I’m not 100% raw, there are times when I crave a hot meal and/or seafood. I have been known to whip up a batch raw marinara sauce in the Vita-Mix only to pour it over simmering vegan sausage in a fry pan. Thanksgiving will probably be a non-raw meal, I don’t want to be the odd one out at the table eating something different. So I’ve been experimenting with vegan side dishes I can easily throw together even if not in my kitchen. One of of my favorite winter dishes is slow cooked chili, I used to do quite a few. But, avoiding canned beans – or canned anything, outs that. That’s another reason I absolutely love the Vita-Mix, it makes making any sauce out of fresh ingredients a snap. Canned tomato sauce? Nope, I’ll just throw in a bunch of fresh tomatoes from my garden with spices, maybe a red pepper and some fresh spinach, whatever I feel like and viola! I’ve got a tomato sauce that tastes way better whether I’m cooking it or serving raw.
I logged into my neglected AllRecipes account today to look for chili inspiration and this recipe seems to be a huge hit, though completely not raw or vegan friendly. So I raided my fridge and garden for vegan friendly ingredients to concoct a hot vegan version, including 4 of the last ripe tomatoes I might get for this season, a bag of Trader Joe’s celery hearts I need to eat up, half a small sugar pumpkin and half a large onion and call it Vegan Pumpkin Chili.
- 2 cups pumpkin, cubed and steamed (ghetto-style in a microwave is fine)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 5 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp. salt or to taste
In a good blender, blend pumpkin, water, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper to desired texture.
Heat olive oil in medium skillet and sweat onions and celery for about 5 minutes on low-medium heat or to desired tenderness, then add tomatoes and salt and continue heating for 10 minutes.
Stir pumpkin mixture into skillet and simmer for about 10 minutes on low to medium heat, then serve.
Makes about 4 servings and has a lot of chili spice kick and texture to it. My husband’s complaint was the onions were a little too crunchy, I’ll probably chop smaller and sweat them longer next time. But, a successful experiment with a lot of festive flavor that should please non-vegan family members at the Thanksgiving table. Now, if I could just skin a pumpkin with our Oxo peeler without slicing my thumb, I’d save on band aids :-P