I was recently introduced to the concept of "dinner in a pumpkin" by a friend of mine. Holy cow, I have found my new favorite meal! I mean, is there a more appropriate meal for autumn? The prep for this meal can be fairly easy or more complex, depending on what you want to make of it. Essentially, you mix up the filling, cut the top off and clean out a sugar pumpkin (aka pie pumpkin), fill the pumpkin, put the top on and bake until the filling is hot and the pumpkin is tender. Then, as you scoop out the delicious filling, you also scoop pumpkin flesh! Yummo, right?
I love recipes that upon eating the original (or cooking it), I can already imagine the options! This is definitely one of those recipes!!
The pumpkin I was served was filled with rice and red beans, cream of celery soup, and green beans. I believe there was a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice as well. It was delicious, mixed with the cooked pumpkin!
This recipe is a great way to get your veggies, but there is room for meat too. So it really can be a very healthy meal for anyone.
I just made an autumn veggie version – I roasted cubed butternut squash, yam, carrot, celery, onion and kale with a little olive oil and curry powder. Once the veggies were tender, I added a sprinkle of cayenne & cinnamon, some cooked brown rice, and I moistened it up with a box of butternut squash soup. I also added some veggie sausage to spice it up a little more. Let me tell you, this is amazingly delicious!
It’s a pretty simple formula….veggies of your choice, rice, meat (if desired)and soup to moisten. If you have a big family, stuff more than one pumpkin.
I can foresee many other autumn inspired versions…maybe add some wild rice and craisins to the mix...or a Mexican version using black beans and corn and salsa instead of soup. I even have a large acorn squash that I will use next time instead of the pumpkin.
What would you put in yours? Well, what are you waiting for? Go give that a try!!
Enjoy your next dinner...in a pumpkin!!
Tracy Martorana is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Meditation Instructor and Herbalist...hoping to inspire you to live your life from a place of Holistic Wellness.