It’s winter, the temperature is dropping, and snow is accumulating on the ground. This season signals Chili Time! Not just Chili Time, but Crockpot Chili Time!
There's no other experience in the culinary universe quite like tossing ingredients into a crockpot to stew all day, then enjoying a nice hearty meal in the evening. As the ingredients and flavors melt together in the crockpot, the aroma fills the house with warm scents that evoke blissful memories of a hearty winter feast.
This last week, I was sorting through my prepper pantry shelves, planning meals based on the cans of food I have on hand. Chili is a welcome recipe because it helps me use up my stock of canned beans and tomatoes. As I sorted through the pantry, I discovered a large can of pumpkin with an expiration date of October of 2021 (a few months ago.) Oops! If I abide strictly by their timeframes, I should throw it in the trash. But those dates are not strict deadlines; rather, they are indicators of a general guideline. It's ultimately up to the consumer to decide exactly when canned goods expire. As with everything monitored by the government, these cutoff dates have leeway built-in. In the end, we must rely on our senses and good judgment for guidance. Sight and smell are more reliable than a printed date.
I wanted to use my "expired" can of pumpkin, so I took it from the pantry for one of my favorite recipes: Pumpkin Black Bean Crockpot Chili—yum! It sounds crazy, but think of a creamy chili with a hint of pumpkin and sweet spices. And using a can that is “expired” is my best option since I rotate food through my prepper pantry.
I opened the can and smelled the contents: yummy pumpkin!
How do I make chili?
Easy! Combine meat, beans, tomatoes, and spices. Cook together, top with cheese and sour cream, and Boom! It's done! I always make meat-less chili since I'm vegetarian, but I mix up my recipes by using different beans, lentils, and spices. This week I'm making a sweet chili with pumpkin and sweeter spices like nutmeg and cinnamon!
What is the best vegetarian chili recipe?
My vegetarian chili recipes are the best! As you might surmise, I'm a tad bit biased! I love my white chili recipe if I'm feeling like something creamy and spicy. This pumpkin chili is sweet but still pairs well with cheese. More chili recipes are coming your way this winter!
How do I make a vegetarian chili?
Instead of using meat, use lentils! Lentils are healthy, packed full of fiber, and have a great texture similar to ground beef.
Let’s get cookin!
Pumpkin Black Bean Crockpot Chili
- 3 cans 15 ounce black beans, drained
- 2 cans 15 ounce diced tomatoes
- 1½ cups pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 2 cups white onion, diced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 cup water
- Combine the drained black beans, diced tomatoesand their juice, pumpkin puree, white onion, all spices, and water together ina crockpot. Cook on high for 6-7 hours. Enjoy!