Over the 7-8 years I've been blogging I've posted many of my own recipes. How crazy is that? In fact I post mostly my own recipes because once I learned the methods and techniques of cooking the mystery of how to put foods together was solved. Sure, I use google to look over recipe "themes" for common flavor combinations, but at the end of the day it comes down to what I already have in my fridge or pantry.
I've practically been living on pumpkin chili! In fact it was my best friend Fawn Friday that, kind of, introduced me to making my own chili. It was for sure my BFF Fawn that introduced my to the
I would feel a little guilty posting a recipe that I haven't tried completely, ingredient by ingredient, to make sure it tastes good and turns out right. In fact I'll have you know, every single recipe in The Swing I tested out in my own kitchen numerous times, no lie. Although I use my pressure cooker to make chili I adapted a no pressure cooker recipe using canned beans for The Swing. The point is that no matter what kind of pot you use to make your own food, your own homemade, prepared and cooked meals are key to your health (that includes a healthy bodyweight), and I believe your happiness (which also includes a healthy bodyweight!).
Okay, so where's the Pumpkin Chili recipe? It's coming! The hold up is that I know Kabocha squash is not available everywhere, and this "Japanese" pumpkin is a key ingredient. I wanted to "test" the recipe with butternut squash, Garnet yam, and/or sugar pie pumpkin but good Lord that's a lot of work! Another roadblock is that because I like to cook and I actually like food prep, that means a lot of washing, peeling (I will actually peel that damn Kabocha, butternut, red bell and jalapeno!), dicing, cutting, measuring, etc.) I realize most people don't share the love with me! And of course I want to motivate and encourage, not suggest so much work that the reward is lost. Let my just add one thing.....food prep is not a lot of work for me. Because I have so much practice it's fast and practically effortless. I can cut an onion, 2-3 stalks of celery, a couple of carrots, a red bell and jalapeno before the oil in the pan gets hot! Which brings me to the next point....
I am in the habit of doing things most people don't know how to do, don't have the energy to do, or don't want to do! Making my own stocks and broths for soups and cooking rice, beans, and grains is a big one. I haven't purchased store bought chicken stock since I was testing out the recipes for The Swing! (lol) I also will use ingredients like kale stems because they are perfectly good nutrition, fiber and free! There is really no other way to use stems of greens other than to add them to soups and stews, and why not?
So, for instance, in today's pumpkin and lentil chili I did in fact use the stems of the kale I used to make salad yesterday. Will it make your chili taste better? Probably not, or maybe so! Who knows? Personally my taste buds are not that discerning! The main ingredients remain the same.
spices (cumin, smoked paprika, chipolte chili powder, oregano, bay leaf)
tomato (again, I use my own stewed tomatoes but you can use canned)
lentils (red and brown...can you use green? Sure! Or the traditional bean! Black, white, red, pinto, knock yourself out!)
stock (I use my own homemade)
Kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin)
oh, and any kind of meat protein if you want.
beef, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, quail, elk, venison, buffalo, etc. OR no meat protein!
And let's NOT forget salt! (aka, seasoning)
The measurements are roughly a matter of experience, but I will give suggestions! Recipes should simply be suggestions! Trust me, once you make a pot of soup, every pot of soup is basically the same! There is rarely a pot of soup, or stew, or chili, that doesn't start out with heating some oil in a pot and adding a diced onion and then sautee until translucent!
You don't have to be a Food Blogger, or a Cookbook Author, you just have to want to learn how to feed yourself and cook your own food!
(and having a best friend that is a former Chef, doesn't hurt either!)