Not only does the image of a pumpkin immediately get you into the Fall spirit, the veggie itself is high in carotenoids, protein (seeds), zinc, essential fatty acids, vitamin C & A, magnesium, potassium and fiber, so it makes a healthy intro into the season!
With the kiddos all grown up, I thought for Halloween this year it would be fun to invite some friends over and make a meal of all things pumpkin.
I love hummus, so this white bean and pumpkin version from Cooking Light would be a great way to start the event!!!
- 3 (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas, each split in half horizontally to form 2 rounds
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Lightly brush rough sides of pitas with olive oil; sprinkle with kosher salt. Cut each pita half into 8 wedges; arrange wedges in a single layer on baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes; rotate pans, and bake 5 additional minutes or until crisp and golden.
- While chips bake, place pumpkin puree and remaining ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth (about 30 seconds). Serve pumpkin spread with pita chips.
For those strictly healthy eaters , this idea from Taste of Home is too cute! Use cookie cutters to make cucumbers, squash and apples festive for the holiday!
The main course……………
Southwestern Pumpkin Burgers
Southwestern Pumpkin Burgers from Eating Well seem to be the perfect choice! Colorful, spicy and fragrant, these burgers are delicious, especially when served with fresh tomato salsa. I think I will also add the option of buns for the serious hamburger guest.
Makes: 6 servings
- 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red or green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Tomato Salsa, optional (recipe follows)
- 1/2 cup canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack, or Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
- 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 6 8-inch flour tortillas, (soft-taco size)
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, corn, garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare Tomato Salsa, if using.
- Add pumpkin, cheese, wheat germ, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and pepper to the onion mixture; mix well. With dampened hands, form the vegetable mixture into six 1/2-inch-thick patties, using about 1/2 cup for each.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Stack tortillas and wrap in aluminum foil. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes to heat through. (Alternatively, stack tortillas between two damp paper towels; microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds, or until heated through.)
- Using 2 teaspoons oil per batch, cook 2 to 4 patties at a time in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side. Adjust heat as necessary for even browning. Wrap the patties in tortillas and serve immediately, garnished with lettuce and Fresh Tomato Salsa, if desired
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3. Wrap patties individually and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.
Per serving: 331 calories; 13 g fat (4 g sat, 7 g mono); 8 mg cholesterol; 45 g carbohydrates; 12 g protein; 6 g fiber; 638 mg sodium; 407 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (100% daily value), Vitamin C (45% dv), Folate 34% dv), Selenium (30% dv), Calcium & Iron (20% dv), Magnesium & Zinc (16% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 3
Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 high-fat meat, 1 fat
Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
Who doesn’t like mac and cheese! And by using pumpkin instead of heavy cream, this dish cuts way back on calories and fat. Thanks, Lauren, at Healthy Food for Living for this yummy, healthier version!!
Makes: 4 servings
- 8 oz uncooked macaroni or other pasta, preferably whole wheat or whole wheat blend pasta
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
- 2 oz (about 4 Tbsp) 1/3-less-fat neufchatel cream cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated 50% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated gruyere cheese (can sub in any good melting cheese, such as monterey jack)
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or more depending on heat preference
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, whisk together and heat pumpkin puree and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot.
- Reduce stove heat to low. Whisk in cheeses until fully melted.
- Stir in nutmeg and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir drained pasta into the pumpkin-cheese sauce and mix until thoroughly combined.
- At this point, the mac & cheese might appear a bit soupy. If this is the case, let the mixture sit off of the heat for a few minutes. The cheese sauce will firm up as it slightly cools.
- Serve with an extra dusting of nutmeg, if desired.
Salad with Oven Roasted Pumpkin & Feta Cheese
This roasted pumpkin salad from the blog A Tasty Love Story looks to die for! She fell in love with using pumpkins in recipies through her travels across both Vietnam and Australian, two countries partial to this tasty gourd!!!
Makes: 4 servings as a main dish
- 1 medium/large sized Hokkaido pumpkin
- 150 g/ 5 oz feta cheese (I used goats feta)
- 50 g/ 1/3 cup nuts or pine nuts
- 100 g/ 3,5 oz baby leaves mix (spinach, ruccola, arugola, red chard etc.)
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/2-1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 Tbsp oil
- Salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup cherry vinegar (or another fruit or berry vinegar)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 °F/200 °C.
- Rinse your pumpkin (you are gonna use the peel). Cut it into half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut the the pumpkin into slim boats (see picture) and place them on a parchment covered baking stone. Drizzle with honey, olive oil, nutmeg, salt & pepper, and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until the pumpkin has become tender and golden. Set aside to cool.
- Make the vinaigrette by thoroughly whisking oil and vinegar until they emulsify. If you use a vinegar which is less sweet and more sharp, you might need to replace some of it with more oil. Adjust taste with salt and pepper. Remember the best way to test the flavor of your vinaigrette is to dip a piece of lettuce in, shake off the excess and then take a bite. This will give you a better sense of how your salad will taste than by tasting the vinaigrette “straight.”
- Roast the nuts in a pan or in the oven for 5 minutes until golden and chop them (unless you use pine nuts).
- Wash and dry salad leaves and place in a bowl or big dish. Add the baked pumpkin and toss it gently together with the salad and the vinaigrette. Use your hands to chunk up the feta cheese and top the salad with it. Sprinkle the roasted nuts on top.
And for Dessert!……….
Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie
With all the amazing pumpkin deserts out there, this was a tough one to choose. I settled on this frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie from Eating Well… I think it was something about the gingersnaps and the ice cream! It’s not that cool in Houston yet! YUM!! YUM!!!
Makes: 10 Servings
- 30 small gingersnap cookies, (about 7 1/2 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 pints (4 cups) frozen low-fat vanilla ice cream, softened (see Tip)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray.
- To prepare crust: Combine gingersnaps and raisins in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add oil and pulse until blended. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.
- Bake the crust until set, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To prepare filling: Combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix well. Add ice cream and stir until blended. Spoon the mixture into the cooled pie crust. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Let the pie soften slightly in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and freeze the pie for up to 3 days. | Equipment: 9-inch deep-dish pie pan
- Tip: To soften ice cream quickly, microwave on Medium-Low for 30 to 60 seconds
Per serving: 230 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 4 mg cholesterol; 42 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 2 gfiber; 179 mg sodium; 165 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (80% daily value)
Carbohydrate Servings: 3
A Little Ambiance of course!!!
You all know I’m more the decorating gal–not the chef–but this year, I am going to flip!!! I still have to have a bit of Halloween décor! Love this pumpkin cooler from Martha Stewart!!
To complete your fall season, make sure to drop by the boutique and check out our new orange essentials!
I know these new burlap pumpkin placemats, oh-so-orange pillows and the mercury glass gourds will be the perfect final touch to my fall holiday feast! For more decorating and recipe ideas, check out our Happy Holidays! Halloween pinterest board!