Article Archive >> Community

The Dinner Diva: Pumpkin in the Kitchen

The Dinner Diva
Pumpkin in the Kitchen

It's Pumpkin Time! I absolutely adore pumpkins and this time of year...yay! But did you know that besides the glorious beauty of these great big squash (yes, they are a type of winter squash), they are also massively nutritious? You could ostensibly eat the big old pumpkin you bought your kids to carve--or not. The big guys are rather stringy, the smaller sugar pumpkins, the kind used to make pies, are better. But why go to all that trouble? I say forget it--what a colossal mess! Life is too short for that kind of gourd surgery. Why not just get 100% pumpkin in a can and call it a day? That's easy button easy and it won't bend your budget out of place either.
What to do with that canned pumpkin, you say? Well, you can make a delicious cream of pumpkin soup, add some pumpkin puree to your beef stew or chili or try my absolutely delicious pumpkin bread recipe.
However, you get your pumpkin, just make sure you get it. Pumpkin is chocked full of phytonutrients, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C. Pumpkin is one of nature's best sources of beta carotene--you can tell by the bright orange color.
Here's the pumpkin soup and pumpkin bread recipes-enjoy!

Smashing Pumpkin Soup
Serves 6
1 onion--chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup green onions--chopped
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups milk
salt and pepper--to taste
In a soup pot, heat oil over medium high heat and saute onions. Cook till very soft and add remaining ingredients, except milk. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Add milk and continue to cook (but not boil--it will break) for another 5 minutes.

Per Serving: 131 Calories; 6g Fat (41.3% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 11mg Cholesterol; 553mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat

Serving Suggestions: A huge green salad and whole grain rolls is all you need.

Pumpkin Bread
1/2 cup honey
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (aka 100% pumpkin; not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8" or 9" loaf pan. In a large bowl, blend honey, pumpkin, oil, vanilla and eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from pan; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.
Makes one 12-slice loaf.

Per slice serving: 116 calories, 5g fat, 2g protein, 16g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 16mg cholesterol, and 69mg sodium(END ITALICS)

For more dinner solutions, visit Copyright 2006 Leanne Ely. Published with permission for this publication.

Printable version

<< back to Articles on Community
<< back to All Articles