Sweet & Savory Stuffed Pumpkin by Natalie Obermeyer

As a vegetarian on Thanksgiving, I have had to skip over the traditional sausage-stuffed turkey one too many times. So, this year, I decided to test out a vegetarian and vegan friendly stuffing to wow my family for the holidays. And what else could be better to stuff than a fall pumpkin? I recently made this recipe for my roommates. It is healthy and even though it has a fair amount of ingredients, it is relatively easy to make. I picked up some sugar pumpkins at Trader Joe’s, cut off the tops, scooped out the insides, and started cooking. Once I had the pumpkins filled and roasting in the oven, the traditional smell of a Thanksgiving dinner infused our entire house. At first I was worried that the smell would set my roommates’ expectations for the final dish too high, but as I scooped out the delectable stuffing mixture with some pumpkin onto our plates I soon realized that I had nothing to fear. My meat-loving roommates declared the meal to be absolutely delicious. Each sweet and savory bite delivered its own unique flavor. I would highly recommend adding this dish to your traditional Thanksgiving meal. It even comes in its own festive serving dish!

Sweet & Savory Stuffed Pumpkin

Serves: 8

Preparation time: 40 minutes

1 4-pound pumpkin or 2 smaller sugar pumpkins

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 cup water

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chopped celery

1 small yellow squash, chopped

1 small zucchini, chopped

10oz button mushrooms, chopped

1/2 bunch kale leaves, chopped

1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup dried cranberries

4 slices hearty whole-grain bread, cut into pieces

1 cup cooked wild rice (or other grain, such as quinoa)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/8 cup chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon dried herb de Provence

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

*Feel free to substitute other dried fruits, such as dried cherries or prunes, for the raisins, cranberries, and apricots.

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350o.

2. Cut tops off of pumpkins (as if you were carving a pumpkin) and save the tops. Scoop out the seeds and loose pumpkin fiber.

3. Sprinkle cinnamon on the inside of the pumpkins then place the pumpkins and lids cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes at 350o.

4. In a large sauce pan, sauté onions in water or oil over medium heat until soft. Add rest of ingredients and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender.

5. Fill pre-cooked pumpkins with stuffing mixture. Place lids on pumpkins and bake for an additional 45 minutes at 350o.

6. Serve using a large spoon, scraping out pumpkin sides along with stuffing.

(inspired by recipe from www.DrFuhrman.com)

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