Pumpkin Recipes Continued

This week we continue our look at some fantastic recipes for the versatile pumpkin, source of so much goodness. A low fat squash, pumpkins are lush with vitamin a, beta carotene, fiber and potassium. All that and they taste good too; it's quite exciting. We also have a three (3!) paragraph review of a popular online game so even if you hate cooking or eating you may want to tune in for that.

These Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins from just baking look scrumptious. My family loves the ones we get at the Whole Foods market so I was delighted to find this recipe. There's something about muffins that seem really appropriate for autumn and pumpkin muffins are especially seasonal.

Autumn is a good time for pasta therefore October must be the perfect time to make pumpkin lasagna. This recipe also has Swiss chard, bumping up the veggie content of this dish and adding vitamin K, magnesium and vitamin C to the power of the nutrient rich pumpkin. The only real drawback is the recipe calls for canned pumpkin instead of fresh. Apparently you can substitute fresh for canned but since the recipe calls for 2 15-ounce cans I'm not sure how to do the math. Although I can actually add 2 and 15, I think the cans are measured by weight, not volume, which makes converting to cups or whatever a little bit difficult. This site comes to our rescue and says that one can equals 1 ¾ cups puree, therefore you would just use 3.5 cups of fresh pumpkin. Whew!

Here's a recipe for glutinous rice with pumpkin that includes chicken and mushrooms. Doesn’t that sound delectable? Just in case you didn't know, glutinous rice is a variety of rice that is sticky when cooked. (That makes me wonder if it would be a good choice for rice pudding. It seems like it, wouldn't you say?)

Here's a nice recipe for a Halloween pumpkin cake. By using a Bundt cake pan you can make the cake look like a pumpkin as well as taste like one. The judicious use of orange and green frosting adds to the illusion. We've also used candy corn to build smiles when making cakes look like jack 'o lanterns. You'll notice the recipe calls for the use of canned pumpkin. See the conversion data listed above to use the more nutritious fresh pumpkin puree option.

We've all heard about the marvelous properties of pumpkin seeds. Cheap, delicious, nutritious and hey, you were just going to dump them when you carved your pumpkin anyway, so it's like getting free food, right? But did you know you can do a lot more with pumpkin seeds than munch them all day like Mulder with his sunflower seeds on a stakeout? You can make scrumptious Black Bean Pumpkin Seed Quesadillas for example. This particular recipe uses the seeds as more than just added crunch. They're ground up and used in the same way chickpeas are used to make hummus. You can even use the pumpkin seed spread to make falafel if you like. Technically these quesadillas aren't really quesadillas as they have no cheese, but that just means they're a terrific way to add vegan options to your menus and they make good brown bag lunches as there is no dairy to go bad during your commute.

This recipe for turnip green and pumpkin Ohitashi-style sushi is particularly nice because it is fast, easy to prepare and calls for less than perfect ingredients. If your turnip greens are a little past their peak they're just right for this sushi. If turnip greens aren't to your taste don't worry. Debbie, the author of the culiblog, discusses other greens in the comment trail, saying, "You can use anything - spinach, chard, beet leaves. Different vegetables will have different effects, but these are the most tender." Mmmm tender…

Here's a gorgeous recipe for pumpkin chili. The chocolate bar is an interesting addition. Connoisseurs have been combining peppers or chilies with chocolate for hundreds of years so this recipe is following a time honored tradition.

(For more about the history of chocolate and the use of peppers, see this interesting page which quotes Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, an Andalusian physician who published a book about chocolate in 1631. I especially like this quote, "Chocolate is healthy. It makes the drinker 'Fat, and Corpulent, faire and Aimiable'."

My final recipe is for Whole Pumpkin Baked with Cream and Cheese. This is a fun dish because it's hard to do wrong and we don't often get to plunk a pumpkin down on the dinner table and tell everyone to dig in. The only real problems you might have fixing this dish is cutting the top of the pumpkin off properly or possibly stroking out from all the cholesterol… Other than that I think you could prepare this dish and convince someone you can cook, even if the only other thing you've made in your life is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

One-Paragraph Review
This week's one-paragraph review is from Chris Quick who submits an extended guest review. He says, "World of Warcraft is a great game. There are endless things to be done. The content of the game is virtually updated monthly, adding new quests to be done, new things to be seen, and of course bug fixes, but not that many, or at least not when you envelope yourself in the endless hours of game play.

Literally endless hours, the game cannot be beat because of the constant updating. Even if the updating stopped it wouldn't be possible to beat, there are just too many things to do.

There are many monsters to be tamed, many creatures to slay, and many rewards to claim. World of Warcraft is definitely one of the best games of the new millennium." Do you have a one-paragraph (or smaller) review you'd like to share? Send it in to me for consideration. You can reach me at feedback@qualitytimeweekly.com.