We hope that everybody had a wonderful Halloween! In our household, we prepared a big feast to celebrate the holiday. Well, at least it was big by our standards anyway, since there are only two of us.
We had dinner-in-a-pumpkin (our family recipe is below), butternut squash soup, grilled cheese sandwich that was made to look like a Jack-O-Lantern, and Mexican Coca Cola (made with real sugar, versus high fructose corn syrup). For dessert, we had pumpkin cheesecake parfait! :-)
One of our favorite foods to eat in the Fall is dinner-in-a-pumpkin. It is a great way to get a hearty meal that is also nutritious. There is not one definite recipe, as each family has a different recipe and approach to preparing the meal. The recipe below is ours, with gluten free options in blue, and we think that it's pretty nifty! :-)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1 medium pumpkin
1 1/2 cups of cooked rice (we like jasmine rice for its aromatic scent and rich flavor)
1 teaspoon of dry minced onion
1/2 teaspoon of dry minced garlic
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound lean ground turkey (or lean ground beef, which was what we used because turkey meat was unavailable that day)
3 Tablespoons soy sauce (feel free to use less. Also, a gluten-free soy sauce is available here)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar (feel free to use less)
1 can (15 ounce) of cream of chicken soup (a gluten-free cream of chicken soup mix is available here)
A few sprinkles of ground black pepper
1. Wash your pumpkin and cut off the top with the knife held at an angle (so the lid can be placed back and not fall in) instead of straight up and down, and clean out all of the seeds and as much of the pulp as you cam.
2. Saute the dry minced onion and garlic in a large pot with the vegetable oil, until they become a deep gold color, but not exactly brown.
3. Add in the ground meat of your choice and stir until thoroughly cooked. Drain the drippings from the pot, but if you are using lean meat, there probably won't be much to drain (if this is the case, don't bother to try to drain it).
4. Add all of the other ingredients, except the cooked rice, in to the pot and lower heat, let simmer for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
5. Turn off the heat. Add in the cooked rice and mix evenly.
6. Spoon mixture into the pumpkin and replace the lid.
7. Place pumpkin onto a baking sheet (we used a pizza pan) and bake in the oven for one hour.
8. Put pumpkin onto a place and serve. Since we used a pizza pan, we just placed the pan directly on to the table.
9. For your vegetable, just scoop out the pumpkin and serve.
Tammy and Sean