Unbelievable Chili

Today is the first day of fall. With the weather actually cooling down, I feel like I can use my oven and start making soups again! Chili has long been a family favorite, and one more dish I thought was gone forever once I found I couldn’t eat nightshades. For what is chili without tomatoes and peppers? Well, it’s pretty good, actually. Much to the surprise of my tasters (including me), this chili looks and tastes like, well, chili.

unbelievable_chiliUnbelievable Chili

1 lbs ground beef (450 g)
1 large onion, diced (140 g)
6 cloves garlic, minced (18 g)
2 T dried oregano leaves
1 T cumin
2 t ground coriander
2 t dried thyme leaves
1 t salt
½ t ground black pepper
pinch of ground cloves
1¾ c pureed pumpkin (425 g)
4 c Tomato-Free Tomato Sauce (click here for recipe)
2 c water

  1. Brown ground beef with onion and garlic
  2. Add spices and cook until onion is soft and translucent
  3. Stir in pumpkin, tomato-free sauce, and water
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened

Yield 2 qts chili

NOTE:

  • This is a rather mild chili recipe. For a hotter blend, try adding small amounts of one or more other spicy ingredients (such as wasabi, horseradish, or ground mustard) to taste.
  • Several people have asked what looks like tomatoes in the bowl–it’s onions, colored red by the beets and cranberries in the tomato-free sauce!

What do you like to start cooking up in fall?

Tomato-Free Tomato Sauce

When I first gave up nightshades, I believed I would never be able to replace tomato-based sauces and I grieved deeply for my collection of Italian and Mexican recipes. After reading about the amazing tomato-free Nomato Sauce, I was inspired to try making my own version. It took many, many tries in the kitchen to get the flavors to blend well, but I finally found a combination of fruits and vegetables that really worked well. If you’ve seen my Cranberry-Beet Ketchup recipe, you already know that beets and cranberries stand in well for tomatoes. This sauce has a fuller body than the ketchup and makes a great base for my marinara, bolognese, and enchilada sauces. The next test: tomato soup!

Tomato-Free Tomato Saucetomato-free sauce

1 T olive oil
1 med onion, diced (110 g)
1 sm carrot, chopped (50 g)
1 med stalk celery, chopped (50 g)
2 sm fresh beets, chopped (170 g)
1½ c fresh or frozen cranberries (170 g)
1 t salt
4 c water, divided
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat
  2. Add onion, carrot, celery, and beets, and saute, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent
  3. Stir in cranberries and salt, cooking for an additional 60-90 seconds until fragrant
  4. Add 3 c water, bring to a boil, and reduce heat
  5. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beets are softened and sauce begins to thicken (2-3 hours)
  6. Blend until smooth and add remaining 1 c water

Yield 1 qt sauce

Updated to add: Try out this recipe in my Unbelievable Chili (click here for recipe)!

Do you have a favorite red sauce?

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