Comfort Foods That Don't Suck And Are Good For You

by Sean St. Onge

I’m back like a vertebra with another blog with more food recipes to which I will title “Comfort Foods that Don’t Suck and are Good for You”. Today’s edition: Pumpkin Bison Chili.

This is a recipe I have tinkered with for the past 3 years and have had some help from Chef Nick Rabar of “Chef 2 Go”, “Beat Bobby Flay” on the Food Network, and Avenue N: American Kitchen fame (and personal client and fellow Star Wars nerd friend of mine). 


The Good Chef has helped me keep this recipe as tasty as possible while maintaining our ultimate goal of being able to eat delicious meals with the intent of healthy cooking and quality ingredients being used. 

Due to the ingredients used, please do not fret. 

YES, there is a beer being used.
YES, there is a pumpkin in this recipe.
YES, it will be sweet.
NO, you won’t fall into diabetic shock!

Stay to the guidelines of a normal serving, about a cup should suffice. This recipe is rich in taste, is filling, and it is a lot of fun to make.


1 small sugar pumpkin, deseeded and rough chop

1/4 cup olive oil

3-4 lbs ground bison

1/2 Tbsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 large red onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1-2 poblano or green peppers, diced

2 Tbsp cumin

1 Tbsp cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp smoked paprika

Dash of cinnamon (Yes, a literal Dash…) 

1/2 Tbsp chipotle chili powder

1 bottle dark/pumpkin beer (I use Pumking by Southern Tier)

4 cups homemade or low sodium chicken stock

1 (16oz) can chopped tomatoes

1 bottle Poblano Farms Tomato Sauce

1 28oz can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes

1 1/2 piece Hershey Bar

2 cups canned white beans, rinsed and drained.


Roast the pumpkin chunks in the oven for 20 mins at 420 and then cool. Peel off the skin.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Season the bison with salt and pepper and saute until browned on all sides. Transfer the meat to a plate and remove all but 3 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. 

Add the onions and peppers to the pan and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the smoked paprika, cayenne powder, chipotle powder, and cumin and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the beer and cook until reduced. Return the bison to the pot, add the chicken stock, pumpkin, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and chocolate, and bring to a boil. 

Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes. Add the beans and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the cinnamon and adjust seasonings as needed.

Again, doing the math of computing the calories of all the ingredients will leave you with a M.I.T/Mensa level IQ. So don’t sweat that too much. 

Be mindful of your choices of ingredients. Should you wish to go lower carb, low sugar substitutes, GO FOR IT! 

Still your world boss. This is what I USE and have played around with for the past 3 years to get the taste the way I ENJOY it. Feel free to swap out whatever you deem to be too much.

Enjoy the process.