This is the time of year for Winter Squash and that old seasonal favorite, Pumpkins. We all have leftover Pumpkin, mostly from the Halloween carvings but also from tabletop decorations of fresh Squash and Gourds that are not eaten. My next post will be on crafts you can make with fresh Gourds. Today we are going to tackle the leftover Pumpkin. Although everyone is familiar with the use of leftover Pumpkin in pies and for the roasted seeds, there just aren’t a lot of tasty recipes for that leftover Pumpkin that everyone in the family will eat. So I thought I’d tackle some great ideas for recipes using that leftover Pumpkin and make sure to toss in something for everyone. I promise you these recipes will give you something more than the same old Pumpkin Pie..
Stuffed Thanksgiving Pumpkins
This makes a great dish at the Thanksgiving table that not only adds to the holiday atmosphere but also gives everyone something special to eat. Remember to use baby Pumpkins only or your portion sizes will be astronomical!
8 baby Pumpkins
1/3 cup Vegetable Stock or Water
1/2 cup finely chopped Onion
2 large Cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried Sage Leaves
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1 cup Whole Wheat Bread crumbs
1/4 cup toasted Pine Nuts
1/3 cup finely chopped Celery
1/4 cup chopped, dried Apricots
1/2 cup grated part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
low sodium Soy Sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice off the top 1/2 inch of each Pumpkin. Set the caps aside. Scoop out all of the seeds and set aside. Bake each baby Pumpkin empty for about 15 minutes. Scatter the Pine Nuts on a foil sheet and place in the oven at the same time. Remove both the Pumpkin and the Pine Nuts from the oven after about 15 minutes.
Set a large Skillet over medium heat. Add the Stock or Water and simmer. While simmering, add the Onion. Stir well and continue stirring while cooking for about 8 minutes or until the Onions are softened but NOT browned. Once the Onions are softened, add the Garlic, Sage, Thyme and the Wheat Bread crumbs. Cook, still stirring, for one more minute and then remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Stir until the stuffing is clumpy.
Fill the Pumpkins with the stuffing but do so lightly, do not pack them. Any leftover stuffing can be baked separately in a baking dish. Bake the Pumpkins for 15 minutes or until the stuffing is lightly browned on top and heated thoroughly. Be careful not to overbake the Pumpkins because they will split or collapse when served.
This recipe will serve 8.
Low Fat Pumpkin Ice Milk
You can make this recipe with boxed ice cream or you can make your own ice cream if you enjoy doing so. Either way, this is a delicious use for leftover Pumpkin. If you use fresh Pumpkin instead of canned product then puree the Pumpkin first and then strain it through cheesecloth until the water is reduced by 3/4. Even so, you must also remember that fresh Pumpkin does not taste as strongly as canned Pumpkin. This makes it better for the Ice Milk recipe because the Pumpkin flavor is more subdued. You can also substitute Acorn or Butternut Squash for the Pumpkin if you prefer by following the same instructions for reducing the water content first.
3 cups Vanilla Ice Milk, softened
1 cup canned Pumpkin (or 1 cup pureed and strained fresh Pumpkin or Squash)
1 Tbsp firmly packed Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground Cloves
2 Tbsp Frangelico or other Hazelnut-flavored Liqueur or Syrup
1/2 cup finely chopped, blanched Hazelnutsor Filberts
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and blend. Use a hand mixer or standing mixing unit to blend until smooth. Spoon the mixture into a cilled 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ x 3″ Loaf Pan. Cover the pan and freeze in the freezer until firm. Scoop the Ice Milk into individual dessert bowls and serve immediately.
This recipe will make 6 cups of Ice Milk at 96 calories per 1/2 cup serving.
Thanksgiving Morning Pumpkin Muffin Spread
Although this recipe is best on Cinnamon or Nut Muffins, it is actually good on just about any kind. Try Apple Muffins or any fruit Muffin. It is even good on Zucchini Muffins or any Muffin made from leftover squash.
1 16oz Can of Pumpkin or 1 cup of fresh, pureed and strained Pumpkin
1 cup unsweetened Apple Juice
1/2 cup Honey
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 pkg (1 3/4 oz) powdered low sugar Fruit Pectin
Sterilize Canning Jars in boiling water. While doing this, combine the Pumpkin, Apple Juice, Honey and Spice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the Pectin and bring to a boil. Boil for a full minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool.
As it cools, pour it into the hot, freshly sterilized Canning Jars. Leave 1/2″ headspace at the top of each jar. Cover at once, while still hot, with the lids. Let stand, in a cool, dark place for 24 hours and then put in the refrigerator. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve with Muffins or toasted Bread.
Recipe will yeild about 3 pints with an average 10 calories per tablespoon.
Pumpkin Soup with Beef and Macaroni
This is a great recipe for any cold Winter morning and is a welcome treat after New Years when the snow is falling and the windows are frosted over. It brings back memories of the Fall and the colors of falling leaves.
1 lb boneless Beef Chuck
1 lb Beef Bones
3 quarts Water
5 Carrots, chopped
3 ribs of Celery, chopped
4 Potatoes, pared and chopped
2 Leeks, cleaned and chopped
1 Calabaza or Pumpkin (weighing about 2 lbs), pared, seeded & chopped
4 sprigs Parsley
1 Tbsp Salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground Pepper
2 Tbsp Butter
1 cup cooked Macaroni
Heat the Beef and the Bones in the 3 quarts Water in a large stockpot. Heat to boiling. As it boils, add the Carrots, Celery, Potatoes, Leeks, Pumpkin, Parsley, Salt and Pepper. Once everything is added, reduce the heat. Simmer at medium low heat for 3 hours.
After 3 hours, remove and discard the bones. Remove the Beef from the soup and cut into 1/2″ cubes. Press the remaining soup through a seive or puree in a blender or food processor, using 1/4 volume at a time, until all of it is reduced. Return the blended vegetables to the stockpot. Stir in the cubed Beef, the Butter and the Macaroni. Re heat to boiling and serve hot with the Lime wedges.
Luscious Organic Pumpkin Pie
This is not for anyone who might be worried about the waistline. This is a luscious, joyous recipe full of fat and calories and for those who wish to be merry this holiday season. It starts with an Organic Pumpkin so it should be guilt free!
1 small organically grown Pumpkin or can of organic Pumpkin Puree
3/4 cup organic Honey
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp organic ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp organic ground Ginger
1/8 tsp organic ground Cloves
1/2 cup heavy Cream
1/2 cup Sour Cream
2 fresh, organic, free range Eggs, separated
1 frozen 10″ Pie Shell
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
If you are making your own puree from a fresh picked organic Pumpkin, pick a thick skinned Pumpkin no more than 3 lbs in weight. A 3lb Pumpkin can yeild about 4 cups of puree and you will not need that much so have something planned for the leftovers. Otherwise, pick an even smaller Pumpkin. A Pumpkin weighing about 1 1/2 lbs will yeild about 2 cups of puree, which is very close to what you will need for this recipe.
Cut the Pumpkin in half and turn the halves face down on a baking sheet. Bake them for about 45 minutes or until tender. You can tell when they are tender enough by peircing them with a fork. If the fork goes through easily, they are done. Remove the Pumpkin from the oven and cut it into small chunks. The skin should peel off easily and the seeds should come out easily as well. When you have the meat skinned and cleaned, then measure out the 1 3/4 cups of it you will need.
Preheat the oven again, this time to 425 degrees. Put the Pumpkin pulp, Honey, Salt, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Cream, Sour Cream and Egg Yolks into a blender and puree. Beat the Egg Whites separately in a bowl until stiff and peaked. Once the pulp is pureed, fold the stiffed Egg Whites into the mix. Once mixed in, pur the puree into the 10″ Pie Shell.
Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes, until set. This means the pie no longer jiggles when moved and it is golden on top. At this point, remove it from the oven and set out to cool. It will set as it cools. Wait at least 1 hour before serving. Top with the Whipped Cream.
Low Calorie Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Topping
This recipe is for all of you who want to keep the calories down but the flavor on full tilt. These are absolutely delicious and they only cost you about 86 calories per serving. So you can feel good about making these on Black Friday morning before you start the battle for Christmas presents at all the sales. These pancakes will fill you up, make you smile and let you feel good about your waistline all at the same time!
3/4 cup Quick Cooking Oats, uncooked
1 1/2 cups Skim Milk
2 Eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup leftover cooked, mashed Pumpkin
3 Tbsp reduced calorie Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 1/4 cups all purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
Vegetable Cooking Spray
Maple Topping (recipe below)
Combine the Oats and the Milk in a medium bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add the Eggs, Pumpkin, Maple Syrup and Vegetable Oil to the Oat and Milk mixture. Stir it well.
Combine the Flour with the Baking Powder, Salt, Spice and Cinnamon in another bowl. Stir it and the make a well in the center of the mix. Pour the Oat mix into the well and stir gently, just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Coat a griddle or skillet with the Vegetable Cooking Spray and heat to medium. For each pancake, pour in 1/4 cup of the batter and turn each side until it is covered with bubbles. When the edges look cooked, remove the pancake and add more batter until you have cooked them all.
Make the Maple Topping.
Maple Topping Ingredients:
3/4 cup Vanilla non fat frozen Yogurt, softened
1/4 cup reduced calorie Maple Syrup
1/8 tsp ground Cinnamon
Maple Topping instructions:
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Cover and chill for a half an hour. Add 1 tbsp of the topping to each pancake.
Pancake recipe will yeild 16 pancakes and the Maple Topping recipe will yeild 1 cup. Each serving has 86 calories and only 2 grams of fat.
Pumpkin Feta Casserole
Here is a great recipe for lots of leftover Pumpkin that would otherwise end up in the trash, especially if you are just plain tired of pie. This recipe makes a great side dish with just about any meal and most especially Italian and Greek.
1/4 cup dry Sherry or Apple Juice
1 cup chopped Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 medium Tomato, diced
1 small Zucchini, sliced thinly
2 cups fresh Pumpkin, peeled and cubed
1 whole Egg plus 2 Egg Whites, slightly beaten
1/2 cup low fat Buttermilk
1/2 cup non fat plain Yogurt
1/4 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp ground Coriander
1/2 cup Bread crumbs, toasted
I admit there’s a lot of preparation just getting the ingredients ready. A lot of chopping, slicing and toasting. There is actually more time invested in getting the ingredients ready than there is in the making of the casserole.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 2-quart Baking Dish. Set a non stick skillet over medium heat and pour in the Sherry. Heat it gently and then add the Onion, cooking it thoroughly or until soft. This should take about 2 minutes. Then add the Garlic, Tomato, Zucchini and Pumpkin. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes more. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, wisk together the Egg and the Egg Whites, the Buttermilk and the Yogurt. When this is well blended, add the Feta Cheese, the Cayenne, the Coriander and the Bread Crumbs. After mixing, add in the sauteed Onion and Pumpkin mix. Mix all of this together really well and then spoon it into the lightly oiled Baking Dish. Bake until firm, which should take about 25 minutes. Serve hot.
Creamy Herb and Pumpkin Ravioli
This is the most interesting Ravioli you will ever eat. I promise you. These little pockets are actually made with won ton wrappers instead of traditional pasta ravioli, which gives them a toothier texture. These are both memorable and delicious. Both the “ravioli” and the awesome cream sauce are delicious. This is a comfort meal for a night of indulgence.
1 cup canned Pumpkin or homemade Pumpkin puree
1 cup cooked and mashed Sweet Potato
Pinch of ground Nutmeg
Dash of Salt
1/4 tsp White Pepper
4 oz light Cream Cheese
1/2 cup plain, low fat Yogurt
1/2 cup Skim Milk
1 Tbsp Unbleached White Flour
1/4 tsp dried Thyme
1/4 tsp Salt
White Pepper (to taste)
1/4 – 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
To make the Ravioli, combine all the ingredients except the wrappers in a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Place a Wonton wrapper on a lightly floured surface and heap about 1 Tbsp of the filling into the center and then wet the edges of the wrapper with a drop of water. Place a second wrapper over the first, pressing down around the filling to force out any extra air. Seal the edges by pressing on them firmly but not too firmly. Trim excess dough from around the filling centers with a sharp knife. Once sealed and trimmed, transfer the Ravioli to a dry towel. Repeat the process with the remaining Wontons. Turn over each Ravioli every so often to be sure they dry on both sides.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil. Put about 8 to 12 Ravioli at a time into the boiling water and cook them until they float. This should take about 2 minutes and they should also be tender. Do not let the water boil vigorously, but just gently. Transfer the cooked Ravioli after each batch is done to a dry towel and cover.
To make the sauce, mash together the softened Cream Cheese, Yogurt and the Milk in a small saucepan. As it warms, whisk in the White Flour. Stir over low heat until very creamy and smooth. Do not let this sauce boil. Heat it gently. As it warms, stir in the Thyme, the Salt and the Pepper. Remove from the heat once warmed thoroughly.
Divide the Ravioli among 6 individual plates and top with the sauce and sprinkling of Parmesan Cheese.
Each serving, as described, will contain 394 Calories, 18 grams of Protein, 6 grams of Fat and 13 grams of Fiber.
Pumpkin Potato Soup
There’s nothing more comforting in the Winter than a bowl of Potato Soup. It warms the body and just makes me feel so indulgent, too! Thick and creamy, it just tastes and feels fattening. But, hey, it doesn’t have to be! Check out this recipe, using your leftover Pumpkin, and weighing in at a skinny 103 calories per serving.
1/2 cup condensed Skim Milk
1 Tbsp fresh Parsley , minced
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Cut the top off of the Pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and the strings. Set the seeds aside and toss the strings. Using a heavy spoon, scoop out the Pumpkin flesh, leaving a 1 inch wall inside. Refrigerate the empty Pumpkin shell and top.
In a large pot, combine the Potatoes, Onions, 2 cups of the fresh Pumpkin and the 6 cups of Water. Add the Salt, White Pepper and the Thyme. Bring to a boil and then cover and cook over medium heat until the Potatoes are fork-tender. This should take about 20 minutes. While these are cooking, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the empty Pumpkin shell and top on a baking tray and place in the oven to warm. Put the Pumpkin Seeds on another tray or foil sheet in the oven and leave there to toast slowly.
After the 10 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the Vegetables from the soup. Puree the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade or, lacking a food processor, you can mash them by hand until they are smooth and creamy. There should be no lumps remaining. Return the puree to the cooking soup. Begin stirring in the condensed Milk and add more as needed to make the soup creamy and consistent. Continue to heat the soup gently over low heat until hot. Do not boil this soup.
To serve, place the warmed Pumpkin shell on a large serving tray. Pour in the hot soup and sprinkle with Parsley and the toasted Pumpkin Seeds. Cap the Pumpkin to keep the soup warm until it is served.
This soup contains 103 calories per serving, less than a gram of fat, 3 grams of Protein and 4 grams of Fiber.