National Pumpkin Day: Quinoa Chili, Quinoa Shake


Happy National Pumpkin Day! Belated. It was three days ago, and I made this irresistably sunshiny shake in celebration. pumpkin shake 2

A backlog of recipes I've been wanting to share has been becoming a mountain. I've  been surprisingly "swamped" with work recently (quotes because what constitutes "swamped" now was more along the lines of an extra chore or two in the days when work was scheduled in big blocks rather than fit in piece-meal according to toddler sleep schedules and minimal sitter hours). I keep anticipating a future drought, but so far I've been able to count myself lucky it hasn't happened. You'll know it's hit if I suddenly start posting daily long rambles.

I've been coming to realize the staple irony of the freelance life--the busiest times are compounded by looking ahead to potentially quiet ones. But the flexibility is a gem, and I'm being forced to finally learn (with periods of regression) a valuable lesson I've tried to put into practice for what seems like strike or at least strive for the balance of looking ahead with practical wisdom while bringing your best to the present moment. Breathe, and trust yourself to both be brave and know your limits.

pumpkins_hpIt's not just juggling a freelance hodge-podge that's been--at long last--so instructive. I've had some absolutely infectiously joyful help. Like working with the kids who sign up for Melissa's and my Healthy Plates class. I wish I had a clip of them chatting this week over pumpkin chili prep. "Can you pass the nutmeg?" "More green pepper, please!" "I prefer the red pepper." Brilliance.

And then, it goes without saying, there's my Little Monkey. Robot-building, strider-blazing Big Boy he may be, but he's still my Little Monkey. Which, by the way, reminds me...Happy Halloween!

monkey_15Find my favorite Quinoa Pumpkin Pie Shake recipe and more at the Ancient Harvest recipe pages.

Spendidly Simple Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Slow cooker pumpkin vegetable chili

  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained or approximately 3 cups cooked beans
  • 1 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained or 3 cups cooked beans
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans plain diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 -ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • Vegetables of choice (about 4-6 cups), such as diced bell peppers, chopped spinach/kale, fresh tomatoes, diced carrots, chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup quinoa (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • dash each or more of your choice: cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, garlic powder, salt, pepper
  • Assorted toppings of your choice like avocado, cherry tomatoes, chopped scallions or onion, cilantro, shredded cheese or sour cream.
  1. Add all ingredients plus 1 cup water to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir.
  2. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours.