I may not be the biggest football fan there ever was, but MAN do I like a good tailgate. Errrr, tailgate food.
Yes, hot diggity dawgs and hamburgers tend to steel the spotlight on game day, but lettuce not forget about all the other glorious options out there! Eleveate your tailgate with seven layer dip, chips and guacamole, spinach and artichoke dip, chili, and jalapeño poppers. Oh, and some beer. Maybe even beer in the chili, if you're into that.
Just because it's a by week here in Columbus doesn't mean that tailgates are off limits! Lucky for you, Whole Foods Market stores nationwide will be grilling up a storm and sampling a bunch of non-GMO must-haves on Saturday, October 11th from 2pm-4pm. And why not snag a brewsky at The Social while you shop? I don't hate it.
Let's chat for a hot minute about GMOs. Other than OMG spelled backward, what the hell are they?! GMO stands for genetically modified organism, which is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using unnatural engineering techniques. Many crops are modified to survive herbicide treatment, produce their own pesticides and resist certain diseases. A whopping 70% of our packaged foods contain GMOs. Stores really can't exclude GMOs because government regulations don't currently require the disclosure of GMOs in food.
This topic is EXTREMELY debated in the media. Because I'm not in the mood to get anyone hot and bothered over it and because we all deserve to have our own opinions, I'll just share my stance in a nutshell. I prefer my food to be non-GMO because I don't believe it's natural and we don't know the long-term effects of their usage. Using them to feed certain populations in need is one thing and creating gigantic, flawless looking apples genetically altered be higher in antioxidants is another. I don't want to buy fruits and vegetables with double the vitamins because of genetic modification. I like them just how they are.
For another awesome article on this topic, read this one. You can also learn more from the Non-GMO Project.
Get this---by 2018, all Whole Foods products containing GMOs will be labeled. Full transparency here, people! Whole Foods currently offers over 25,000 certified organic products and about 8,500 Non-GMO Project Verified products in their stores. To avoid GMO's....
- Buy certified organic. The USDA National Organic Standards do not allow the use of GMOs.
- Choose Whole Food's 365 Everyday Value® brand. Of note, all plant-derived ingredients are sourced to avoid GMOs; but if a product has meat, eggs or dairy ingredients, they could be from animals that were given GMO feed — unless the product is organic or Non-GMO Project Verified
- Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal, which have been verified non-GMO by a 3rd party.
Whew! Can we talk about all the fabulosity in this chili now? It has PUMPKIN in it. And PUMPKIN PIE SPICE. Capital letters mean I'm EXCITED. No, this doesn't taste like pumpkin pie. You're more than welcome to gulp down a Pumpkin Pie Smoothie while you're cooking if that's what you're going for. It has all those warm and fuzzy fall flavors, not to mention that it's packed with fiber, protein, and antioxidants! You'll feel much less guilty about the bucket of chicken wings you ate after a bowl full of this hearty goodness.
I pinky promise that this chili will totally get the stamp of approval from your carnivornous husband/boyfriend/cat/roommate/bestie. If you want to go all out, top it with a dash of hot sauce and some freshly grated cheddar cheese. If you have leftover spicy cashew mayo that's dying to be used as a chili topper, that would be insanely unreal.
Consider this tailgate ELEVATED.
A hearty and delicious vegetarian chili packed with fall flavor, perfect for football tailgates!
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups sliced bell pepper (I used frozen 365 organic three pepper blend)
- 1-28oz can 365 organic* diced tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1-15oz can 365 organic pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1-15oz can 365 organic black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup 365 canned pumpkin
- 1 ½ tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- Add olive oil to a dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Once hot, add diced onion. Sautee for 5-7 minutes and then add garlic and bell pepper. Sautee for another 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer (covered) for thirty minutes to an hour.
*365 is Whole Food's house brand used for the purpose of this post. Any brand will work for this recipe.
Disclosure: Whole Foods Market Upper Arlington gave me a gift card to purchase the items used in this recipe. I was not compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.