Dinner in a Pumpkin

Dinner in a pumpkin.jpgImpress your family and friends with afestive fall dinner— soup served in a pumpkin!


When I worked for Food $ense a few years ago we stumbled across what has become one of my favorite fall recipes , dinner in a pumpkin.  It is best to use a cooking pumpkin for these types of recipes.

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 potatoes, 1″ cubes
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, 1/2″ slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 2 T beef bouillon granules
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pumpkin (10-12 lbs.)

Directions:

In a medium pan, brown ground beef, rinse and drain.  Add beef back to pan and add water, potatoes, carrots, green pepper, garlic, onion, salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour.  Stir in bouillon and add tomatoes

Wash pumpkin and cut an 8″ circle around the top stem.  Remove top and set aside.  Take out seeds and loose fibers from inside the pumpkin.  Place pumpkin in shallow pan.  Spoon beef mixture into pumpkin and replace stem.  Brush outside of pumpkin with olive oil.  Bake at 325 degrees for 2 hours or until the pumpkin is tender.  Serve by scooping out a little pumpkin with each serving.  


This article was written by Paige Wray, USU Extension Assistant Professor, San Juan County Family Consumer Sciences/4-H




Spicy Vegetable Soup

 

Spicy Vegetable Soup

Looking for a hearty fall soup? Look no further, this spicy vegetable soup will hit the spot. Bonus: it’s vegan and gluten free!


No need to pull up Pinterest and search for the perfect “fall” soup recipe any longer–I have the perfect one for you here! With the weather being drizzly and cloudy, I decided I might as well embrace the fall-ness. So, I put on my new cardigan, lit my candle, put on some autumn tunes, and started creating this recipe.

Meet — Spicy Vegan Vegetable Soup. One taste and you guys are going to be best friends!  

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There’s nothing better than a warming bowl of your favorite soup on a cold night. Not the kind of soup from a can, but the easy homemade kind that’s comforting and good for the soul, with leftovers to spare.

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This recipe is actually incredibly healthy! One serving provides a significant amount of vegetables, which means many different vitamins and minerals. It’s spicy, it’s easy, it’s warm, and it is oh-so flavorful. You just can’t beat it!

Wanna know what’s even better? This tasty soup can be made in one pot! Less effort + less dishes + a whole lot of veggie action = one ridiculously good meal!

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The spiciness level is bearable and won’t leave your mouth burning, but it’s enough heat to warm you up! Of course you can adjust it accordingly and omit the jalapeno or cayenne pepper if spicy isn’t your thing.  

When all the flavors combine, you are left with a super healthy meal chock full of plant protein from fresh veggies, black beans, plus a nice blend of spices to please your taste buds.

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Spicy Vegan Vegetable Soup

Yields: 4 large bowls of soup, or six modest servings

Ingredients

  • 2.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 of a jalapeño, finely diced (optional)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, any color, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 15 oz. cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water (or more as needed, depending on your consistency preference)
  • avocado, for topping
  • cilantro, for topping

Spice Blend

  • 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper*

 

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat and sauté onion, jalapeño, bell pepper, and sweet potato for about 7-9 minutes. Add garlic for about 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add tomatoes, vegetable broth/water, and the spice blend. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft.

  2. Add zucchini and black beans and cook for about 5 more minutes.

  3. Top with avocado and cilantro.

*Optional, the cayenne pepper adds spice


This article was written by Marisa Christensen, Dietetic Intern,  and Jaqueline Neid-Avila, MDA, RDN, CD




Savory Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

Pumpkin RecipesOctober is in full swing, and that means pumpkin is everywhere! Don’t reserve pumpkin just for your baked goods and sweet treats, try these savory pumpkin recipes to get a taste of fall.


Pumpkin is low in calories. One-half cup of mashed pumpkin (without salt) has 24 calories, 0 grams (g) fat, 1 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber and 1 milligram sodium. Pumpkins are packed with nutrients, such as fiber and beta carotene. Our bodies use beta carotene to produce vitamin A. Pumpkins are also rich in potassium.

You can steam it, bake it, boil it, microwave it (if you put slits in it), and pressure cook it. Once cooked it can be mashed, pureed, cubed and stored in either the fridge or freezer in air tight containers. Mashed or pureed pumpkin (either fresh or canned) has many options for its use. Here are just a few: Muffins, biscuits, and quick breads with part whole wheat flour; soups, added to the sauce in mac and cheese; added to chili; make a smoothie; cheese balls; and add to hummus. Cubed and cooked pumpkin can be used with pasta, risotto, soups, salads, and casseroles.

Pumpkin Chili

(From Taste of Home)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and
    drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2-1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker; stir in the next 10 ingredients. Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours. If desired, cube avocado and thinly
slice green onions, and top when serving.

Yield: 10 servings

Quick and Easy Creamy Pumpkin Soup

(From NDSU Extension Service)

  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly, tops included
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 green chili pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth, reduced sodium or
  • 6 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 (16-ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup undiluted, evaporated skim milk
  • Salt* and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley

In a 6-quart saucepan, sauté onions, green onions, celery and chili pepper in oil. Cook until onions begin to look translucent. Add broth, pumpkin, bay leaf,
and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Add evaporated milk and cook over low heat 5 minutes. Do not boil. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2
teaspoon black pepper, if desired. Transfer hot soup to pumpkin tureen. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve hot.

*Canned chicken broth and canned pumpkin may contain added salt. Taste the finished soup before adding salt, as additional salt may not be needed.


This article was written by Teresa C. Hunsaker, USU Extension, Weber County, Family and Consumer Sciences Education




Wild Rice and Bacon Soup Mix

wild rice soupPrep some wild rice and bacon soup mix for those busy nights when you need an easy dinner. 


Soup Mix Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/4 cup imitation bacon bits
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon celery flakes
  • 1 cube beef bouillon
  • 1/4 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 cup dried minced onions

Place soup mix in a large soup pot. Add 7 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Add canned or fresh sliced mushrooms if desired. Cover, reduce to low heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender.


This recipe was contributed by Suzanne Prevedel, family and consumer sciences educator for USU Extension in Duchesne County