Pumpkin Chili Fries

Yeahhh you heard that right. Paleo chili fries. Friday morning, I woke up with - I wont lie - a "mild" hangover. I typically forego Thursday evening shenanigans, but this was a special occasion which involved guacamole, margaritas, dancing and some of my former college field hockey teammates...coach included....so there was zero chance I was going to miss out on that fun bus. #yolo am I right?

So what with all the tequila and booty bumpin' that went down Thursday evening, Friday morning was a real sucker punch. Felt like someone had clocked me over the head with a frying pan (let's be real...for all I know, someone might have). Upon my lids reluctantly opening, my stomach immediately signaled for some of that greasy hangover food we all know and love (to hate). You know what I'm talking about - cheeseburgers, fries, milk shakes or what have you. In particular, I had a specific craving for chili cheese fries.

Every now and then, my discipline caves and I indulge....BUT NOT THIS TIME! Nope - I stayed strong and implemented a strict day of paleo recovery. Sorry McDonalds...I will spare you a two cheeseburger meal with fries and save myself $3. Nonetheless, that hankering for chili cheese fries only grew...so by mid afternoon, I resolved that I would make my own damn chili fries. Turns out, my hungover stroke of genius was...well...genius! And easy.

Hangover + complicated cooking = disaster. I'd be most likely to give myself food poisoning if I had to whip up anything that involved more than two steps on those kinda days. So with that in mind, I took out my slow cooker, threw in a delicious combination of PUMPKIN chili ingredients (yes pumpkin) to let cook until it was time to grub. At the last minute, I made my super simple sweet potato fries (ok, guilty, those might be three steps instead of two), and then dumped copious amounts of chili on top of those bad boys. It was PERFECTION. For a primal option, you can really satisfy the chili cheese fry craving by shredding some grass-fed cheddar on top! My man friend used the Kerrygold Dubliner and was quite pleased with the turnout.

Sidebar - you can certainly do without the fries if you're feeling extraordinarily lazy. The pumpkin chili is to die for on its own. There actually ends up being a decent amount of chili leftovers (sans fries), which I ain't mad at. Seriously. What a great fall flavor it adds to an old favorite!

If you want to forego the pumpkin, you can also substitute it for cubed butternut squash.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cups cubed pumpkin (I used Trader Joe's sugar pumpkin) OR 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 oz. can tomato paste
  • 7 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Perfect Sweet Potato Fries
  • Optional toppings: black olives, avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese

Method

  1. Throw all ingredients in your slow cooker (except for the fries...obviously) and turn on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
  2. Prepare your sweet potato fries only right before serving with the chili - they're best when hot and crispy! Follow directions here.
  3. Divide your sweet potato fries across plates and top with chili and optional toppings!

Servings: 2-4