Hello, pumpkin

    We carve pumpkins and put them in pies, but the orange gourds rarely make it onto our dinner menus. It’s time to give pumpkin a place on your plate, as it’s one of the few ingredients that’s great in both savory and sweet dishes. While the best way to cook pumpkin is to roast it in the oven with olive oil and herbs, canned pumpkin is a cheaper alternative. Here are three easy recipes to help you incorporate a seasonal ingredient into your diet.

    Pumpkin Pizza with Mozzarella, Chorizo and Sage

    While the thought of pizza may conjure memories of drunken munchies and late night study sessions, this version masquerades as gourmet fare. The savory pumpkin sauce gives the dish a sophisticated seasonal spin. Make it for your friends and they’ll be quite impressed with your culinary abilities — just don’t tell them you didn’t make the crust from scratch.

    1 onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon salt
    One 15-ounce can of
    pumpkin purée
    2 tablespoons butter
    5 fresh sage leaves
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 pre-baked pizza crust
    ¼ lb of chorizo sausage (optional)
    2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
    ½ cup pine nuts or chopped
    pecans (optional)

    1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
    2. Sauté onions in a pan until caramelized.
    3. Add garlic and salt, sautéing for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
    4. Add the pumpkin purée and season to taste.
    Let the mixture cool.
    5. In a separate pan, melt the butter. Add the sage and sauté
    until the leaves are slightly browned.
    6. Cook the chorizo until brown, adding olive oil and garlic.
    7. Spread the pumpkin mixture on top of the pizza crust.
    8. Sprinkle cheese, nuts, crumbled sage and chorizo.

    Cinnamon-Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

    Few students have the time, tools or ingredients to whip up baked goods from scratch. This simple shortcut makes quick, moist cupcakes. You don’t even need measuring cups! Adjust the intensity of the pumpkin flavor by replacing part of the pumpkin with milk. Makes about 24 cupcakes.

    1 box yellow cake mix (and the
    ingredients listed on the box)
    15-ounce can pumpkin pie filling
    2 tablespoons milk
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    16 ounces of cream cheese at
    room temperature
    2 cups powdered sugar

    1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
    2. Follow the steps on the cake box, substituting pumpkin pie filling and milk for the water.
    3. Add cinnamon and stir until the mixture is smooth.
    4. Line two muffin tins with paper liners and divide
    the batter.
    5. Bake for 18–22 minutes.
    6. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until creamy. Frost cupcakes once cool.

    Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

    What better way to warm up in the cold months than with a sizzling soup? While tortilla soup is always tasty, the pumpkin adds a sweet creaminess that balances out the heat of the chilies and cumin. Serve it with some fresh avocado, crispy tortillas and sour cream.
    If you have leftovers, divide into meal-sized portions and freeze them in Ziploc bags. Just make sure to add a bit of water to the pot when you defrost them. Serves 6.

    4 tablespoons olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 cloves minced garlic
    6 tortillas cut into ½-inch squares
    2 teaspoons cumin
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    One 16-ounce can of pumpkin One 28-ounce can of diced
    tomatoes (drained)
    Two 8-ounce cans of
    chicken stock
    2 teaspoons salt
    ½ cup chopped cilantro
    1 avocado, cubed

    1. Heat olive oil and add onion, garlic and tortillas. Sauté on medium until onions are soft.
    2. Add cumin and cayenne pepper. Sauté for a minute.
    3. Add pumpkin, tomatoes, stock and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cilantro after 5 minutes of simmering.
    4. Serve soup with chips, fresh avocado and cilantro.


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