Garlicky Pumpkin Stew

Alert the press!!! I made a new recipe. ~insert shocked emoji face here~

I saw that a few of my blogger friends were hosting Pumpkin Week this week and I decided, even if it is still 85 degrees here and there is no sign of fall ever arriving, I should welcome any excuse to drink pumpkin beer let myself get into the fall spirit!

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I swear I used some of it for cooking too 😉

Anyway, so here’s the thing about me and pumpkin…I’m not obsessed with it like everyone else seems to be.

I can get down with pumpkin spiced things (AKA anything involving cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg & cloves) but actual pumpkin flavoring? Meh. And pumpkin sweets? Fogettaboutit. Pumpkin pie or anything resembling it (so pretty much anything involving pumpkin puree) basically sounds like barf in a pie crust to me.

A few years ago, however, I guess I had a lot of time on my hands – and a really good food processor, apparently – and I took it upon myself to give my own homemade pumpkin purée a whirl. To my surprise, I was not as turned off by the subtle natural pumpkin flavor found in a plain old roasted & pureed pumpkin. I used pumpkin to make a few savory recipes where I might’ve typically used butternut squash, and found I liked it! And so my quest to create delicious savory pumpkin recipes began.

When I sat down to think up a recipe I could make using the little pie pumpkin I picked up at the store and my pumpkin beer, I really wanted to make a pumpkin chili with it (kind of like I did here with butternut squash)…Plus as you can see above, I had a lot of chili inspiration in the fall issue of Cooking Light! But alas, no beans in my pantry means I had to figure out an alternative plan, and thus this pumpkin stew was born.

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It is garlicky and savory, and healthy too! And because I wanted an extra kick of beta carotene in addition to the pumpkin, I added carrots into the mix and a few other veggies. Maybe if I eat enough I will get that nice orangey pumpkin-carrot glow that the nutrition books talk about 😉

I also think it would be fun to sub some of the extra veggies for chopped up apple! Apple + pumpkin…I don’t think you can get any more fall than that! Also, I say this recipe makes 3 servings because I made it on Tuesday hoping it would last me 3 lunches:

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So far, so good…and my office-mate agrees that it smells delicious!

Garlicky Pumpkin Stew
(makes ~3 servings)

2-3 large/medium chicken breasts
3 cups pumpkin, cubed (for me, this was about 1/2 of a pie pumpkin)
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2-1 tbsp minced garlic (Depends how much you like your garlic! I’d suggest 2 cloves worth)
2 cups diced veggies of choice (I used carrots to stay in orange theme, and mushrooms)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup pumpkin beer
garlic powder
minced ginger or powdered ginger powder
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
salt & pepper
oil, for cooking

Prepare all your veggies and chicken – dice onion, cube pumpkin, and chop your veggies.

Heat ~2 tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add cubed chicken and saute until cooked through, ~7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat more oil and add onion to pan. Let it saute for a minute or two before adding minced garlic (and minced ginger if you are using it). Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add cubed pumpkin and seasonings and stir to coat. Depending on your preference for veggie firmness, you can also add your other veggies here…However, the pumpkin will take much longer to cook than most other veggies, so I suggest cooking the pumpkin for a while before adding them. Add half of liquids to the pumpkin mixture (or however much you need – but you don’t need to completely submerge the pumpkin), cover, and make sure your heat is at medium/medium-low so that the stew is at a low simmer.

Simmer for 10 minutes or so, checking occasionally to stir and check the mixture to see if more beer/broth needs to be added. After 10 minutes, add remainder of veggies, chicken, and liquids (if needed – I would add the rest here if you can without overflowing) and continue to simmer until pumpkin is fork tender, or your desired tenderness, probably at least another 10 minutes. Feel free to adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve with bread & salad, or over rice or quinoa!

I will also be linking up with #PumpkinWeek2015 on Instagram! Make sure you check out the bloggers hosting it, follow them on Instagram, and see the delicious pumpkin recipes they’ve been posting all week!

 

 

Amanda from Diary of a Semi-Health Nut | Instagram

Suzie from Suzlyfe | Instagram

Erin from Table For Seven | Instagram

Becky from Olives n Wine | Instagram

Katie from Talk Less, Say More | Instagram

Giselle from Diary of an Exsloth | Instagram

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How do you feel about pumpkin?

What is your favorite holiday flavor? I’m partial to peppermint around Christmas!

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