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Showing posts with label Pumpkin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pumpkin. Show all posts

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hearty Chicken, Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili

Fall is my favorite time of year, especially so because I can get back to cooking.  With the weather finally cooling off, this is also the time of year I start thinking about making soups and chili.  And for the past 4 years, October has also been Soup Month here at HowDoYouCook.com.

For each of those 4 years my family and I would create 31 new soup, stew and chili recipes during the month of October.  So far we've compiled a pretty good archive of yummy recipes.  This year however, since my schedule has not allowed me the time to create a new soup each day, we are going to keep the soup tradition going with at least one or two new soups each week throughout the fall and winter months.  So fear not, the soup, stew and chili recipes will keep coming, just not all in one month! lol  Yes, I admit, I love soup!

To get us started we made a Hearty Chicken, Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili that brings several healthy ingredients together in one pot.  But before you think pumpkin = pumpkin pie, wait!  This is a savory pumpkin chili, no cloves or cinnamon at all.  Many people do not realize the delicious flavor of a savory pumpkin dish, so this is a great way to try this tasty squash in a different way.  And to make things even easier, this chili is made in the crock pot and the recipe is super simple!

The pumpkin creates a creamy, but healthy background for this soup,  then the chicken, black beans and vegetables add the heartiness of a chili.  All of this comes together for a great meal.  Enjoy!!

3 cups  Chicken Stock
1  medium  White Onion, chopped
1  large Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
2 TB  Olive Oil
3 cloves  Minced Garlic
2 cans  Black Beans, rinsed and drained
2-1/2 cups  Cooked Chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can  Solid-Pack Pumpkin
1 can  Petite Diced Tomatoes
2 tsp  Dried Parsley
2 tsp  Chili Powder
1-1/2 tsp  Dried Oregano
1-1/2 tsp  Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp  Salt

In a medium skillet saute the onion and yellow pepper in the olive oil over medium heat until just tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic to the skillet and saute 1 minute longer.

Transfer the vegetables to a 5-quart slow cooker, add all of the remaining ingredients, cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Creamy Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup

For day 23 of Soup Month 2013, we made an incredibly seasonal Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup that would be perfect for an elegant Thanksgiving meal.  With a delicate blend of unique spices, this soup will pair nicely with roast turkey or pork and would also be delicious with a glazed ham.

I love anything pumpkin, and lentils are quickly becoming a new favorite of mine.  But by combining these two foods, you create a totally luxurious soup with somewhat of an exotic flavor.  The cinnamon and pumpkin go together nicely, of course, but then you get just a hint of cumin and red pepper flavor in the background, while the heartiness of the lentils pulls all of those flavors together.

Another great thing about this soup is that by using the red lentils, which cook much faster than the green variety, you can have this soup ready to serve in about 30 minutes.  If you are serving this for a dinner party, the soup can be prepared an hour or so in advance, then kept warm in a crock pot until you are ready to serve.  Garnish with a spoonful of crème fraiche or sour cream and Enjoy!!

2 tsp  Canola Oil
1 small  Onion, chopped
1 tsp  Minced Garlic
4-2/3 cups  Vegetable Broth, divided
1 cup  Dried Red Lentils
1 tsp  Cumin
1/4 tsp  Paprika
1/4 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp  Cinnamon
1/8 tsp  Cayenne Pepper
1 cup  Canned Pumpkin
1/2 tsp  Ground Ginger
1 TB  Lemon Juice
Crème Fraiche for Garnish

In a medium soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes.  Add 3 cups of the vegetable broth, the lentils, cumin, paprika, salt, cinnamon and cayenne to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil.

Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.  Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it's very smooth.

Add the remaining 1-2/3 cups of broth to the pot, followed by the pumpkin, and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Add the ginger and lemon juice to the soup and stir.  Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a dollop of crème fraiche and a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.  Enjoy!!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Pumpkin Butter Smoothie

This yummy Pumpkin Butter Smoothie is a delicious way to start your day and, with only 3 or 4 ingredients, it only takes a few minutes to prepare.  As our first creation using Pumpkin Butter, it was a great success and will be perfect for our busy weekday mornings that start much earlier than I wish they did!

Coming in at about 215 calories and 20 grams of protein, this smoothie is full of yummy pumpkin flavor.  For an added boost of potassium, add half of a banana to your smoothie and you're still under 300 calories.

1/4 cup  Pumpkin Butter
1 cup  1% Milk
1/2 scoop  Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Ice Cream Protein Powder
1/2  Medium Banana, optional

Combine all ingredients in a small blender for 30 seconds and serve.

Pumpkin Butter

A few weeks ago, my family and I stopped by a local farmer's market where we discovered Amish Pumpkin Butter.  We had all tried apple butter before but pumpkin butter is a different thing all together, with a flavor similar to pumpkin pie, with lots of cinnamon and cloves.

This creamy spread is so delicious, we kept thinking of more and more ways to use it.  And as expected, the jar was empty within a few days.  So my mission was clear, I needed to make our own.

So far we have used this butter on pancakes and English muffins, and it also makes a great Pumpkin Butter Smoothie for a quick breakfast.  In addition to tasting yummy, it's also good for you! Just 1/4 cup of Pumpkin Butter comes in at about 55 calories and provides 150% of your Vitamin A requirements for the day.

2 15-oz cans  Libby's Pure Pumpkin
1 cup  Apple Juice
1/2 tsp  Allspice
1/4 tsp  Cloves
1 cup  Brown Sugar, packed
1 TB  Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp  Nutmeg
2 tsp  Apple Cider Vinegar

Combine all ingredients, except vinegar, in a large saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring several times.

Remove from heat and stir in the cider vinegar.  Cool to room temperature then transfer to a glass container and store in refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Savory Pumpkin Soup in the Crock Pot

For day 17 of Soup Month 2012, it's finally beginning to feel like fall and we have a perfect October-orange soup for you.  A creamy and Savory Pumpkin Soup that is made in the crock pot.  We served this soup as a side dish with garlic and herb roasted chicken thighs and it was a wonderful combination.

For me, the best thing about soup month is trying new foods and finding new tastes and textures that are just "wow", and that's what this soup turned out to be.  I wasn't sure about making a pumpkin soup.  After all, pumpkin equals pie, right?  Sweet and creamy, with all the fall goodness of cinnamon and nutmeg, poured into a flaky crust.  But wait!  This soup takes the best things about pumpkin pie and blends in a few savory ingredients like turmeric, onion and garlic to create a whole new twist on pumpkin.  For those of you not familiar with turmeric, it's the main component in most curries and adds a peppery flavor, a beautiful yellowish-orange color and a wonderful exotic scent to foods.  Turmeric also has many health benefits and I can't wait to try it in other dishes.

This soup was super easy to make.  Just toss everything in the crock pot, but hold the cream until the last hour of cooking.  Mix in the cream about an hour before you're ready to serve the soup and you'll be ready to go.  Adding a touch of sour cream or buttermilk as a garnish is the 'piece de resistance', and adds just that slight touch of sour that totally completes this soup.  I am a new fan of pumpkin soup, and I will gladly be experimenting more with pumpkin in a more 'savory' light.  Enjoy!!

28 oz can  Pumpkin Puree
5 cups  Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
2 medium  Carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium  Onion, chopped
1 stalk  Celery, chopped
2 tsp  Minced Garlic
1 TB  Brown Sugar
1 tsp  Molasses
2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp  Turmeric
1/4 tsp  Allspice
1/4 tsp  Nutmeg
1/3 cup  Heavy Cream
Sour Cream or Buttermilk for Garnish

Place all ingredients, except the cream, in a large crock pot and turn to LOW setting.  Cook on LOW for 5 hours. 

Blend the soup using an immersion blender until smooth or you can use a regular stand blender, just work in batches as needed.  Stir in the cream and cook for 1 hour longer on LOW.

To serve add a dollop of sour cream or a few tablespoons of buttermilk to the top of the soup.  Serves about 6.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon M&M's

Why is it that some of my best recipe ideas sprout up in my dreams?  I was seriously dreaming about these Cinnamon M&M's a few nights ago and today this mouthwatering dream became a reality.  I've been thinking of ways to highlight the subtle cinnamon flavor in these candies without the cookies being too sweet.  The combination of cinnamon, cloves and pumpkin are a classic and heavenly match, but adding the cinnamon M&M's makes these cookies even better.  Everything tastes better with M&M's.  Enjoy!

2 1/4 cups  Flour
2 tsp  Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp  Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp  Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp  Baking Soda
1 cup (2 sticks) Margarine, softened
1/2 cup  Sugar
1/2 cup  Packed Brown Sugar
1 cup  100% Pure Pumpkin
1  Large Egg
2 tsp  Vanilla Extract
1-1/2 cups  Cinnamon M&M Candies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.

Beat butter and both sugars in a large mixer until smooth.  Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla and blend.  Slowly add in the flour mixture.  When fully combined, fold in the candies by hand.

Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto lined baking sheets and slightly flatten the dough using the back of the spoon.

Bake 12 - 14 minutes or until the centers are set.  Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 2 minutes then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.  Makes about 30 cookies.

**Note:  The M&M's did get a little melty while cooking due to the cinnamon coating, but it did not have any effect on the flavor.  These tasty pumpkin gems are definitely worth a try.  Check your local retailers holiday clearance area and you might find some of these still on the shelves.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Shake

15 oz  Canned Pumpkin - 1 can (not pie mix)
1/4 cup  Raw Cashews
1/4 cup  Low-Fat Milk, (or Vanilla Soy Milk)
2 TB  Maple Syrup
1/4 cup  Chai Tea Concentrate
2 TB  Milk Creamer (or Soy)
2  Dashes Cinnamon
2  Dashes Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt
1 1/2 cups ice (or for a treat, coconut water ice cubes)
Optional: 1/2  Frozen Banana, Pinch of Flax Seed Oil/Meal for added nutrition

Add all your ingredients, except the ice, to the blender.

Blend on high until smooth. The pumpkin will make this smoothie thick, so be patient while blending. Add a bit more milk if needed.

Keep blending and slowly add in the ice. Make sure it blends icy-smooth! Again, if you need to add a bit more liquid, do it gradually. You can always do a taste test before pouring and modify as needed to suit your own tastes.

If desired, for extra flavor and nutrition, add a few extra cashews.  Pour into glasses, and sprinkle with cinnamon on top. Makes 2 - 3 servings.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Many people only use Pumpkin in the fall months and they are missing out on a delicious and healthy treat. Pumpkin can be used in smoothies, breads, soups or these yummy pancakes. While very low in calories, Pumpkin is rich in potassium, magnesium and iron plus the antioxidant beta-carotene.
1 1/2 cups  Milk
1 cup  Pumpkin Puree
1 Egg
2 TB  Vegetable Oil
2 cups  Flour
3 TB  Brown Sugar
2 tsp  Baking Powder
1 tsp  Baking Soda
1 tsp  Ground Allspice
1 tsp  Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp  Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp  Salt
Oil, as needed, for grilling pancakes

In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, and oil. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a separate bowl. Then stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve with warm maple syrup.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Pumpkin is one of my favorite ingredients because it is so versatile. Please don't wait until fall to cook this delicious food.  Find new ways to use it in recipes throughout the entire year, and not just for Pumpkin Pie. 

Plain old canned pumpkin is absolutely loaded with fiber and 1 cup has a mere 49 calories. Dozens of studies confirm that high fiber intake is associated with a host of health benefits. Pumpkin is also the easiest food in the world to prepare. You can sweeten it with Sugar or Splenda, sprinkle it with blood-sugar-lowering cinnamon and nutmeg for good measure, throw in some healthy almonds and make it one of the best tasting weight-loss treats around. It's filling and delicious.

The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protection against heart disease as well as some degenerative aspects of aging. Try these delicious Pumpkin recipes: Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins, Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup, and Pumpkin Spice Cake.