My slow cooker has been a lifesaver this fall. Life has been insanely busy, and I haven’t had much time or energy to cook. Being able to come home from work to a meal hot and ready is basically the only thing keeping me from eating take out every night at this point.
The only thing I hate about my slow cooker is that the interior is black and it’s a pain to clean – I always end up missing little bits of dried on food only to discover them days later when the light hits it just right. Gross!
Reynolds recently asked me if I wanted to create a recipe using their slow cooker liners though, and a lightbulb went off. I actually had a half-used box from last winter in the back of my cabinet, but I had completely forgotten about them. They make cleanup so easy – just pick up the liner, throw it in the trash, and give the pot a quick rinse. No icky dried on food in sight. I actually started storing the box of liners right inside the pot so that I don’t forget about them.
Anyway though, back to the chili. You guys have to try this! The lentils give it a nice, meaty flavor and the pumpkin adds a touch of sweetness and really thickens everything up. (Make sure you use 100% pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling ,which is sweetened and has all sorts of spices in it.) It’s warm and cozy and perfect for fall.
In addition to a simple, no fuss dinner this recipe is great for football season – and we all know how hard it is to find healthy football friendly food, right? I love this chili tucked inside a baked potato and topped with a little cheese or sour cream (and come on, served like this it even looks like a football) but it’s also great on top of a hot dog. Whip up a batch for your next tailgate party – it’s sure to be a hit with both the vegetarians and the carnivores in the crowd.