pumpkin chiliI am currently working on an assignment for a car magazine (yes, new territory!) and the subject, food trucks, just couldn’t be more ‘hip n’ happening’. For the article I will be interviewing five out of the fifty food trucks that are participating in the two-year pilot organized in Amsterdam. Yesterday I spoke with two passionate entrepreneurs, and today I will be hearing the stories of a few more.
In between that, the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of DUTCH is about to go to print, and I’ve already started work on the first issue of 2016. Did I also mention that I am working on a few food videos for a Belgian client? Oh, and that I made it my mission to blog a LOT more often?
Plenty going on, in other words. And let me just tell you that I am extremely proud of myself (excuse me while I pat my own back) because amidst all that work, I managed to round off my day at 5:30 p.m. yesterday just so I could take time to cook and serve dinner at a respectable hour. It makes such a huge difference.

Little things are making a huge difference these days. Like those hour-long meditative walks I am treating myself to. No running, no gyms, no machines. Just me and nature. The soft approach, if you will. It suits me just fine and is one of the many small, positive changes I am implementing in my life. Changes I had hoped to start making by the time I turned forty (just two-and-a-half years away; not at all shy about my age).
But let me tell you about that recipe I came up with yesterday, a vegan pumpkin chili I dare say probably came out better than the one I make with meat. And the best part was that it was almost too easy to throw together. But then again, why should things be difficult?
Hope you like it as much as we did.

Vegan Pumpkin Chili
Serves 3-4

  • 3 tbsps mild olive oil
  • 525g peeled and cubed pumpkin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 small onions, halved and finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • pinch of ground chili
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper
  • 1 can kidney beans (400g), rinsed
  • 1 can black beans (400g), rinsed
  • 2 tbsps barbecue sauce
  • parsley, to garnish

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the pumpkin, cayenne and cinnamon. Stir and cook on low heat for about 6 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Turn up the heat a little and add the chopped tomatoes, spices, sugar and salt and pepper. Allow to cook covered for about five minutes. Now add the beans and barbecue sauce, lower the heat again and cook covered for 10 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Garnish with chopped parsley. I served the chili with homemade corn muffins, but it would also be great with rice, flour tortillas or a crisp green salad. A sprinkle of cheddar cheese while it’s still hot wouldn’t hurt either,



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