Dig into this plant-based Pumpkin and Black Bean Chilli on dark and cold winter evenings.
The cayenne pepper and cumin seeds give it a warming affect, the black beans and potato satisfy insatiable appetites and the festive pumpkin makes it an ideal option for pre or post Halloween celebrations. Jacket potatoes should be baked in the oven to achieve the tastiest flavour and the crunchiest skins.
About the Ingredients
When it comes to choosing ingredients for Pumpkin and Black Bean Chilli, we like to choose the items with the lowest carbon footprint and the least packaging waste.
Pumpkins are grown every year in abundance for decorating and carving. Sadly, these pumpkins are rarely eaten which is a huge waste. We love adding pumpkin to wintery vegan recipes and this version of our vegan chilli is perfect with chunks of pumpkin. It’s a common misconception that the pumpkins grown for carving won’t taste good, or aren’t edible. Wrong! Every year we eat the pumpkins we use for Halloween … and anyone else’s that are going spare too.
You may also like these 5 Uses for Pumpkin.
Pumpkins can can be grown at home, on an allotment or picked from a local pumpkin patch. These are our favourite ways to acquire the pumpkins we use in our recipes because then they are locally grown, as fresh as possible when they hit our plates and completely packaging free.
Using and storing your pumpkin flesh is easy. Simply carve out the pumpkin, separating what you pull out into two bowls; one for seeds and one for the fleshy, soft, stringy stuff. Afterwards, go through the stringy flesh and remove any outer skin (the hard, outer shell) using a knife. What you are left with is all pumpkin flesh, whether its stringy or chunky in texture.
Separate it into portions, chopping the chunks and stringy flesh into cubes or smaller pieces that are more suitable for cooking. Re-usable, re-sealable bags are great for this, as are re-usable storage containers. Then, leave a couple of portions of pumpkin in your fridge for using within the next few days and place the remaining portions in the freezer. Throughout the winter, when you want to make a vegan recipe like this one that requires pumpkin, just defrost one portion by leaving it out in the morning ready for use at dinner time.
If you’re not confident at making your own chilli from scratch, there are ample choices in the shops for pre-mixed chilli sauce or pre-mixed chilli seasoning. However, the tastiest chillis, vegan or not, are those where all the ingredients are as fresh and natural as possible. We love using products like cumin seeds in many of our recipes and this vegan chilli is one of them. It’s cheaper to buy cumin seeds in larger quantities and they are easily available online, if you can’t find them in the supermarket.
Along with cumin seeds, you’ll need oregano and cayenne pepper. Wherever possible, buy these in recyclable glass jars. Once we’ve purchased these once, we like to re-use the glass jars in local refill shops, like The Refill Room in Leigh on Sea. If you don’t know of a refill shop near you, get in touch with us today and we’ll help you discover one. They’re great fun if you want to shop zero waste style!