Monday, November 5, 2007

Tis The Season - For Pumpkin!

October brings thoughts of haystacks and jack-o-lanterns. Jack-o-lanterns get me thinking about recipes using pumpkin. Pumpkin is loaded with the antioxidant, beta-carotene, which some sources say can prevent disease. In addition to being healthy, pumpkin is also delicious and adds flavor and moisture to dishes. I like all types of recipes that call for pumpkin, from snacks to main courses to desserts. Some of my pumpkin recipes have come to be family and friend favorites. In fact, the Pumpkin Ring recipe below makes a cake that I consistently get requests for at potlucks.

Pumpkin Stuffed Shells

32oz Marinara (homemade or in a jar)

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1 (16oz) can solid pack pumpkin

½ cup dry Italian-seasoned bread crumbs

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

36 jumbo-sized pasta shells, cooked to firm stage, drained, and cooled

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Spoon a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch baking dish.

Combine beaten egg with pumpkin, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and nutmeg.

Stuff shells with mixture and arrange stuffed side down in a single layer in the baking dish.

Cover shells with rest of spaghetti sauce.

Cover dish tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Remove foil, sprinkle mozzarella over top and bake uncovered 10 to 15 minutes more until the cheese melts and the sauce is bubbling.

Adapted from Woman’s Day Magazine

Roasted Pumkin Seeds

2 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons Canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Let pumpkin seeds dry on paper towels. Toss cleaned pumpkin seeds with oil and salt; spread out on a cookie sheet. Bake in a 250° oven for about 1 hour, or until the pumpkin seeds are dry, stirring occasionally.

Pumpkin Fluff

2 c. skim milk

2 pkgs. sugar free vanilla pudding mix

Blend till stiff

Then blend in:

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup fat free cool whip

cinnamon and nutmeg or pumpkin pie spices to taste

Serves 8, Serving Size: 1 cup, Points per serving 2

Adapted from Weight Watchers Online

Pumpkin Smoothie

1c. skim milk

1 low fat vanilla yogurt

1 tsp. vanilla

2 pkts splenda

1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup pumpkin

4-6 ice cubes

....mix it up in the blender.

Makes 1 serving, 4 points.

Adapted from Weight Watchers Online

Pumpkin Ring

3 cup bisquick baking mix

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened

4 eggs

1 can (16 oz) pumpkin

2 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup milk


1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour 12-cup bundt cake pan or angel food cake pan, 10 x 4 inches. Beat all ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Spread in pan. Bake about 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely. Beat glaze ingredients. Drizzle over cooled cake.