Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Dear fellow fans of fall,

Fall is here, and so is dinnertime.  Here is a festive-looking recipe that is not only easy to make, but entertaining to serve.  I found it in a newspaper clipping at a friend's house and jotted it down on a piece of paper.

this dinner was very popular when I made it at my cousin's house when some friends came into town.  Be sure to scrape out the soft insides of the pumpkin when you serve this.

This recipe conforms well to whatever you have in your kitchen.

1 medium pumpkin (5 - 7 lbs)
1-1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 c chopped bell pepper
2 - 3 ribs chopped celery
1 medium to large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
1/4 c soy sauce (use Bragg's Liquid Aminos if you wish for gluten-free*)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 8-oz can chopped mushrooms, undrained
1 can cream of something soup (you can make a gluten-free soup and freeze it if you want)
2 c cooked rice

Wash and dry the pumpkin.  Cut a lid into the top of the pumpkin.  Scrape out the seeds and membrane.  (The pacifier in the picture below is totally optional.)

optional: set the pumpkin seeds in a pan with a bit of water and simmer for a few minutes while you continue to prepare the dinner. 

In a skillet, brown beef; add pepper, onion, celery, and saute until soft.  In a bowl, mix spices, sugar, soy, mushrooms, soup and rice.  Add to beef and vegetables.  Mix well; put into pumpkin.  Replace lid on pumpkin.

Set in a baking dish and bake for 1-1/2 hours at 350 deg F.

optional: drain pumpkin seeds and swab with a towel.  Grease a lined cookie sheet and scatter the pumpkin seeds on it.  Bake at 325 deg F 20 - 45 minutes (I have no idea how long it actually takes), stirring occasionally, until crispy and well roasted.  Pour into a bowl, add melted butter, and season with salt or other spices/herbs.  Serve as an appetizer to ward off the herds of locusts until the dinner is done.  

Enjoy your pumpkin! 

Mrs H

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*I don't know how many places carry Bragg's near you, but if it isn't in your grocery store try the local nutrition store; our co-op sells it in bulk, next to the molasses and honey.  



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