pumpkin

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While I am stuck on summer, I am seeing pumpkin everything pop up all around me. Sam Summer is gone, my beloved ginger lemonade Polar Seltzer is all out, and Starbucks is decked out in orange and proclamations about pumpkin lattes and salted caramel this and that.

By the time I get around to cooking fall foods  it will be almost winter, so while pumpkin-everything season is making its way into our lives, I thought I would share my favorite pumpkin recipes. (Note, I wrote this while eating a giant tomato salad!)

scallops

Scallops with Pumpkin and White Bean Truffle Puree

 

roasted pumpkin salad

Brown Butter Roasted Pumpkin Salad

 

 

pumpkin curry sauce  - perfect for pumpkin mac and cheese

Creamy Pumpkin Curry Sauce

 

pumpkin pudding cake

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pudding Cake

 

pumpkin spice brownies

Pumpkin Spice Brownies

The pumpkin obsession will catch up with me at some point, and I would love to hear your favorite pumpkin recipes. Feel free to post links in the comments!

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Tags: fall recipes, pumpkin, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin recipes, recipes

A brief respite in the cooler weather made for a perfect opening to have a room temperature salad for dinner last night. With warm air streaming through the windows, I got to work breaking down a pumpkin from our visit to Verrill Farm to serve as the star of the show.

sugar pumpkin

The second I cut into the pumpkin, that smell hit me, and I was suddenly standing there daydreaming about sitting around our dining room table as a little kid, newspapers laid out to take the pumpkin guts and seeds. In that moment I literally felt like I shouldn’t be holding the knife, that my dad should be doing the carving while my sister and I drew our designs and our mom brought out cider or snacks.

I hadn’t planned on toasting the seeds, but that happy memory said that I had to, the later taste and crunch again bringing me home. It’s pretty amazing how senses can do that.

pumpkin carving

Once I snapped out of my daydreaming, I got to work once again on dinner, starting with the pumpkin. I simply roasted it at 400 degrees until the flesh was tender, then peeled the blistered skin off and chopped it into cubes.

roasted pumpkin

To finish off the pumpkin, I sautéed it in brown butter and a sprinkle each of cinnamon and cayenne pepper.

roasted pumpkin with cinnamon and brown butter

Next I got my salad dressing ready, mixing apple cider, maple syrup, olive and oil, and hot paprika until it tasted just right.

maple apple cider dressing

I also cooked a cup of lentils and then got started building the salad on beds of Olivia’s Organics baby kale.

baby kale

I topped the mix of pumpkin, lentils, and kale with creamy goat cheese and the toasted pumpkin seeds. The combination was absolutely delicious! It felt great to eat salad without feeling cold inside, and I loved the mix of seasonal ingredients.

roasted pumpkin salad

I saved the remainder of the pumpkin to toss in a smoothie in the morning, a blend of vanilla soy milk, yogurt, cinnamon, pumpkin, and steamed spinach. With less than three weeks until NYC Marathon time, I need all the nutrition I can get!

I am excited to be participating in a Vouvray tasting with TasteLive tonight. So far it’s been a good week, and I hope keeping that positive attitude will only make it get better.

What’s making you happy this week?

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Tags: dinner, easy dinners, goat cheese, healthy recipes, lentils, pumpkin, quick dinners, quick meals, recipe, salad, Vegetarian

Some weeks just seem to be cursed. For me, last week was that week. I happen to be a lover of Mondays. I know my love for the first day of the week is not that common, but I usually have fun, relaxing weekends and wake up feeling rested and excited for the possibilities the week will bring.

But when you find out on a Monday before 9 am that not just one, but two of the long-term projects you’ve been working on are ending unexpectedly, well, that’s not the kind of possibility I am looking for. Add to that a virus-infected blog (sorry!), another project disappointment, a few promised calls that never came, a bad running week, and a few other things that I can’t really mention, and the week is like being behind a punching bag that keeps being hit.

Cooking is almost always a comfort in times like this, and I felt some positive energy as I thought about mixing in the season’s favorite ingredient, pumpkin, with a few other ingredients to make a vegan “cheese” sauce for pasta.

While in the checkout line at the store, I noticed that my can of pumpkin was severely dented. With just a minute to spare until it was my turn to check out, I sprinted back to the pumpkin aisle to grab another can.

pumpkin mac and cheese ingredients

When I got home I realized it was pre-made pumpkin pie filling instead of plain old pumpkin. With the week I was having, this was last straw kind of stuff. We were eating this pumpkin for dinner if the meal had to consist of pumpkin pie.

Luckily, we have a kitchen full of spices, and I was able to counteract the pumpkin pie flavor, making a creamy, delicious sauce that was full of flavor and nutrition.

The ingredients:

19 ounce can of cannellini beans, drained

30 ounce can of pumpkin (or pumpkin pie mix)

3/4 cup of nutritional yeast, plus as much as you like for topping finished product

1 medium white onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons curry powder

shake of red pepper flakes

image

Since I knew I would be blending the sauce for a long time, I roughly chopped the onion and garlic, just so that it could cook and soften all the way through.

pumpkin curry sauce

Once the onion and garlic were smelling great and softening in some olive oil, I layered in the other ingredients for the sauce: white beans, nutritional yeast, chili powder, curry powder, and pumpkin, plus a dash of habanero sauce.

I let the mixture get nice and hot, stirring everything together as it simmered, and then transferred into my trusty Ninja blender. I love this thing!

pumpkin curry sauce  - perfect for pumpkin mac and cheese

I blended for about five minutes until the sauce was nice and creamy and used it as a topping for whole wheat elbow macaroni, adding extra nutritional yeast to make it a little more “cheesy”.

While the week might have been a bad one, and I completely flubbed on the pumpkin purchase, a little bit of creativity and a lot of spice was able to turn dinner around, avoiding a GrubHub order. We’ve certainly been doing enough of those lately!

There’s nothing like a good dinner and a positive attitude to try to turn things around!

Have you had any kitchen “oops” moments that you were able to fix into something fabulous?

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Tags: delicious, dinner, Food, healthy, healthy comfort food, pumpkin, recipe, sauce, vegan

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