I was at my parents’ house the other night and they were making beef chili for dinner. Feeling a bit jealous of their nightshade-filled stew, I decided to experiment with my own version. My mom grew some awesome pie pumpkins over the summer, so I cooked and pureed one to add to the soup in an attempt to achieve a consistency similar to chili.
The result wasn’t as close to chili as I had originally hoped, but it was absolutely delicious. The spice combination ended up being very curry-like and I was really happy with the result. This recipe could easily double as sloppy joes or as a pasta sauce. Seed-based spices are the only non-AIP ingredient, so if you’ve just started reintroductions, this is a great recipe option.
2-4 cloves garlic
1 pound ground beef*
2 tsp garam masala (If following AIP, make sure to find a nightshade-free version)
1 tsp cumin
1/2-1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
2 cups pumpkin puree**
2 cups beef or chicken broth
Green onions or cilantro (optional)
- Mince garlic or squeeze through a garlic press and let sit for about 10 minutes
- In a heavy saucepan, combine ground beef, garlic, salt, herbs, and spices
- Cook the meat over medium to high heat, stirring frequently until almost cooked through
- Add pumpkin puree and broth
- Simmer for about 15 minutes
- Add additional salt if needed and garnish with green onions or cilantro
*I use ground beef that is 80-85% lean. If using leaner beef, it may be necessary to add a tablespoon of cooking fat such as coconut oil, lard, or ghee when sautéing the meat and herbs.
**Canned or fresh pumpkin both work great in this recipe. If using a fresh pumpkin, cut it in half, remove the seeds, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until a knife can be easily inserted and removed. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, then puree in a blender or food processor. Leftover puree can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for 6-8 months.