Pumpkin Goodness: Recipes That Go Beyond Pie

 

 

Fall is in the air and there is no better place to experience it, than here in Toronto.There are various shades of tinted amber, brilliant yellow and bright orange everywhere. I sit by my window and look out with a heart filled with gratitude as I admire nature’s canvas, painted ahead of me. The air is crisp and the falling leaves now bid adieu to summer.

 

And needless to say the colours resonate with “Pumpkin flavoured everything” I had stocked up on a few lovely field pumpkins that I came across at the fresh markets in our neighbourhood,with mental notes of umpteen recipes that leapt to my mind.

With Thanksgiving and Halloween around this time of the year, there seem to have Pumpkins galore everywhere. I have some wonderful memories of visiting pumpkin patches in New jersey and Toronto too, when my son was younger. The ones that I picked up recently were small in size and a bright orange in colour and the Pie Pumpkin variety. I quite enjoy cooking and baking with Pumpkin. This gourd takes a centre stage all through fall and into early winters and quite easily named as Autumn’s golden goodness.

My usual repertoire would consist of  stews, soups, pumpkin roasted in salads, cakes and some dips as I experimented last week. Infact I was just discussing a post festivity detox with a friends when I tested out a few of these recipes. Here is a roundup of some terrific ways of cooking Pumpkin and the best part is that these work well with both sweet and savoury. There really is no need to just stop at Pumpkin pie when you can go ahead and make up some of these delicious treats with Pumpkins!

1.Pumpkin Hummus:

Ingredients:

  • 1 small Field Pumpkin (cubed and roasted)
  • 2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Chick pea Hummus (You may follow my recipe: wp.me/p2eASG-l0)
  • 1 pod garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh root turmeric or dry turmeric powder
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • Pinch of Sumac
  • 1 tablespoon feta cheese (crumbled)
  • Handful of walnuts (roasted)

Directions:

  1. Roast the cubed pumpkin in a pie dish along with a tablespoon of olive oil at about 180C for about 25 minutes.
  2. Cool it and lightly mash the roasted pumpkin.
  3. Add the hummus, balance olive oil, minced garlic and root turmeric and mix well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish with Sumac, crumbled feta and roasted walnut.

 

2. Roasted Pumpkin Soup: (Serves 4 portions)

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1  medium pumpkin
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cubed
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 50 grams cooked white cannellini beans
  • 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock, heated)
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Place all vegetables, garlic and onion in a medium baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, and roast till tender, about 30-40 minutes.
  2. In batches, blend roasted vegetables, chicken stock and pepper. Add some more stock as needed to reach desired consistency.
  3. Stir all batches of blended soup together in a bowl and serve immediately topped with a tablespoon of sour cream and freshly chopped parsley.

3. Pumpkin Spiced Cake:

Ingredients:

1 1/2  cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Almond flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg powder
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4th Cup pumpkin puree

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 175 C.
2.Grease a 9×13 non-stick baking pan or a 8 inch round baking tin.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp cinnamon.
4.In a second medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: 3 large eggs, 1 cup oil and the pumpkin puree till all the ingredients are well combined.
5.Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Transfer to prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 min or until the centre comes out clean.
6.Let cake cool completely and dust some icing sugar and serve with some whipped cream.
Are you fond of baking and cooking with Pumpkins? Do share some of your favourite ways in the comments below. You know I would love to hear back from you.
Happy Baking!

Pea & Potato Soup with a hint of Rosemary

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Monday morning’s leave me somewhat overwhelmed with the fact that the over indulgent weekend just whizzed past with either endless food trial’s in my kitchen, social engagements that are food centric or family lunches that are best spent around  a table full of flavours.

My Monday’s are perhaps what Sunday are to most people. I tend to take it easy and wind down after a hectic weekend. It’s the start of my weekly planning of menu’s for home cooked meals or perhaps listing down recipes that I may need to shoot for my YouTube videos ( You may like to take a peek into the recipes I do here) or even prepping up for an exciting new blog post.That’s pretty much been my morning today.I also like to go easy on my own lunch and prefer to a light and easy meal.It’s a great way to detox and load up on some healthy goodness .All  though I’m quite the cautious eater and constantly monitor my calorie’s,it’s the weekend’s where I do indulge and loose track,almost as though “Calories don’t count on Weekend’s

This afternoon’s lunch is a bowl full of Green Goodness as I like to call it.It’s a delicious Pea & Potato Soup with a hint of some Rosemary and garnished with some crumbled Feta and fresh tomatoes for a burst of freshness.I’ve added some yogurt into the soup to give it a thicker consistency and a dash of tartness that I was looking for.The Olive oil too does wonder’s to the palette.I prefer to enjoy a warm bowl of soup,however you may even serve this cold if you wish.Paired with a garden fresh salad and some lovely warm fresh bread would just make it the perfect accompaniment.

Bon Appetite!

Pea & Potato Soup

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams (frozen peas thawed)
  • 1 large Potato (cubed)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 2-3 pods garlic (finely chopped)
  • 500 ml Chicken or Vegetable stock
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Few Springs of rosemary
  • Crumpled feta For garnish
  • Chopped Tomatoes for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons Yogurt (whisked)

Method:

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes.
  2. Add in the potatoes and cubed potatoes next
  3. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Now add in the stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer for 10-15 minutes till the peas and potatoes have cooked.
  6. Cool and mix well in a blender.
  7. Add more water to get desired consistency.
  8. Whisk in the Yogurt.
  9. Add salt and pepper and garnish with the crumbled feta and chopped tomatoes.

Serve hot with garlic bread and a garden salad

Kale & Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

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KALE: A wonderful vegetable belonging to the cruciferous family.

Let me quite honest I’ve never really cooked with kale. I do know friends use a lot of it in casseroles, stir fry’s and so on. I’ve just never thought of it all. Well that’s until a few weeks ago when I visited The Farmer’s market on the Terrace by the Emirate’s Towers in Dubai.

This is indeed a fabulous initiative to promote locally grown produce in the UAE. These markets are fairly active during the winter month’s as this is typically the growing season in this region.

On arriving one Friday morning  I was delighted to see various vendors lined up. Each of them with a wonderful and heart warming display of assorted fruits and vegetable. Lovely fresh strawberries, organic carrots, spinach, a selection of free range eggs.

That’s when I spotted some fresh kale. I thought why not experiment with some and bought a whole bunch home.

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I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it and thought why not try a simple soup.

I’m quite the soup loving person. Give me a bowl of wholesome soup and that would keep me very satiated for a while.

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Well here  is how this delicious Kale and Roasted Sweet potato soup turned out .I had a couple of bowls and decided that Kale is a winner and will get into my kitchen more often.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed pepper
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped roasted sweet potato( puree about a cup)
  • 1 small carrot (roasted and cubed)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 8ounce canned white beans
  • 2-3 kale leaves chopped
  • salt to taste
  • few springs rosemary

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan.
  2. Add in the chopped onions and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add the chopped and pureed sweet potatoes and stir.
  4. Mix in the water and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the diced carrots,salt and pepper.
  6. Next put in the chopped kale and let this simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the kale has wilted.
  7. Add the white beans, salt & pepper.
  8. Garnish with few springs of rosemary