Friday, November 18, 2011

Buffalo Pumpkin Chili

Can't post this without talking about evil nightshades - pretty interesting stuff actually, but first, I'd like to thank Front Range Crossfit in Denver for putting on the FRCF Master's Championships last month. Well run, 2 day event that reminds me of the original Games at the Ranch. No need to buy a spectator ticket (for a change) but still quality work-outs, equipment, food, planning, etc. If you're 35+ and want to prove yourself, keep an eye out for this one next year. But don't think it's cake walk! There were some tough muthas there. I landed in 2nd place behind a Games podium finisher - so was pretty happy with that :)
Now, nightshades - pretty intimidating title for a tomato! Nightshades, which include the likes of tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers of ever sort, and even tobacco, contain alkaloids which vary from mildly irritating to fatal - eff!. Seriously, i didn't know salsa had such a DARK side. Hmmm... doesn't SOUND very paleo but maybe we need to think about this. If you google around a little, you'll find the experts tend to bash them pretty hard then back pedal and say that unless you suffer from autoimmune disease, like rheumatoid arthritis, they're not so bad due to beneficial vitamins/nutrients. Apparently, there's only anecdotal evidence of the detrimental effects of nightshades on your health - I could not find one single formal study that condemns them - surprising. Here's a good article by L. Cordain on toxicity in tomatoes and here's one on peppers and here's one on potatoes. Here's my take-away: There is a HUGE range of toxicity depending on the ripeness or type of pepper. Ripe tomatoes and green peppers have almost zilch of the toxins representative of this family. SO, you can shun all nightshades or be a little objective and consider the "safer" ones - meaning try them and see if you grow big knuckles. There's no auto-immune buggers in my family - instead they all die of heart disease, so given the low carb nature of this recipe, i'm GOIN' FOR IT!

Buffalo Pumpkin Chili - just in time for Thanksgiving...

2 lbs ground bison
1 Qt Tomato Juice
28 oz Can of peeled/diced tomatoes
1 large onion - chopped
1 large portobello mushroom - chopped
1 large green pepper - chopped
15 oz canned pumpkin
2.25 oz canned sliced olives
1 TBS pumpkin pie spice
1 TBS hot sauce
1 TBS chili powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Brown the bison in a large pot then add onions and mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Add everything else, bring to a boil then back off and simmer for 1 hour. DONE. Makes, ummm... A LOT. Enjoy.. and don't eff-up this Thanksgiving. If you've been on the paleo wagon for awhile, you might just start on the couch because you'll end up comatose there anyway - been there!!
Eat Well! Steve Paleo