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Oh, I don’t like heavy chilis either – I guess it’s a good thing I figured out how to make my own :) This one is very light and “healthy” tasting. The husband even loved it.

Love participating in the bloghop! It’s been fun thinking of new twists on football tailgating food :)


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
September 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm

this looks great and nice job on the puree…delish

question with the recipe…Im trying to figure out in the directions when you added the tofu and I’m not sure at what stage…and since tofu can be finnicky, fall apart, turn to mush, etc…just checking to see when you added it.

enjoy your weekend :)


September 30, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Oh crap! Thanks for letting me know! I totally forgot to put the tofu in the directions – it’s fixed now.

The tofu didn’t fall apart in the pot, but it’s okay if it crumbles a bit. Chili is more fun when it’s all messy and textured, right? :)

Have a great weekend too!


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