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Friday, March 28, 2014

State of Slim Crowd-Pleasing Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Chili with a Livliga Flair

The Colorado diet is easy to follow and easy to stick to, I have found. It is not a "quick loss" diet, it is more like a "slow and steady" lifestyle diet. For the first time in my life I am not waiting to get off the plan. I am enjoying the journey. I am actually enticed by how I can make it more interesting while keeping to the basic tenets.

State of Slim Crowd-Pleasing Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Chili with a Livliga Flair on Livliga (photo by LivligaHome)
The recipes are solid. They are also very helpful since ingredients are very specific to reigniting your metabolism and keeping you satisfied between meals. Trigger foods are also eliminated. There is nothing that qualifies as a dessert but there are foods that qualify as treats...like chocolate muffins and pancakes or smoothies. Carbs are virtually eliminated, mainly found naturally in the vegetables you eat.

One ingredient that is used a lot in the Colorado Diet is pumpkin. Pumpkin, as it turns out, has many health benefits. The high fiber in it keeps you full. The minerals, like potassium keep your muscles at high performance so you can avoid muscle cramping as you ramp up your exercise as part of the lifestyle plan. Then there is the fact that it is low in carbs and has the famous Vitamin "T". The low carbs don't spike your blood sugar which helps to encourage your metabolism to increase its fat burning. Vitamin T helps regulate your metabolism, keeping it revved up. Bottom line, we need to eat more pumpkin.

Pumpkin is easy to buy as a puree with nothing added. The State of Slim includes a few recipes that include it as an ingredient. One such recipe is the Crowd-Pleasing Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Chili. 

It is a tasty recipe but I thought I could make it a little more flavorful and give it a bit more texture with a few additions and changes. Here is the Livliga version:

State of Slim Crowd-Pleasing Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Chili with a Livliga flair

Ingredients
1 pound extra-lean ground beef or turkey breast
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 yellow bell peppers, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
2 tablespoons pickled jalapeno chile pepper (optional)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (15 ounces) unsweetened 100% pure pumpkin puree
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chili powder (or more to taste)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons thyme
pinch of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Cooking Spray

Directions
1. Spray a cast-iron skillet with cooking spray. Place the chopped onion and garlic in the skillet and sautee for about 4 or 5 minutes, until the onion starts to brown.
2. Add the meat and brown with the onion mixture. Once the meat is nearly brown add the chopped celery and yellow pepper. Continue cooking for about 4 minutes.
3. In a 3 - 4 quart slow cooker add the meat mixture and all other ingredients. Set the cooker on low for 5 - 6 hours. Vegetables should be tender.
4. Serve hot. Top with a tablespoon of Greek yogurt and some fresh parsley for visual appeal.

Yield: 4 servings. Serving size: about 1½ cups.

Enjoy! And Live Vibrant! And Eat Mindfully.