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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cactus Pineapple Chili


It's chili season!  As soon as it gets chilly, is there anything more comforting?  Okay, forget the fact that it almost feels like summer this week...

I am always trying to come up with variations on recipes...as they say, variety is the spice of life!  It took me a bit of thinking with this one but one meandering down the aisles of Fiesta Farms and it struck me like lightening.  Aha!

Cactus, you say?  Yes, absolutely!  Now, I used the jarred kind, but maybe you could use fresh, if you can find it.  Don't worry, they aren't prickly, and the taste is quite mild.

Serve this alone, or over brown rice, quinoa or millet, or stuff into a tortilla.

Cactus Pineapple Chili

1 tsp avocado oil or olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 cauliflower, cut into small florets*
1 yellow plantain, diced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 lb ground turkey or chicken (or crumbled tempeh)
1 jar cactus, drained
2 cups tomatillo 'green' salsa
2 cups pineapple chunks, with juice (if from a jar) or 1 fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed**
Juice of 1 lime
1 can tomato paste

Saute veggies and spices in oil in a large pot over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Add vinegar, meat or tempeh, cactus and tomatillo sauce and stir until meat is cooked through.  Add pineapple, beans, tomato paste and lime juice and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until ready to eat.  Keep leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze. 

*I roasted cauliflower ahead of time to maximize flavour, but throw in to chili raw if you like.
**If making this vegan you can skip tempeh to replace meat and just add an additional can of beans.

I have submitted this recipe to Urban Naturale's Plant Based Pot Luck Party Link Up and Vegetarian Mamma's Gluten-Free Friday.