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Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Toasted Pepitas

This hearty vegetarian chili starts with smooth pumpkin purée and lively canned tomatoes as a flavorful base, then adds smoky chiles along with fragrant herbs and spices to create a delicious, Caribbean-inspired party in a bowl.

It’s a nutritious gathering, too: Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of fiber; it adds heartiness without extra calories. Canned tomatoes bring high vitamin C, iron, fiber, and the powerful antioxidant lycopene. And black beans, those tasty little protein powerhouses, contribute fiber and key nutrients including folate, thiamine, copper, and iron.

Serve this rich chili alongside a simple green salad for a perfectly easy weeknight supper.
Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 15oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 15oz can pure pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
1 small chipotle pepper en adobo (see note), seeds removed, finely minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 15oz cans low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper, to taste

For garnish:
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and cubed
6 tablespoons low-fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until lightly browned, 6-10 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add tomatoes and juice, broth, and pumpkin; stir until smooth. Add chili powder, chipotle, oregano, and beans, and stir to mix.

Bring the chili to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, for 15-18 minutes, or until the beans are soft and the mixture has thickened a bit. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

While the chili cooks, heat a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add pumpkin seeds and toast until they begin to brown lightly and pop, shaking pan frequently, about 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the seeds.

Serve the chili hot, topped with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and cilantro, chunks of avocado, and a generous dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

Note:  Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapenos; chipotles en adobo are canned in a tangy red sauce. These peppers deliver an intense smoky-spicy flavor, so you don’t need much to add delicious flavor to a variety of dishes. You’ll find small cans of chipotles en adobo in the Latin section of most well-stocked supermarkets.
PER SERVING (1 cup): 378 calories, 13g fat (6g monounsaturated, 4g polyunsaturated, 3g saturated), 4mg cholesterol, 87mg sodium, 50g carbohydrates, 18g protein, 18g fiber.

Photo, recipe, and nutritional information courtesy of our friends at; you’ll find their original recipe—and lots more—here.


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