Recipes, Uncategorized

Four Pumpkin Recipes for Your Holiday Meal Prep

It’s Thanksgiving and (like the rest of the country), I’ve got pumpkin on the brain. I feel bad for the pumpkin sometimes, because it really doesn’t get the credit it deserves as being a versatile ingredient in sweet and savory dishes alike.

What is a pumpkin, anyway? A fruit? A squash? Well, technically both. Pumpkins are classified as a fruit because they’re a seed-bearing structure that develops from the flowering portion of a plant. But it’s also part of the squash family under the umbrella of the cucurbitaceae. So, it’s a fruit that’s a type of squash, but a squash squash. (Kind of like how Scott was technically a part of the Kardashian family while he was married to Courtney, but wasn’t really a Kardashian…)

But one thing that the pumpkin is most definitely, is delicious. So here are four recipes to put some pumpkin pep in your holiday meal prep!


Protein-Packed Pumpkin Muffins

It’s no secret I love a good protein muffin. Blueberry, apple spice or pumpkin, you just can’t have too many muffins in your life. I like them even better when they’re quick, simple and easy to throw together in a pinch for a weekly meal prep. These Kodiak Cake protein muffins are just that -quick, easy and full of pumpkin-spiciness, holiday spirit.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Cups Kodiak Cakes protein packed flapjack mix
  • 1 Scoop SFH vanilla protein powder (or your preferred protein powder)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup  low-fat eggnog (or soynog)
  • 1 Cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 Cup applesauce
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Splenda brown sugar blend, plus some to sprinkle

Throw all ingredients into a bowl and mix until smooth. Pour batter into greased muffin tins and sprinkle some of the brown sugar over each muffin. Bake at 350°F for 12-18 minutes (or until they pass the toothpick test). Makes 12 muffins. They will stay fresh for 3-4 days, but beyond that you’ll want to freeze them if making them in a big batch.


Roasted Pumpkin Salad

I love a good salad. One of the keys to keeping them from getting boring is to layer in different textures and flavor with a variety of ingredients. Otherwise, you’ll be tempted to compensate for a lack of flavor with a lot of croutons, starchy dressings or an over-abundance of cheese (and at that point, you might as well just order a veggie pizza). This salad brings out the savory side of the pumpkin with roasted pumpkin cubes and pairs it with the sweet, sharp and salty flavors of craisins, blue cheese and walnut to create a holiday fiesta on your taste buds.

You even can throw your favorite protein on there and have yourself a main course. This is one of the dishes I actually prepared as a side dish for a family Thanksgiving celebration this year and I threw in some quinoa for protein.

I like to bring a salad to most any get-together or social gathering just to give myself a constructive option. That way, I can start off with a bowl of salad to help fill me up a little and have a little more self-control as I enjoy all of the other great foods and dishes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 Cups of kale, finely chopped (I’m talkin’ chop that stuff and until you can chop no more or find a prechopped kale salad mix at the store )
  • 1 Small pie pumpkin, seeded, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1/4 Cup crasins
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup chopped walnuts (depending on your optimal crunchiness level)
  • 1/2 Cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Coconut oil or coconut cooking spray
  • 1/2 Cup quinoa
  • 1 Cup vegetable stock
  • 1 Vegetable bullion cubes (can substitute chicken/beef bullion)
  • Your favorite light vinaigrette dressing

Place your pumpkin cubes on a baking tray and lightly drizzle with coconut oil, followed by an even dusting of garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake at 350°F  for 10-20 minutes (depending on the size of your cubes), or until golden brown.

Very thoroughly rinse your quinoa to remove it’s natural coating of saponin (otherwise, under rinsed quinoa can taste bitter). Combine quinoa, vegetable stock and bullion cube in a pot and bring to a boil over the stove. Lower the heat and cover with a lid, letting it cook another 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy. Remove from heat.

In a serving dish, toss together kale, craisins, walnuts.  Add the quinoa, the pumpkin cubes and blue cheese. Drizzle with you dressing and enjoy!


Grab-&-Go Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins

Seriously. No such thing as too many muffins. They’re crammed with complex carbs and fiber to fuel you through your day and won’t leave you feeling like you’re chewing on cardboard like other gluten-free baked goods that may have left you sad in the past. (Some have certainly made me sad.) They’re great for a busy week as an on-the-go breakfast or afternoon snack to help keep you full, fueled and on track with your nutrition goals!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 and 1/4 cup oat flour (ground old-fashioned rolled oats)
  • 1/2 Cup almond flour (you can make your own)
  • 1 Scoop vanilla SFH Pure Whey protein powder
  • 1/2 Cup coconut sugar, plus some to sprinkle
  • 1 Cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 Large banana, mashed
  • 1/2 Cup low-fat eggnog (or soynog)
  • 3/4 Cup applesauce
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Egg
  • Coconut oil

Combine dry ingredients (except for coconut sugar) in a large bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat together egg and coconut sugar. Add the other wet ingredients (except for coconut oil) and blend together. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until well combined. Lightly coat a muffin tin with coconut oil before pouring in your batter and then give each muffin a crowning sprinkle of coconut sugar. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test.


Pumpkin Pizza

Okay. I know what you’re thinking: “Pumpkin on pizza? That’s crazy.” It is crazy. Just so crazy that it is absolutely delicious. Like I mentioned in my Spicy Southwest Pumpkin Soup post, people really don’t give the pumpkin enough credit for its savory versatility.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 6-inch thin crust, whole wheat pizza crust
  • 1/2 Cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 Cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 Cup pureed butternut squash
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 Garlic clove, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 Cup of cubed pumpkin, seeded and skin peeled
  • Coconut oil or coconut cooking spray
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper

Place the pumpkin cubes on a baking tray and lightly coat in coconut oil, then evenly dust with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes and remove from heat. Combine pumpkin, squash, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and garlic in a bowl, mixing well. Assemble your pizzas by coating the crusts with an even layer of the pumpkin pizza sauce, a dash of salt, mozzarella and pumpkin cubes. Bake 350° for another 10 minutes, or until cheese turns a golden brown. Remove from heat and enjoy!


All writing and images copyright © 2017 Rachel Elise Weems Woods

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