Here are two dinner recipes for vegetarians to celebrate Halloween. As with most foods this time of year, the main theme ingredient will be pumpkin. Many spices and fruits and vegetables go with pumpkin, so you can alter these recipes any way you wish according to your tastes. We have hearty pumpkin soup and unusually tasty pumpkin stir fry.
Not only is pumpkin a sweet treat in pies, it is a powerfully nutritious vegetable that is in season from September until November. High in Vitamins A and C, and also a great source of beta carotene and alpha carotene, an entire meal with pumpkin is a power-packed meal just right for the season.
For a meal unto itself as opposed to an appetizer, we have pumpkin soup. If you have any problems with any spices, alter this recipe any way you wish. The basic pumpkin soup recipe has five cans of vegetable broth to go along with three cans of pure pumpkin or six cups of chopped roasted pumpkin. Bring the broth and pumpkin to a boil and then let simmer fifteen minutes in a sauce pan.
The mixture will still be lumpy, so at this point you’ll need to take it to a blender and blend well to smooth out the texture. Return the base to the saucepan and continue on low heat. Add whatever spices you want, whether it’s minced garlic, brown sugar to add sweetness, cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin seeds, cayenne pepper, whatever your tastes.
To finish the soup, add two cups of milk and half cup of heavy cream. Sprinkle some parsley, chopped kale, and some pumpkin seeds on top for flavor and garnish. For an extra fruity kick, sprinkle raisins on top to add texture.
Pumpkin stir fry is an unusual dish to have for pumpkin, yet it is one of my favorites to give my family the tastes of Chinese food, which we love, combined with our harvest time in America. The kind of pumpkin you will want to get is not necessarily the larger kind that you cut out. Try to buy a smaller variety of pumpkin that is better and has more pumpkin flesh for cooking. If your grocer doesn’t have them, your local farmer’s market probably will.
Start with a small onion and sautee it in olive oil for until transparent. Stir in a pound of fresh pumpkin chopped into cubes, half a cup of grated chopped carrots, and half a cup of yellow squash. Sautee for five to seven minutes, stirring often, until the pumpkin is tender. Add in whatever spices you want to taste, from fresh rosemary, salt, pepper, even a little cinnamon to bring out the flavor of the pumpkin.
Serve over rice and add your favorite soy sauce on top when it’s done. Garnish with sesame seeds to turn your American pumpkin into an Asian fusion.