It seems that a strong September wind has quickly blown away any lingering hint of summer. It’s introduced us to fall and a double digit drop in daytime highs.
September has always been a bittersweet month for me. It feels like a chance to refocus and get started on new and exciting projects. Plus, it’s when the endless stream of “out-of-office” replies stops and people start answering phone calls again.
On the other hand, I love summer. The heat, trips to the beach, daily iced coffee rituals, and drinking beer on a still sunny patio at 9:00 PM. For me, the highlight of this past summer was all the breezy, warm early morning walks with George.
It’s hard not to think about what we missed because of the pandemic this year though. No road trips. No explosions of life during festivals in the Exchange District. And no travel to see friends in Toronto or Montreal.
Despite it looking a lot different from a usual Manitoba summer, I am really proud of how we were able to adapt and change to still make the most of the season. For us that meant abandoning our in-store sampling program and pivoting to setting up at markets throughout Winnipeg. We are so thankful to the teams at Third + Bird, South Osborne Farmers Market, and Shelmerdine for organizing fun, safe events. They gave us a chance to have great conversations with people about Bump, and sell a few pounds of meat, and let people have their first taste of Bump made into sliders, kofta, and Jamaican patty.
With the fall comes a lot of changes for us though. Markets are wrapping up so we’re working on some new and exciting projects to get the word out about Bump and give people their first taste. We’re working with a few local restaurants on special menu items and plan to launch some prepared foods to help take at least one dish off your Thanksgiving dinner prep list this year. Look out for announcements on our website and social media channels.
Fall also means a change in what we’re cooking, and what you’ll be seeing on our social media feeds and in these blog posts. We’ve got delicious recipes for casseroles, chili, stews and meatballs that we’re going to share in the coming months to warm your kitchen and your belly.
There will probably be some tacos too. If there’s any food that defies seasonal conventions, it’s tacos.
As usual, most of these recipes were developed by culinary arts students at Red River College with oversight from our Prairie Research Kitchen product development team. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with them on some super exiting new products that we know you’re going to love.
For my family September brought some big changes too. Catherine finished her parental leave and went back to help deliver babies at work last week. She loves her job and is happy to be back, but obviously it’s added a new childcare wrinkle to our lives and made it even more difficult to balance time and energy for both of us. There’s also the added stress of having her work in an environment where there’s a risk of exposure to patients in insolation because they are a transmission risk.
I know there’s a lot of families and teachers feeling the same way. Stress from kids going back to school, fear of classmates testing positive, and uncertainty about how the heck to manage work, childcare, and lesson plans if kids are forced to stay home again.
And while this really sucks, I’m still feeling hopeful. I think that if we keep looking out for each other we can stay healthy, both physically and emotionally.
So, if you’re a stress baker/cook, or if you’re just looking to pull your Instant Pot out of the cupboard after its summer holiday, check out our Bumped-Up Chili Recipe below. It’s an easy way to get your veggies in and you’ll get lots of different types of protein from the Bump and beans in the recipe. Just don’t skip the squeeze of lime juice at the end. The citrus makes all of the other flavours really pop. Plus, it’s a great way to use that last of those limes you bought for summer cocktails.
Serve it with some cornbread. Cornbread is amazing. Why it hasn’t been one of my family’s staple dishes in the past still confuses me.
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Lb Bump, Beef + Plant Blend
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 cups diced yellow onion, (roughy 2 medium onions)
- 1 ¾ cup diced carrot, (roughly 2 medium carrots)
- ¼ cup diced celery, (1 celery stalk)
- 2 Tbsp finely diced jalapeño (seeds removed), (1/2 jalapeno)
- 3-4 cloves of minced garlic Garlic
-3 cups of diced bell peppers (any colour), (about 2 medium sized peppers)
- 1 cup of frozen corn
- 1-796ml can of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup of brewed coffee (instant or fresh)
- 2 oz dark chocolate, 70% cocoa
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 1.5 cans of beans of your choice (romano, white kidney, red kidney, etc)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp table salt
Set Instant Pot to sauté and add oil.
Add Bump and sauté, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Cook Bump until evenly brown, approximately 10 minutes.
Add 100 ml of water and deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. Be sure to release any Bump stuck to the pot so that the fond flavours the chili.
Add cumin, chili powder and smoked paprika to the cooked Bump. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes until spices are fragrant. If you’ve never bloomed spices before, make sure you pay close attention and don’t overcook.
Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
Add in all of the in the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
Place lid onto the Instant Pot. Change setting to manual and set timer for 30 mins then seal for pressure-cooking. If you have an Instant Pot with Chili/Beans setting this works as well.
Once the timer is done move the valve to vent for a quick release and remove the lid.
If the chili is thin you can further reduce it by setting the pot back to sauté and stirring every few minutes with the lid off. The chili will continue to thicken as it cools.
Remove the bay leaf and enjoy with your favourite cornbread recipe.