Lesson #36: How to Make Pumpkin Chili Without Any Clothes On

by Rachel on October 14, 2010

All right, so after the little laundry mishap yesterday afternoon, I realized it was time for me to start dinner. My mom had mailed me a recipe for pumpkin chili that I was pretty pumped about and I was all sorts of ready to get it simmering.

Then I realized, Oh, maybe I shouldn’t be making chili while naked.

And then I realized — HELLO, Rachel! Just put an APRON on and everything will be OK.

What can I say? I’m a problem solver.

I have to say, this was my first time cooking naked, but I highly recommend it. I know cooking in nothing but an apron seems like some fantasy thing you’d do in heels for a guy, but really, last night, it was more of a hippie thing. When it’s a consequence of laundry day, just do it barefoot and have fun.

Anyway, once I solved that problem, I got down to the business of my pumpkin chili!


1 cup pumpkin

1 pound lean ground beef

1 can low-sodium red kidney beans

1 medium onion, diced

2 cans no-salt added diced tomatoes

1 tbsp chili powder

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 bay leaf

How We Do

Brown the beef with the onions in a large, nonstick pan. (I gave the beef a healthy dusting with Tony’s seasoning for some extra flavor.) Then add everything else, turn the heat to low, and let it simmer for 1-2 hours.

While it’s simmering, I highly recommend finishing your laundry and getting dressed. I’m not sure yet where I stand on eating in the nude.

About fifteen minutes before I wanted to eat, I sauteed some green beans in butter, scooped out some tortilla chips, fished the bay leaf out of the chili, and served myself dinner!

We have a winner!

OK I love chili a lot, and I wasn’t sure what to expect from this recipe…but I really, really liked it! It doesn’t taste like pumpkin. Even though it’s still chunky, the pumpkin really just gives it a nice thick and sort of smooth texture (and Vitamin A!) but I probably wouldn’t know it had pumpkin in it if I didn’t know. It was also the perfect amount of spicy…enough that I didn’t feel like I was just eating soup, but not so much that I couldn’t share it with certain people in my life who may consider pico de gallo the hottest salsa they can handle.

Chili is one of my favorite things to make and eat because it’s cheap, easy, and healthy, and this might actually become my go-to recipe. I’m definitely going to give it a try in the Crock-Pot soon too.

You know how “naked burrito” means a burrito without a tortilla? Well when we refer to this recipe as “naked chili,” we’ll know that the chili had all its parts — it’s the chef who was missing a garment or two.

So take your clothes off, put your apron on, and give it a try!