Pumpkin for dinner or lunch? Here are 5 unique ideas

It’s officially pumpkin season, the windows are open and we can finally give the air conditioner a rest. The early mornings and evenings have the crispy Fall feel, especially in the northern hemisphere and definitely here in the Midwest, home of The Plantbase Patriot.

Major League Baseball playoffs are in full swing, the NFL is almost at the halfway point, the stars are shining and the moon feels like its right in your backyard. It is what some call “sweater weather now”

It seems like everywhere you look, there is a massive wave of those orange rounds– from big stores to small, farmhouses to front yards, they are everywhere and if you’ve had a hot summer, they are a sight for sore eyes.

There are so many ways to use pumpkins in cooking, there are endless ideas and possibilities.  Below we’ll list our top 5 unique ways to use pumpkins at dinner or lunch.

Pumpkin & Vegan Sausage Soup

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound vegan sausage
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon pure 100% maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup plantbase milk, plain
  • ¾ cup  water or vegan stock
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup of vegan cheese

Directions

On your stove top, cook sausage, mushrooms and onion over medium-high heat until sausage is browned and vegetables are tender, 8-10 minutes, breaking up sausage into crumbles; drain. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add water, pumpkin, maple syrup and seasonings. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Stir in plant milk. In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch until smooth. Stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Add cheese; cook and stir until melted

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Spicy Roasted Pumpkin

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  • 2lbs of fresh pumpkin, peeled & seeded ( save the seeds for toasting )
  • 2 table spoons of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 200 C or 400°F.
  • Quarter and then carefully peel and seed the pumpkin.
  • Cut into chunky 2″ cubes.
  • Place pumpkin into a large & sturdy roasting tray.
  • Add the olive oil, salt, red pepper, cinnamon & cumin – mix well, making sure that all the pumpkin pieces are coated in olive oil.
  • Bake in the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft & also tinged brown at the edges.

Pumpkin Burgers (yes that’s right) 4 servings

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Related article:Quick/Easy Bean Burgers

Ingredients

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • Himalayan salt to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Vegan sliced cheese

          Directions

  • Combine the ground flaxseeds with the water and let it sit for at least 5 minutes.
  • Heat some oil in a medium-sized pan and sauté the onion and the garlic for 2-3 minutes. Set aside. Heat some more oil and sear the mushrooms for about 3 minutes.
  • Mash the chickpeas with a fork or your fist if you’re in one of those moods, leaving some intact for texture. In a bowl, combine the chickpeas, the pumpkin puree, and the oats. Add the Italian seasoning, the paprika powder, the mustard, the flaxseed-water mixture, and the sautéed onion and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Form four burger patties.
  • Heat some oil and cook the patties for about 2-3 minutes on each side.
  • Serve the pumpkin patties on whole wheat buns with whatever toppings interest you, add whatever sides you like too or just triple the ingredients and eat three times the amount, you’ll fill up quick.

Pumpkin Tacos ( Not just for Tuesdays)

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Ingredients

  • 6 tortillas, vegan
  • 1 cup canned black beans
  • 1 cup green leaves like: spinach
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup vegan cheese
  • 1 cucumber, finely sliced
  • 1 cup finely diced green & red pepper mix
  • 2 radish, finely sliced

Roasted pumpkin

  • 3 cups diced pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp sweep paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt, more to taste

Easy guacamole

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1-2 Tbsp lime juice
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. In a bowl, whisk 1 Tbsp olive oil, ¼ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp sweep paprika and ¼ tsp salt together.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F and arrange the pumpkin cubes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the prepared mixture. Toss to combine. Bake for 25 minutes.
  3. In the meantime make the guacamole: combine the avocado, lime juice and salt in a small bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Taste and add more salt to taste.

*** You will want to heat up the tortillas first to soften them.

  1. To assemble the tacos, place a few cucumber slices, pepper mix in the center of your taco, top with spinach & cilantro. Then add the roasted pumpkin, black beans. Add a spoonful of guacamole down the side. Top with sliced radish, top off with your vegan cheese, if you want.  Serve with lime wedges, jalapeno’s and salsa on the side.

Pumpkin Calzone ( My apologies to Italy )

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  • 2 pounds pizza dough of your choice (Homemade or store bought, your choice)
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 6 ounces extra-firm tofu (drained, half a package)
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach (or 1 cup frozen spinach)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves*
  • 1 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon light miso (white, yellow,)
  • 2 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 cups veggies of choice for filling (ideas: mushrooms, broccoli, red bell pepper, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • In a small/medium saucepan, warm the tomato sauce over low heat.
  • Place pizza dough on the counter to come to room temperature while you are preparing the filling.

For the Spinach Ricotta

  • Pulse the cashews, salt, miso, garlic, and cinnamon & nutmeg in a food processor until finely ground, but not turning into cashew butter.
  • Add the spinach, tofu, and basil, and pulse until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed.

For the filling

  • In a medium/large skillet, sauté pumpkin cubes and veggies of choice over medium/high heat until just cooked, 3-5 minutes. Stir in a few tablespoons of the sauce to coat the veggies.

Assembly

  • Section the dough into 4 or 8 equal pieces, depending on how big you want each calzone to be.
  • Roll a piece of dough into circle as thin as possible without breaking the dough.
  • Place 1/4 cup of the spinach ricotta in the center of the dough, and top with 1/4 cup of filling.
  • Fold the dough over the filling, and seal by folding small pieces of the bottom dough over the top piece, pinching the dough together as you go.
  • Continue rolling, filling, and sealing until all the calzones are assembled.
  • Place the calzones on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat, and poke a few holes in each one with the tines of a fork.
  • Bake at 425 F for 16-20 minutes, until golden brown.

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