Happy Sunday! Hope you’re staying warm and dry. Winter is coming. Actually, Winter is here, I’m afraid. Today has been cold. And rainy.. But I think we can all agree that we needed some rain.

But on a positive note…cold days + little sunlight = good comfort food. And I love comfort food. A little too much probably. But comfort food doesn’t have to be terrible for you. And it doesn’t have to take up all your time prepping and cooking it. PTL for the crockpot. Anyway, more on that later. 

This weekend we went to Black Mountain with some of our friends. We had a pretty great house, with a great view. The only sucky thing was that there’s currently a huge forrest fire there right now, so they made us leave yesterday, which obviously cut our trip short. I was a little bummed because I liked our mountain house with our pretty view (that we honestly couldn’t fully enjoy because of the smoke). But then I saw people that actually lived there, driving their belongings down the mountain, and that put things into perspective. So I was thankful to be able to come home to a house not in danger of a wildfire. And we still had our taco night – it was just in Anderson, at the Leonard’s house…not in the mountains.


On another random note…how about the #2, #3, and #4 teams ALL losing last night? Weird. College football, that is. 

Ok, moving on to food. I love the crockpot. You just put all your food in there, and then you come back several hours later, and it cooks it all for you. Brilliant. Anyway, this is a great, easy crockpot recipe that doesn’t include beans…unless if you count the blackeyed peas in the hoppin’ john mix beans. I tried to eat kidney beans earlier this week, and my stomach pretended there was a baby in there. So, still don’t like beans. Sidenote: I also tried to eat quinoa this past week too. Didn’t sit well with me either. The point is, you gotta figure out which foods work for you. But the body is a pretty amazing thing. It will let you know when something doesn’t agree with you. You just have to listen to it. If you like kidney beans, add a 15 oz can in there. 

Anyway, here’s the recipe for this easy concoction. Make sure you add the pumpkin. It makes the recipe pretty great: 

“Easy Tomato Pumpkin Chili”


4 Servings

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours 30 min 

Total Time: 3 hours 45 min


  • 1 – large 30 oz. can diced tomatoes

  • 1 – 15 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilis

  • 2 – 15 oz. cans “Hoppin’ John” (can mixture of jalapenos, onion, and black eyed peas

  • 1 – 15 oz. can pumpkin

  • Cilantro – 1 small handful

  • 1/2 packet taco seasoning

  • Chili Powder – 2 tsp.

  • Pepper – 2 tsp.

  • Basil – 2 tsp. 

  • 1 lb sausage

  • 1 tsp fennel – for sausage

  • avocado or goat cheese for topping – optional


  • Add all ingredients except sausage and fennel to crockpot. Cook on low heat for 3.5 hours. If you happen to be home while cooking, occasionally stir. If not, no biggie. 

  • At some point (close to 3.5 hours), cook sausage on stove top on low heat. Add 1 tsp fennel. Add sausage to crockpot, stir, and turn crockpot to warm setting. (Sidenote: if you insist, add sausage at beginning, with other ingredients, but you’re going to need to cook it 6+ hours, and your sausage is most likely going to break apart, and nobody likes broken sausage).

  • Eat whenever. 



  • This is great for meal prep. We had enough left over for lunch the next day. If you want beans, add them. I just hate them. Pumpkin makes this recipe great, so don’t forget that. Canned veggies aren’t terrible for you, but stick with organic and/or low sodium.