Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Chili

Everyday for the past week it’s been ten degrees on my way to work which is pretty much unacceptable, especially now that I’m biking and it is quite uncomfortable. Sawyer’s away on a business trip so of course instead of doing anything productive when I get home I just eat cheese and crackers and big pieces of chocolate cake in bed (hmm, and I wonder why working out hasn’t been doing anything for me yet).

I’m in hibernate mode. It’s too cold to go outside and have adventure, but I also can’t sleep away the rest of the winter, what I want to do is eat hearty, meaty, filling meals. I made chili when all my leftovers ran out this week.

1 package ground beef
1 package ground chicken
28 oz. stewed tomatoes
14 oz kidney beans, pinto beans
1 small onion, diced
Sweet potato/pumpkin, cubed.
Chicken stock
Chili powder. Salt. Pepper. A few dried red chilies and chili flakes. Paprika. All to taste.

Brown the meat in a pan, then drain and crumble.
Over high heat, combine everything in a big pot, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat. Let it stew for an hour or two. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheese.

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Chili

I’m still on this whole trying-to-eat-better thing, not necessarily less (or well all the time, seeing as how I ate tortilla chips and cake for dinner once this week) but at least making sure my meals are full of nutrients and good things. So I added the pumpkin and sweet potato to give the chili a little nutritional kick. Plus I love sweet potato. Also, I had recalled briefly perusing a recipe for Chocolate-Pumpkin chili, so for fun I added about a teaspoon of cocoa powder.

Although it turned out pretty tasty in the end, I ran into some problems with the ingredients, since, after all, it’s China. I stopped by Jenny Lou after work to pick up cans of kidney and pinto beans, stewed tomato, and ground meat. Ground beef is expensive–it was 30 kuai for a small pack, but they didn’t have any ground chicken. I bought chicken breasts and ran them through my food processor. And after long deliberation over the different brands, I bought a can of pinto beans of Italian origin, something about Vesuvius on the label. When I got home and opened them up, they turned out not to be pinto beans in water at all, but in fact can of baked beans. China, why do you lie to me?

Not wanting to spend a week eating chili by myself, I brought the batch over to the boys’ new apartment (along with the smaller oven I wanted to trade for my old, larger oven). Effectively, they polished off the whole bit and I got my visitation with Hector and a week’s worth of amusement in the fact that in the course of their boys’ night out with some friends, Bambi took a dog to the face. As in, a friend up and lobbed the dog at him because he was lacking in dogs to the face. (Note, the dog is unhurt and non-traumatized, Bambi’s face bore the brunt of the damage). I…have…no words.


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