This time of year is perfect for pumpkin recipes, but I use pumpkin all year round in many savory recipes in place of tomato sauce. Cooked tomatoes seem to cause reflux for our family, so we tend to avoid cooked tomatoes. I started using pumpkin puree as a tomato sauce alternative a couple years ago and I love it! If you want to try using pumpkin in place of tomato sauce but aren’t sure about it, go half-and-half tomato sauce and pumpkin and see if you like it. I usually end up making spaghetti sauce this way, too, and it has made a big difference. If you have regular acid reflux problems, try switching out your tomato sauce with pumpkin puree and see if that helps!
This recipe is tomato free, but it is not completely free of nightshade plants. The red bell pepper is a night shade plant and the seasonings and sausage contain nightshade as well (in the ground chili pepper). If you are very sensitive to nightshades, you can try this recipe without the red bell pepper and replace the seasonings and sausage with diet-appropriate alternatives such as plain ground turkey or another variety of chicken sausage.
Note: This recipe is listed as grain-free because quinoa is not a true grain, but rather a pseudo-grain or seed. While this recipe is grain-free, it is not Paleo, however, as psuedo-grains such as quinoa are not allowed on Paleo diets
Smoky Pumpkin Quinoa Chili
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 12 ounces Al Fresco Buffalo-Style Chicken Sausage, casings removed
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon liquid hickory smoke
- 2 cups chicken or beef stock
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- In a large non-stick skillet, saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until they begin to soften.
- Add the chicken sausage to the skillet and break up thoroughly as it cooks through.
- As the sausage cooks, add the seasonings and the liquid smoke and mix thoroughly.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the chicken stock and the pumpkin puree.
- Once the sausage has cooked completely, add in the pumpkin/stock mixture and the quinoa. Stir together thoroughly.
- Simmer on medium heat until completely heated through.
- Serve garnished with sliced green onions and a drizzle of coconut milk.