Roasted Pumpkin Veggie Stew in/and Shell [Vegan]

This is the last recipe I can pump out before I crash into bed here soon to ready for my 4 am waking-eugh! I must have had way too much espresso at work when I requested a 7 am flight to Philly and then a 9 am Cessna 'hop' to Yale. This is especially true considering our airport is 45 minutes away as is! Silly me. At least I won't be writing a grumpy 3 or 4 am post for you all tomorrow. I'll save you the misery :)

Fresh pumpkins are in high season here in North Carolina, so it's uber easy to find delicious fresh local pumpkins. Shopping local has may benefits such as the food being fresher, supporting the community in which you live, and reducing pollution from transportation costs. I always loved the slogan "Spend it here, keep it here"... that should be applied more in everyday life and especially the government! [Vote Ron Paul! :) and eat more fresh, local produce]

Gluten and Dairy free Pumpkin Vegetable Stew

2 medium fresh pumpkins
2 stalks fresh organic celery, chopped fine
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 organic carrots, grated fine
1/3 lb. frozen vegetable soup mix veggies or 1/3 lb. frozen green beans and peas
1 c. unsweetened organic pineapple juice
1 c. unsweetened organic orange juice with pulp
1/4 c. fresh or frozen raw cranberries
2-3 1/4" slices red onion
1/4 c. organic raisins
1/4 c. no-sulfur organic shredded coconut (optional)
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2" chunk fresh ginger, minced
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
natural brown sugar to taste (optional)
1/4 c. sunflower seeds

Optional Substitute for Fruit Juices (low carb):
1 c. low sodium organic vegetable broth (or more water)
1 c. water

2 T. cinnamon
5 whole cloves
sea salt and pepper
garlic powder

1 can organic black beans or lentils, drained

Preheat the oven to 350. Slice the top off the pumpkins, as you would for a jack-o-lantern type pumpkin. Scoop out the seeds and set aside. Rather than discard the seeds, we roasted and added some of them back into the stew and reserved the rest for salads. Place the pumpkins face down in a Pyrex baking dish filled with about 1/2" water. Bake the whole pumpkins for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

When the pumpkins are finished, remove them from the oven and check that they are fork tender. Let the pumpkins cool for a few minutes. Flip over the pumpkins and spoon/scrape out the meat into a large mixing bowl. You can try to preserve the cooked pumpkin shell and serve the cooked stew inside the shell, or you can just mash it all up together. I love the texture and taste of roasted pumpkin and acorn or butternut squash shells. They are completely edible after they've been washed and cooked and they provide great vitamins (hence the vibrant orange color) and fiber. I am tired and lazy so I just mashed my shell right into the rest of the pumpkin.

Add your chopped onion, drained black beans or lentils (if you're using them), and a handful of raw or roasted seeds into the mixing bowl. Mix in the extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and all other seasonings. For a hint of sweetness, add a tablespoon of natural brown sugar if desired. Mix well.

Add in the celery, carrots, vegetable mix, raisins, coconut, cranberries and liquids (juices or broth) and mix thoroughly. Transfer the stew mixture to a large saucepan (pot) and let simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes or until everything is heated through. You can also use a Crock pot if you want- they warming method is completely up to you. When everything is warmed, get ready to serve the stew. If you preserved the shell, spoon the mix back into the pumpkin shells for serving. If not, just serve as is (delicious, of course).

Dairy and Gluten Free Pumpkin Soup
Cindalou's Kitchen Blues: Healthy Celiac / Coeliac Gluten and Dairy Free Recipes

1 comment:

  1. Have a good trip. I'll miss your zippy sense of humor and prolific recipe postings! Is Jon going to be holding down the blog fort while you're gone? BTW, the addition of these cranberries makes this stew look absolutely delightful. What a nice combination of colors and tastes! You are so creative. Must be that science background of yours. :)

    I can't wait for your pumpkin bread/cupcake creation. I'll try a version of it after you post yours, but with different ingredients. Other than the pumpkin.

    Hope you brought lots of your own food for this week-long trip. I never travel without an extra duffle bag full of my own food, a hot pot, and my little "camping" French press. And one of the first things I do on arrival is find a Whole Foods or "natural" market. I also request a mini fridge wherever I stay (sometimes you have to say you need it for medical purposes). I have a whole little kit I bring (tiny cutting board, knife, bowl, spoon, certain foods, etc.). It's a bit of a pain in some ways, but it ALWAYS pays off. Always. Whether for the ease of safe gluten-free travel or simply having my own type of food (healthy), it's the only way to go for me.

    Safe travels,


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