Pumpkin chili with goat and black beans

Today I made chili without a recipe for the first time ever. I had a sugar pumpkin and ground goat meat in the house already, so I started with those and made up the rest. It turned out so good, I just had to share. Chili is flexible so you can always add or subtract some veggies for others, and substitute any chop meat you have or keep it veggie! Just play around with the spices and liquid level to suit your tastes. Here’s a good starting point:

Pumpkin chili with goat and black beans

Ingredients

Extra virgin olive oil
1 lb ground goat meat
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 diced hot chili
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 – 1/2 tsp each: garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt, black pepper
28 oz diced tomatoes
~1 cup broth (any kind, I used chicken)
~2 cups cooked pumpkin (I just used 1 whole roasted sugar pumpkin here but you could use canned)
2 16 oz cans of beans (any kind, I used black beans)

Roast 1 whole sugar pumpkin in the oven on 350F for ~1.25 hours. Place a baking sheet under the pumpkin on the rack below in case it leaks. Remove pumpkin from oven and slice in half to let it cool. Then, remove seeds (keep them to roast or just toss) and scoop out the pulp into a bowl. Mash it with a fork until smooth.

In the meantime, heat ~1 tbsp olive oil in a pot and brown your meat. When cooked, remove meat from the pan and drain the fat. Set meat aside. In the same pan, saute all the veggies 5-10 minutes until soft. Add in the spices and cook a few more minutes.

Add the meat back into the pot with the veggies, along with the diced tomatoes, broth and pumpkin puree. Bring to a slow boil and then simmer uncovered on low for 1-2 hours. Stir every so often. Mix in beans during the last few minutes of cooking just to heat them through.

Serve over white rice and enjoy!

Red curry veggies over cauliflower fried rice

I had more energy than normal tonight following an awesome workout so I prepped dinner with a little extra love and passion. As it happens, it came out awesome and was actually pretty simply so I wanted to share. I stir-fried a bunch of veggies, made a quick (literally under five minutes) red curry and served it over cauliflower fried rice. The most time-consuming part was food processing the cauliflower, but you could always do this in advance or just dice it up small. Any veggies will do 🙂

Red curry veggies over cauliflower fried rice

Ingredients

for stir fry
coconut oil (or whatever oil you use for higher heat)
LOTS of roughly chopped veggies (I used 1 green bell pepper, 1 zucchini, 1 package of shitaki mushrooms, a few handfuls of bean sprouts, 1 medium yellow onion)
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

for fried rice
about a thumbs worth of butter (or your favorite fat)
1 head of cauliflower, food processed until rice size
~1 cup frozen peas
3 eggs

for red curry
coconut/extra virgin olive oil
~2 tbsp red curry paste
1/2 can full-fat coconut milk

First, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in a wok or heavy pan. Toss in all stir fry veggies and cook about ten minutes until soft but still with a bit of crunch and color. Take them off the heat and put to the side.

Next, heat butter in the same pan over medium heat and add cauliflower. Make sure to coat it all with whatever fat you are using and cook until slightly brown and toasted looking, about 10-15 minutes. Then, create a hole in the middle so that pan is showing, add a little more butter and then eggs, beating slightly in the pan. When mostly cooked, stir eggs fully into cauliflower and add peas. Cook another two or three minutes. You can add coconut aminos or soy sauce at the end for flavor.

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You can be be making the curry in a second pan at the same time. Heat up coconut or olive oil over medium-low heat. Add curry paste and toast a few minutes until fragrant. Mix in coconut milk and just heat through. Finally, toss veggies and simmer all together for another five minutes.

Serve over fried rice and enjoy.

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Ordinary Kitchens: The hog files

A brief tale of turning my grandparent’s ordinary kitchen (and garage) into a butcher shop and meat locker.

A few weeks ago, while visiting my grandparents in sunny southwest Florida, my boyfriend Chris went on his first wild hog hunt, and it was a great success. As I have mentioned before, I consider the real story of such adventures, the ones I tell people and write about, to start in the kitchen. Once an animal has been field dressed, skinned and at least quartered, then I step into the process. So let’s start there.

Chris brought the hog back to gram’s house quartered and on ice in a cooler. Then, for the next few hours, her garaged transformed into a butcher shop as we separated out the cuts and portioned it to freeze.
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Neither of us have a ton of experience butchering a whole animal, but we felt it out, literally. If you pay attention to the meat it shows you where to cut and trim.

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Gram and pops were both really good sports about the whole event, but for a while gram refused to come into the garage. She would just shout, “how’s it going guys?,” periodically from the safety of the house. But then, she got curious.

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She even asked for more details on the kill shot!

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Ok, she didn’t ask for more details, but once we got her into the garage, she was getting the whole story. By the end of the night she was assisting and it was awesome! Now I guess we’ve both been places and seen things we never thought imaginable.

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When everything was cut, we vacuum sealed and label it all and then somehow got it to fit into the freezer.

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Once we got the meat home (in the cooler, checked-in and flown under the plane like normal luggage – who knew?) I started experimenting with the best ways to cook it. So far, we’ve made stew, pulled pork and red curry. Recipes of the stuff that turns out awesome to come!