Tag Archives: pumpkin

Pritikin Roasted Pumpkin Wedges

Pritikin Roasted Pumpkin Wedges at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Every year before Thanksgiving, the folks at Pritikin ask me to share some of Chef Anthony’s recipes with my readers. I’m always happy to do so since not only do they look delicious, but Pritikin recipes are naturally low in sodium, fat and calories.

This recipe for roasted and very-low-calorie pumpkin wedges – only about 35 calories per serving – is perfect as a Thanksgiving dinner side dish.


Pritikin Roasted Pumpkin Wedges at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Pritikin Roasted Pumpkin Wedges


  • 1 medium-sized cooking pumpkin (about 5 pounds)
  • Generous pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon frozen apple juice concentrate (Look for 100% apple juice concentrate in the frozen food section of your market.)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel pumpkin the same way you would peel melons like honeydew. Cut off top and bottom so that pumpkin “stands” steady on your surface. To keep pumpkin from moving, a wet towel underneath is helpful. Then, going from top to bottom with a sharp knife, filet the skin off. Next, cut pumpkin into long wedges. Remove pulp and seeds.
  3. Season your wedges with cinnamon and apple juice concentrate.
  4. On a large nonstick baking sheet, bake for 25 minutes or until browned.
  5. Serve hot.
Prep Time: 35 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour
Servings: varies
  • Serving size: varies

Recipe and photo used with permission.

Chocolate-Chip Pumpkin Bread from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition #glutenfree

Chocolate-Chip Pumpkin Bread from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based NutritionThis year I went a little nuts and bought a bunch of canned pumpkin purée – and then never made pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving! (Though I did make Eggless Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies for my daughter, Lucie.) If you’re like me and have a few cans of pumpkin lying around you can make Healthy Slow Cooker Pumpkin and Bean Chili or this vegetarian recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread!

This recipe comes from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, written by Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., C.P.T. Julieanna is also known as “The Plant-Based Dietitian” and is the host of upcoming series What Would Julieanna Do? on the healthy living TV network Veria Living. Julieanna is a passionate advocate of the benefits and miracles associated with following a whole food, plant-based diet.

This spicy, fudgy bread is a mix between a pudding and a cake. It’s a great dessert to bring to holiday parties, to give as a homemade holiday gift, or to serve on Meatless Monday! You can cook it up as a loaf or turn the batter into muffins by adjusting the time accordingly.

You can assure that this recipe is gluten free by using only GF certified oat flour and gluten free baking powder.

Chocolate-Chip Pumpkin Bread

Yield: 1 9×5 inch loaf
Serving size: 1 slice (5 ¼ x 1 ¾ x ¾ -inch)
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1 hour


  • 1 cup date paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée                                    
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons flax eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups grain-sweetened chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine date paste, pumpkin purée, flax eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Gently stir in oat flour, aluminum-free baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Mix until no lumps remain. Add chocolate chips, and evenly distribute throughout.
  4. Pour batter into 9×5-inch loaf pan, and bake for 1 hour. Allow bread to cool before cutting and serving.

Nutritional information

Per serving:

  • 312 calories
  • 6g total fat
  • 2.5g saturated fat
  • 0g trans fat
  • 0mg cholesterol
  • 160mg sodium
  • 62g total carbohydrates
  • 4g dietary fiber
  • 45g sugars
  • 3g protein
  • 258mg calcium
  • 1mg iron

Recipe and pictures used with permission.

Creamy Peanut and Pumpkin Soup #meatlessmonday #glutenfree

San-J Asian SaucesDo you have leftover cans of pumpkin from Thanksgiving? Use up a few in this gluten free soup recipe created by Jennifer Cafferty for San-J. For Meatless Monday, pair the soup with a salad and some nice bread.

Also, if you or a family member has a food sensitivity to peanut butter, try sunflower butter instead and omit the peanuts from the optional garnish.

Creamy Peanut and Pumpkin Soup

Recipe by Jennifer Cafferty of GFreelife.com

Serves 6 – 8


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoky paprika
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, divided
  • 1 12-ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium, gluten free chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons San-J Thai Peanut Sauce
  • 2 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Chopped chives and peanuts, for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and onion and stir occasionally while sautéing for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, making sure not to burn the garlic. Stir in the paprika.
  2. Add half of the can of tomatoes with the juice (save the other half for the end of the recipe), pumpkin, broth, San-J Thai Peanut Sauce, peanut butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Using a hand-immersion blender, blend the soup until creamy. Add the remaining tomatoes and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle into bowls.
  5. If desired, sprinkle with chopped chives and peanuts as a garnish.

Recipe and photo used with permission. © 2012 San-J International. All rights reserved.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon Creama and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon Creama and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Last week, I cohosted the #PlainKitchen Twitter Party with Mom Central, FAGE and celebrity chef Bobby Flay to let everyone know about the FAGE Total Plain Kitchen recipe contest. One of the recipes that everyone was drooling over was the  Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon FAGE Total Crèma and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, so I had to share it!

This would make a terrific Thanksgiving dish, and a great way to use leftover pumpkin puree after the holidays.

I hope it inspires you to enter the FAGE Total Plain Kitchen recipe contest for a chance to have your recipe using FAGE Total, cooked and served by Bobby at the FAGE Total Plain Kitchen grand opening event.

The contest goes through October 8. (That’s Monday so hurry!) Three lucky winners will be chosen and will receive an all-expense paid trip to NYC for the big event.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon Creama and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Cinnamon Crèma and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Recipe by Bobby Flay


For Cinnamon FAGE Total Crema

  • 1/2 cup FAGE Total 0%
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Pumpkin Soup

  • 3 cups pumpkin puree (not flavored pie filling)
  • 3 cups homemade vegetable or chicken stock or low sodium canned vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground Mexican cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons chipotle puree (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 3/4 cup FAGE Total 2%
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Cinnamon FAGE Total Crema, recipe above
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish


For Cinnamon Crema

  1. Whisk together the FAGE Total, cinnamon, honey and splash of water and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours to allow the flavors to meld.

For Pumpkin Soup

  1. Combine the pumpkin puree and 2 cups of the stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the spices, honey and chipotle puree, reduce the heat to medium-low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in a little more stock if needed to thin out.
  2. Remove the soup from the heat and let sit 2 minutes. Whisk in the FAGE Total (off the heat) and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle each with some of the cinnamon FAGE Total crema. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and cilantro leaves.
Prep Time: 1 Hour
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Servings: Serves 6 to 8
  • Serving size: 1/6 to 1/8 of recipe

Recipe and photo courtesy of FAGE.

Gluten Free Orange Pumpkin Bread

Gluten Free Orange Pumpkin Bread from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Last Christmas, my mother-in-law brought me a loaf of gluten free pumpkin bread that her neighbor made her. Frankly, I was a bit reluctant to try it, because when it comes to gluten free cooking, sometimes homemade treats can be tasteless or very dry. Much to my surprise, it was delicious – moist, flavorful and unique due to the combination of pumpkin pie spices and orange. I couldn’t tell that it was gluten free at all. It was so delicious that I asked my mother-in-law to get me the recipe, which she brought with her the next time she came over.

When we were packing up for our recent move, I came across the recipe card that her neighbor printed out and thought why not try something new? Not only the recipe since I rarely make gluten free baked goods, but having pumpkin during the spring. After making a fantastic Healthy Slow Cooker Pumpkin and Bean Chili recently, I’ve decided that pumpkin is not just for Thanksgiving but should be enjoyed year round. After all, pumpkin is full of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, carotenoids, potassium and zinc. Also, if you stock up on cans of pumkin puree during the Thanksgiving sales, it’s fairly inexpensive.

So why not join me in trying some gluten free pumpkin bread? Spring is a good time for trying something new, after all.

A healthier gluten free pumpkin bread

I’m pretty sure the original pumpkin bread recipe is from glutenfreebaking.com. However, I wanted to improve on it a bit and made some healthier substitutions. I used whole grain brown rice flour instead of white rice flour. I used tapioca starch instead of corn starch since I have a food sensitivity to corn products. Then I  used heart healthy canola oil and tangerine-orange juice instead of plain OJ.

I also used two sweeteners instead of sugar, a combination of Stevia Extract in the Raw and Madhava Organic Coconut Palm Sugar as both can be used at a 1:1 ratio as a substitute. Combining the two instead of using just stevia eliminates the bitter aftertaste stevia can sometimes bring to baked goods. Never tried stevia or coconut sugar? Check them out and maybe try something new!

What do you love most about trying something new?

Gluten Free Orange Pumpkin Bread from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Gluten Free Orange Pumpkin Bread


  • gluten-free non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 1/2 cups whole grain brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup tangerine-orange juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered stevia
  • 2 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)


  1. Place your oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans lightly with a nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together brown rice flour, cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum.
  4. In another bowl, mix together eggs, oil, juice, stevia, coconut sugar and pumpkin puree. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients. Mix until ingredients are thoroughly combined into a smooth batter. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl several times with a rubber spatula to make sure all ingredients are properly combined.
  6. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans.
  7. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  8. Remove pans from the oven and place on a wire rack. Allow bread to cool completely before removing from pans.
  9. Store bread wrapped in plastic wrap or a large zip lock plastic bag at room temperature for three to five days (if it lasts that long!). Or you can place a loaf in a freezer bag and freeze it for up to three months.
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Servings: Makes two 9x15-inch loaves
  • Serving size: 1 slice

Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Halloween goes Meatless Monday with Pumpkin Soup

pumpkin Get your big and little spooks and goblins warmed up after trick or treating with this healthy, vegetarian pumpkin soup from Golden Door Executive Chef Curtis Cooke. Not only is this a perfect Meatless Monday dish, but it would also make a wonderful Thanksgiving meal starter.

See my Four ways to cook a fresh pumpkin post for tips on cooking pumpkins. Also, check out my recipe for Coconut Pumpkin Soup at Babble.com.

Pumpkin Soup

Courtesy of Golden Door Executive Chef Curtis Cooke


  • 10 cups pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into large pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon grape seed oil, divided
  • 1 cup shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white wine (substitute with vegetable stock, if you wish)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 sachet of 6 sprigs thyme, 6 sprigs parsley, 1 bay leaf and 8 black peppercorns
  • Salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the large pumpkin pieces with just enough grape seed oil (approximately ¼ cup) to coat and place on a baking sheet into the oven.
  3. Roast the pumpkin until very tender, approximately 15-20 minutes. Cool and reserve.
  4. In a large stock pot, sauté the shallots, celery, and garlic in a tablespoon of grape seed oil for 5 minutes.
  5. Deglaze with the white wine (or vegetable stock) and reduce the liquid by half.
  6. Add the roasted pumpkin, vegetable stock and sachet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the sachet, and puree the soup in a blender, food processor or with an immersion (wand) blender.
  8. Adjust the seasoning with salt and serve.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

We’re getting the house we’ve lived in for 11 years ready to be put on the market. After the movers left Tuesday (we’re putting most of our stuff in storage so the house looks larger and can be “staged”) I’ve been in a complete funk. All I’ve wanted to do sit in bed, watch The Walking Dead, and eat comfort foods.

Zombies and comfort foods? Well, since it’s Halloween and pumpkin season, how about a yummy bread pudding using pumpkin puree and some sweet yet tart cranberries?

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Bread pudding tips and tricks

This recipe makes a huge amount of bread pudding – perfect for a Halloween or Thanksgiving party. It’s also makes a decadent (but not too unhealthy) breakfast goodie when family is visiting from out of town. If you’re making this for dessert for your immediate family and don’t want a couple of weeks of leftovers, cut the recipe in half.

You can make the Pumpkin and Cranberry Bread Pudding gluten free or not depending on the type of bread you use. Also, it’s a great way to use bread ends, if your family’s like mine and refuses to eat them. (I freeze bread loaf ends and use them in meatloaf, Thanksgiving stuffing, French Toast, and bread pudding.)

Feel free to substitute raisins or dried cherries or raisins for the cranberries. Or you can use half shredded coconut and half dried cranberries or another dried fruit. Serve with a whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream, or whiskey sauce if you’re not watching the calories. Pumpkin and Cranberry Bread Pudding reheats very well in the microwave, but it’s delicious cold, too. You can also make it several days ahead. Just cover with aluminum foil, refrigerate, and reheat in a microwave (by the serving) or the whole pan in a 325 degrees F oven for 15 minutes.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding

Based on a recipe from the Joy of Cooking.


  • cooking spray
  • 24 ounces gluten free or whole wheat bread, stale but not hard
  • 1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup stevia
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 1 12-ounce cans fat free evaporated milk
  • 2 15-ounce cans pumpkin puree


  1. Spray the inside of a 15x10x 2 inch rectangular baking dish and set aside.
  2. Cut or tear bread into 1/2 inch pieces. You should have about 10 lightly packed cups of bread pieces. Place in a large bowl.
  3. Cover bread with dried cranberries.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk eggs and egg whites.
  5. Add vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt , sugar, skim milk and condensed milk to eggs and whisk until blended.
  6. Pour egg, spice and milk mixture over bread and cranberries. Mix together bread and liquids until bread is saturated. Let stand for 30 minutes periodically pressing the bread down with a spoon or spatula to help bread absorb the liquid.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Baked the pumpkin and cranberry bread pudding in a in a bain marie (water bath) until puffed and firm in the center - about 1 1/2 hours.
  9. Serve warm or cold, either plain or with whipped cream or ice cream.
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 90 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours
Servings: 16
  • Serving size: 1/16 of pan
  • Calories: 263
  • Calories from Fat: 25
  • Total Fat: 2.8g
  • Saturated fat: 0.8g
  • Unsaturated fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 452mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 47.1g
  • Sugar: 29.8g
  • Fiber: 4.1g
  • Protein: 13.2g
  • Cholesterol: 49mg

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Pumpkin Chorizo Pizza

Pumpkin Chorizo Pizza at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Now that you have cooked and pureed your pumpkin, Chef Kristina Vanni has created this unique and easy-to-make pizza dish perfect for fall football parties or family pizza night. This is also a great recipe to make when you have leftover pumpkin puree and chorizo from making my chorizo stuffing after Thanksgiving.

To make a gluten free version, use Udi’s Gluten Free premade pizza crusts. Or you can use my healthy whole wheat pizza dough recipe or premade pizza dough from the store. 

Connect with Chef Kristina

For more of Kristina’s recipes, cooking tips and culinary adventures visit her blog The Daily Dish.  She can also be found on Facebook or @BetterRecipes on Twitter.

Pumpkin Chorizo Pizza at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Pumpkin Chorizo Pizza


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 12 ounce purchased pizza crust
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cubed fontina cheese
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced Spanish chorizo
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • Additional olive oil and chopped sage for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil over crust and set aside.
  3. Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add shallots, garlic, and pepper flakes to hot pan.
  5. Sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir in pumpkin puree, smoked paprika, and salt.
  7. Cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened and hot.
  8. Spread sauce evenly over pizza crust; scatter with cubed fontina. Arrange sliced chorizo evenly over top and sprinkle with chopped sage.
  9. Place pizza on a cookie sheet or directly on oven rack, if preferred. Bake for 12 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is melted.
  10. If desired, drizzle a little olive oil over pizza and sprinkle with additional chopped sage.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 1/4 to 1/6 of pizza

Four ways to cook a fresh pumpkin

pumpkinsWe’ve been having unseasonably warm weather here in Colorado. So it’s only when I go to the store and see the pumpkins that I’m reminded that it’s fall and Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner.

Chef Kristina Vanni, a food writer and on-camera talent for BetterRecipes.com, sent me some tips on how to take a single pumpkin and transform it into a fabulous, affordable fall meal. She explains, “Pumpkins can be turned into soups, casseroles, side dishes, breads, cakes, cookies, pies, and preserves.  In addition to its wonderful flavor, pumpkin brings a host of nutrients to the table, particularly Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and potassium.”

How to cook a fresh pumpkin

Start with small pumpkins, about two to three pounds. The smaller pumpkins are easier to handle and sweeter in taste.

First, wash the pumpkins over running water and pat dry with a clean dish towel or paper towel.  Next, cut the pumpkin into large chunks and scoop out all the seeds (save them for roasting!) and stringy bits.

There are several easy ways to cook the pumpkins chunks.  Use whatever method is best for you. 

Oven roasting pumpkin:  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place pumpkin chunks, skin side up, in a glass baking dish.  Add 1/4 inch of water and bake, uncovered, for 45-60 minutes (depending on chunk sizes) until flesh is tender, checking occasionally to add more water, if needed.

Microwaving pumpkin: Place pumpkin chunks, skin side up, in a glass baking dish.  Add 1/4 inch of water and cover pan with plastic wrap or wax paper, and vent.  Microwave on high for about 10 minutes (or about 5 minutes per pound) until pumpkin is tender.

Steaming pumpkin: Heat water to boiling in a saucepan that fits a steamer.  Place pumpkin chunks in steamer container and place over pan.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.

Cook pumpkin in a slow cooker: Place pumpkin chunks, skin side down, in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 3 to 3-1/2 hours or until pumpkin is tender.

How to make fresh pumpkin puree

  • For all methods after pumpkin is cooked, scoop out pulp and discard skin. 
  • Pulp can be pureed in a blender or food processor or stirred by hand until smooth. Or you can keep it chunky, if desired. 
  • Pulp keeps in the refrigerator for a week or it can also be frozen in airtight containers for six months. 
  • A two to three pound pumpkin will make about 2-1/2 cups of puree.

How to make roasted pumpkin seeds

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Place seeds in a colander and rinse. 
  • Pick out all pieces of pulp. 
  • Place seeds on a baking sheet and pat dry. 
  • Drizzle a little vegetable oil over seeds and sprinkle with some salt and toss. 
  • Bake for 10 minutes, stir, and return to oven. 
  • Bake another 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until golden and crispy.

I’ll be featuring Chef Kristina’s Pumpkin Chorizo Pizza recipe tomorrow.

Connect with Chef Kristina

For more of Kristina’s recipes, cooking tips and culinary adventures visit her blog The Daily Dish.  She can also be found on Facebook or @BetterRecipes on Twitter.

5 Ingredient Fix: Pumpkin Seed Dried Cherry Trail Mix

pumpkin seeds You may be familiar with Food Network’s Claire Robinson and her show 5 Ingredient Fix on Food Network. She’s just come out with a new book called, what else, 5 Ingredient Fix: Easy, Elegant, and Irresistible Recipes. While it’s not a healthy cookbook per se, I’m intrigued by anything that makes cooking from scratch convenient and easy. After all, isn’t the reason that so many people are overweight is that they don’t know how to cook and rely on heavily processed convenience food or unhealthy fast food?

So ignore the recipes for Bacon and Egg Salad or German Potatoes. Instead choose the healthy recipes like the ones for Edamame Hummus, Ginger and Lemon Roasted Chicken with Braised Fennel, and Smoky Roasted Peaches. Or just enjoy the beautiful food photography from Stephen Morello.

5 Ingredient Fix would make a lovely present for anyone who loves to cook, but is too busy to fuss with an extensive ingredient list.

A pumpkin inspired 5 Ingredient Fix

Looking through 5 Ingredient Fix, I found the perfect recipe to use up all those pumpkin seeds after we carve up our Halloween pumpkins.

It’s very easy to make roasted pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas. Last year, I used Simply Recipes’ Toasted Pumpkin Seeds method of boiling the seeds in salt water and then roasting it. This worked out very well, but I used too much salt. Next time, I’m going to use half as much – about half of what Elise recommends.

Not only is this a healthy alternative to Halloween candy, but it’ll work as a Thanksgiving football game snack, too, especially when you have extra dried cherries or cranberries from other dishes you may be making.


Pumpkin Seed Dried Cherry Trail Mix

Yield: about 6 cups


  • 2 cups roasted pumpkin seeds or pepitas
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 6 tablespoons pure Grade B maple syrup
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries


  1. Preheat over to 300 degrees F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, silicone baking mats or a TFX non stick kitchen sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the pumpkin seeds, almonds, and sunflower seeds with the syrup until evenly coated.
  4. Spread the nuts and seeds out in an even, single layer on the lined baking sheets and season with salt.
  5. Bake, stirring several times with a spatula or heavy duty, wooden scraping spoon, until just golden – about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven. Cool the nuts and seeds completely on the baking sheet.
  7. Add the cherries and toss to combine.
  8. Store the trail mix in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Nutritional information

Serving size is 1/2 cup. Sodium is from 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

  • Calories 217
  • Calories from Fat 144
  • Total Fat 16.0g
  • Saturated Fat 2.4g
  • Trans Fat 0.0g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 102mg
  • Total Carbohydrates 14.1g
  • Dietary Fiber 2.5g
  • Sugars 6.9g
  • Protein 7.9g
  • Iron 22% of RDA

Nutrition Grade B from CalorieCount 

Weight Watchers POINTS = 6

This Mama’s tips

  • For a treat, stir in some chocolate chips or broken chocolate Halloween candy. Adding chocolate does defeat the healthy factor, so if you’re feeling guilty, just use a little bit of dark chocolate instead.
  • If there are nut allergies in the family, omit the almond. You can use pine nuts instead, as they’re really a seed and not a nut.
  • Instead of maple syrup, try agave nectar, which has a lower glycemic index. Dark agave nectar would be especially delicious.
  • Substitute other dried fruit, like chopped up dates, prunes or raisins.
  • If the POINTS, calories or fat is too overwhelming, sprinkle a little bit on your morning oatmeal or make a Greek yogurt parfait.

Pumpkin seed photo by Food Thinkers from Flickr.

Disclosure: I was given a review copy of 5 Ingredient Fix to facilitate this review.

Food Blog of the Week – Jam Handy!

For those lovers of everything vintage, Jam Handy! is your type of cooking blog. Written by Kirkkitsch, a 30-something blogger out of Arlington, Texas, Jam Handy! is a gold mine of old recipes, magazine ads, and vintage cookbooks. Kirk faithfully scans the ads and cookbooks and documents the year. I really appreciate the effort and his sense of kitschy style. (See his CafePress store, Seul Boy for the best in vintage graphics on cards, mugs, etc. Can you say Christmas presents?)

Snooping around, I found a rather familiar recipe for Pumpkin Cream Pie:

Coolwhip_1Pumpkin Cream Pie (1981)


  • 1 package (6-serving size) Jell-O instant pudding and pie filling, vanilla flavor
  • 1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 container (4 oz.) Cool Whip non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 prepared 9-inch graham cracker crumb crust

*Or use 1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and ginger and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.


  1. Combine pie filling mix, pumpkin, milk and spices in bowl. Mix slowly with electric mixer or rotary beater just until blended, about 1 minute.
  2. Fold in whipped topping.
  3. Spoon into crust. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight; let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before cutting. Garnish with additional whipped topping, if desired.

You see it’s just like this recipe for Weight Watcher’s Pumpkin Mouse that my Weight Watchers leader gave me a couple of years ago. It’s a lifesaver when everyone else is stuffing their faces on pie and you’re feeling sorry for yourself. It satisfies your sweet tooth and your need for something creamy, too. And best of all, it’s only 1.5 points for one cup of mousse.

Pumpkin Mousse


  • 2 small packages of instant sugar-free vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups of no-fat (skim) milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 15 ounce can of pumpkin
  • 8 ounces of fat-free Cool Whip


  1. Make pudding first.
  2. Fold in ingredients.
  3. Chill and serve!
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Pan-Seared Scallops Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkins_2I think this is the start of an season full of pumpkin and squash cooking, since all the October foodie magazines are full of pumpkin and squash recipes. As faithful reader, Michelle D. writes:

We have a Friday tradition of making a gourmet dinner every Friday night. I guess it makes us feel grown-up! I made this for dinner tonight for Sean and Agnes. They both loved it. I thought your family might like it, too. I love cooking with pumpkins. To me it means Autumn is here!

The recipe looks difficult but it only took about 30-40 mins to make. I did make some changes to it. I roasted the pumpkins yesterday. When I took them out of the oven I left them sit in the pan, covered, for maybe 2 hours. When I remembered them (I have a 1 year old. You lose track of time.) they were cooked perfectly. I cut off the tops, scooped out the seeds, and then scraped out the "meat". Mmmm, squash.

I didn’t save the pumpkins to serve with but it would look really cute if you did. When I made the risotto I used 3 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of water mixed with a couple shakes of chicken bullion. I think I only used about 3 1/2 cups of liquid. Our scallops were HUGE so I cooked them for 6 minutes on both sides and they were done perfectly. Anyhoo, here is the recipe:

Pumpkinrisotto_2Pan-Seared Scallops Pumpkin Risotto
Active time: 1 hr
Start to finish: 1 hr 4 miniature
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients for risotto:

  • 1 1/4 cups diced (1/4 inch) peeled seeded fresh pumpkin (preferably from sugar or cheese pumpkins, like Jack-Be-Littles at 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 oz grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Ingredients for scallops:

  • 20 large sea scallops (1 1/2 lb), tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons white truffle oil

Directions to roast miniature pumpkins:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roast whole miniature pumpkins in a small roasting pan with 1/2 inch water, tightly covered with foil, until very tender, 45 to 50 minutes.
  2. Cool slightly. Cut out tops and reserve, then scoop out seeds.
  3. Discard water from roasting pan, then return pumpkin shells to pan and keep warm, covered with foil.

Directions for making risotto while pumpkins roast:

  1. Cook diced pumpkin in a medium saucepan two-thirds full of simmering water until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander.
  2. Bring stock and 2 cups water to a simmer in a small saucepan and keep at a bare simmer.
  3. Cook onion in oil in a 2- to 2 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  5. Add 1 cup simmering stock and cook at a strong simmer, stirring constantly, until stock is absorbed.
  6. Continue simmering, adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, about 18 minutes total. (There may be broth left over.)
  7. Remove from heat and stir in diced pumpkin, cheese, and butter, stirring until butter is melted.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and cover to keep warm.

Directions for preparing scallops:

  1. Pat scallops dry and season with salt.
  2. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté scallops, turning once, until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. If scallops are not cooked through, reduce heat to moderate and cook about 2 minutes more.
  4. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and discard any oil remaining in skillet (do not clean skillet).
  5. Cook butter in same skillet over moderate heat until it foams and turns light brown. Add sage and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in truffle oil. Season with salt.


  1. Put each pumpkin shell on a plate, fill with risotto, and cover with reserved tops.
  2. Arrange scallops around pumpkin and drizzle with sage butter.

(Risotto image courtesy of Cole’s)

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Final contenders – a healthier pumpkin pie?

Pietime_1Our final contenders for the pumpkin pie contest are Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Rum Cream from the December 2004 issue of Healthy Cooking magazine and One-Bowl Pumpkin Pie from the November/December 2004 issue of Weight Watchers Magazine.

Healthy Cooking is a wonderful magazine that unfortunately is hard to find and doesn’t have much of a web site. Try your local gourmet cooking shop if you’re interested in checking it out. It’s a good alternative to Cooking Light magazine, which I feel features too many fitness and spa articles for a cooking magazine. Plus Cooking Light’s recipes always call for too many expensive and unusual ingredients that you’d only use once.

Nutritionally, the Weight Watchers recipe comes in first since it’s lower in calories, fat, carbs and sodium. The traditional recipe by LIBBY’S comes in second. The Heathly Cooking one is a total dog especially since you get a smaller piece of pie. I guess it’s the whipped cream adding on that extra fat and calories.

Here’s how they stack up:

Weight Watcher’s One-Bowl Pumpkin Pie
8 servings per pie – Per serving: 226 calories, 5 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 11 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 208 mg sodium, 7 mg cholestrol

LIBBY’S® Famous Pumpkin Pie
8 servings per pie – Per serving: 264 calories, 9.9 g protein, 39.2 carbohydrates, 2.3 g fiber, 9.9 g fat, 3.4 g saturated fat, 295 mg sodium

Healthy Cooking’s Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Rum Cream
12 servings per pie – Per serving: 276 calories, 5 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 14 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 284 mg sodium, 42 mg cholesterol.

Continue reading

Second contender, Pecan Pumpkin Pie

PecanpieAfter searching all the cooking magazines’ Thanksgiving issues, I realize that pecan pie is almost as traditional as pumkin pie.

Now I love a good pecan pie, but I like pumpkin pie, too. So maybe a compromise between pumpkin and pecan pie is needed.

Thus our second contender for the pumpkin pie contest, Pecan Pumpkin Pie, which comes to us via the Epicurious website. This recipe was originally published in the November 1985 issue of Gourmet .

Pecan Pumpkin Pie
(makes 8 to 10 servings)

Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 4 1/2 hr (includes making dough and cooling)

For pie shell
Your favorite pastry dough recipe or this one from Epicurious.com.

For pumpkin filling
3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For pecan layer
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
11/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups pecans (5 1/2 oz), chopped if desired

Special equipment: pie weights or raw rice

Make pie shell:
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round (1/8 inch thick), then fit into a 9-inch glass or metal pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under and crimp edge decoratively. Prick bottom and side of shell all over with a fork, then chill shell 30 minutes.

While shell chills, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.

Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights, then bake until pastry is set and pale golden on rim, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake shell until pale golden all over, 6 to 10 minutes more. Cool on a rack.

Make pumpkin filling: 
Whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, egg, sour cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt in a bowl until smooth.

Make pecan layer:
Stir together corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, zest, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl, then stir in pecans.

Assemble and bake pie:
Spread pumpkin mixture evenly in shell, then carefully spoon pecan mixture over it. Bake pie until crust is golden and filling is puffed, about 35 minutes. (Center will still be slightly wobbly; filling will set as it cools.) Cool completely on rack. Serve at room temperature.

Cooks’ note:
Pie can be baked 4 hours ahead and kept, uncovered, at cool room temperature. Pie can also be baked 1 day ahead and chilled, loosely covered with plastic wrap. Reheat in a preheated 350°F oven until crust is crisp, about 15 minutes.

Epicurious.com © CondéNet, Inc. All rights reserved.

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