Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall recipes

I love cooking with pumpkin. It is versatile, healthy, and really just yummy. Two of my favorite pumpkin recipes are Pumpkin Black Bean Soup and Pumpkin Muffins. The best part? These two recipes are rediculously easy, fast, and really quite healthy!

This is where I got the pumpkin black bean soup:
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cups canned or packaged vegetable stock, found on soup aisle
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
2 cans (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (found often on the baking aisle)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 palm full
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1/2 palm full
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, eyeball it in the palm of your hand
Coarse salt
20 blades fresh chives, chopped or snipped, for garnish
Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion. Saute onions 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, black beans and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine ingredients and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne and salt, to taste. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with chopped chives.


I don't use chives, and sometimes don't use curry powder if I am out. I use milk instead of cream, 2 cans of beans instead of 1 (and sometimes leave one can whole, not pureed). I also use chicken stock instead of veggie, and sometimes add some sweet potato or carrot puree. Serve with Parmesan Crusted grilled cheese with tomatoes - great for dipping. Yum.

Pumpkin Muffins:
one can of pumpkin (or 2 cups pumpkin puree), 1/2 cup applesauce or apple puree, 1 egg and 2 egg whites, 1tsp cinnamon, 1 box yellow cake mix, 1 mashed banana. Mix all together and put in muffin tin or bread tin bake at 375 until toothpick comes out clean. I am really not sure how long I baked it for. I just kept a close eye on them. The regular recipe called for 3 whole eggs, 1 cup pumpkin, and oil instead of applesauce but I found the modifications made the muffins super moist and a bit healthier. Enjoy! Need to indulge? Top with dark chocolate frosting and make them cupcakes. Absolute perfection. Want to change it up? Add some dark chocolate chips. Yum. Yum.

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