Serendipity defined: Pumpkin chili with beet and quinoa salad

Pumpkin chili is an obvious choice for this time of year. Pumpkins are cheap and everywhere. However, wherever there’s a short cut to be had, I’m all over that shit. So I went hunting for pumpkin puree. But even though I live in the amazing Land of a Million Pieces of Lego, it’s not the glorious Land of Canned Pumpkin Puree. I couldn’t find the stuff anywhere. So I went to get myself a real life pumpkin to cook.

Being the klutz that I am, I ended up toppling all the nicely stacked pumpkins at the store. (embarrassing.)

Okay, they weren’t nicely stacked. They were precariously stacked. Outside. In the fucking rain. So they were slippery as hell. But whatever. Rather than suing their asses for lethal pumpkin stacking and near death experiences, I ended up coming home with twice as many pumpkins as I had originally intended. What can I say, I’m not an asshole.

 I might’ve looked like one though, riding my bicycle home in the rain with two pumpkins and a small child. But I gotta say, riding a bike with two pumpkins isn’t as bad as it at first sounds. As long as you’ve got the right bicycle and some imagination.

Anyway, so I get the pumpkins home and turn one into pumpkin puree. It’s surprisingly easy to do. To save time, here’s a little montage of how I did it (All montages need music in the background, so go ahead and hum the music from the film ‘Rocky’ to yourself while you check this out):

While it was in the oven, we  went to town on the other pumpkin. My kid was so excited about carving it into a face that he gave it a hug and then kissed it. Yes, we are weird in this family. Deal with it.


So I used the pumpkin puree in the recipe as per Thugish instructions and whipped up the chili in no time.


Now, I was feeling lazy as fuck after all the blending and carving, so rather than making some rice to go on the side, I rummaged around in the fridge and dug out the Roasted Beet and Quinoa Salad that I’d made the day before. Thank fuck for leftovers!

Here’s another montage from the day before when I made this colourful craziness:

I used red quinoa because it seemed only right. (plus I had it in the house already). It tasted alright, but I think I might add more dressing next time. But having it on the side of the chili was a great idea. The two go together like poppadoms and chutney, like bank vaults and explosives, like gimps and gag balls. It was a match made in Thug Heaven.

The beet and quinoa salad has a calm enough flavour that the chili can still shine as the main event. And it’s a cool way to add yet another healthy boost to your meal. And in my case, use up leftovers.

Check out the amazing colours it makes too.




Have you ever combined stuff and ‘accidentally’ made perfect combinations? What’s your most fortunate ‘accident’ in the kitchen?

I think this might be my favourite one yet. Of the serendipitous kind.




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