It’s Ireland day! Just about 3/4 of the day working, packing, and getting ready for our houseguests/ cat sitters, and then we will be heading to the airport and off to Shannon. The time between when we check into our flight and step out of Shannon airport is one of my all time favorite things in the world. We always grab a bite to eat and a glass of bubbly to toast our trip. I even enjoy settling into my Aer Lingus seat, watching movies, and trying (never successfully) to get a few hours of sleep. I’m most excited when we start our descent, get through customs, and walk through the familiar automatic doors to see my wonderful father in law waiting for us. But the best moment comes when we step outside. Feeling exhausted and dry from the flight, we literally come back to life when we are hit with the cool, misty air and smell of turf fires. It is the best smell ever. We follow our drive to Galway with a big Irish breakfast, and then we go to sleep for a few hours, the best sleep ever. And tomorrow, we will be busy getting ready for my husband’s Masters graduation followed by dinner at McSwiggan’s, followed by drinks with his friends. Happy times!
I know I said I had enough pumpkin weeks ago, but I may have changed my mind after making this chili for a cozy weekend dinner. With another Boston Marathon on the horizon and training to start when I return from Ireland, I am trying to get my eating back on track a little too. My diet has taken a big turn for the worse, with random handfuls of tortilla chips and takeout meals making up a lot of what I eat. This body needs more veggies and fruits!
But it also really needs comfort food, and since we didn’t do much grocery shopping due to our upcoming trip, I was able to make this chili from a well-stocked pantry and freezer.
Somehow I only took pictures of the ingredients and not the final product. . . but it looked like chili.
Even though I am lacking in the photo department, I love this recipe, so I’ll share it anyway.
1 red onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed and topped
1/2 can pumpkin
1 can black beans
1 can tomatoes, I used the last of my delicious Muir Glen Organic, a small can. If you want to make it more tomato-based, you can use two cans or one large one.
1 –2 cups frozen sweet corn
2 cups frozen butternut squash
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
a dash of garlic powder
a dash of cayenne pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil
I got started by adding the onion and oil to my French oven and sautéing it until it started to soften. I then added the garlic and let it cook for a minute before pouring in the tomatoes, beans, pumpkin, corn, and butternut squash. I gave it all a good stir, added the spices, turned up the heat until the chili started to bubble, then turned it down to the lowest heat, letting it simmer and occasionally stirring for about 30 minutes. I had two bowls right away, each topped with pickled jalapenos. I would have added Greek yogurt if we had any left; sadly the 30 containers of Fage we bought during the super sale are gone.
The pumpkin really brought the chili together, giving it a nice body, a little sweetness and creaminess, and lots of nutrition. I felt really good after eating; I really, really need to make a point of eating during the day, and eating well.
Are you eating a little more healthfully as we lead up to the biggest eating holiday of the year? Gobble gobble.