Tara Gidus

Spice Up Your runDisney Training Meals This Fall

Pumpkin spice and everything nice! With the pumpkin spice latte back and all things pumpkin at the grocery store we are jumping on the bandwagon over here to celebrate the season. Although we haven't seen our first cold snap yet in Florida, we are trying to get in the spirit of fall at least in the kitchen anyways.

This Pumpkin Vegetable Chili is truly nourishing from the inside out. A bowl of this chili is true comfort food that is healthy to boot! As a runner, we need electrolytes so I don't shy away from canned vegetables, especially beans because they are rich in sodium and potassium. Beans are a triple whammy for runners providing hydration benefits, good-for-you fibrous carbohydrates, and iron.

Iron is a mineral that helps with transporting oxygen throughout the body and is also lost through sweat and blood loss, which isn't uncommon in runners who are logging long miles. Female and vegetarian runners are especially at risk for iron insufficiency thus all the more reason to eat your beans!

This chili is pretty simple to toss together on a weeknight and if you have a stocked pantry, it's likely you have all these ingredients already!

Pumpkin... love it or hate it? Tweet me @DietDivaTara!

Pumpkin Vegetable Chili
Makes 6 servings

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Green onions and sour cream, for topping if desired

1. In large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions to pan, and sauté until starting to become translucent.
2. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
3. Stir in tomatoes with juice and pumpkin puree.
4. Add cumin, pumpkin pie spice, salt and cinnamon sticks then stir to combine.
5. Stir in beans and bring to a boil.
6. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until ready to serve. Top each bowl with green onions and sour cream if desired.

NUTRITION FACTS {per serving}: 217 calories, 2g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 678mg sodium, 825mg potassium, 40g carbohydrates, 13g fiber, 7g sugar, 11g protein, 49% vitamin A, 54% vitamin C, 16% calcium, 31% iron

Known as the "Diet Diva," Tara Gidus is a nationally acclaimed nutrition expert and the official nutritionist of runDisney.