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coffeebuddha in commfornoms

Food Porn-The Stuffed Pumpkin Edition

This was originally posted September 25, 2010 in my personal journal.

I've always considered myself more of a baker than a cooker, but late last fall I stumbled across a recipe for a stuffed pumpkin that caught my interest. Unfortunately, I didn't find it until a couple of weeks after pretty much every pumpkin had disappeared from the stores. (If you remember, there was a pumpkin shortage last year.) Still, I knew I wanted to try doing a stuffed pumpkin, so a year later here I am. Let me tell you, it is delicious. I lost the original recipe ages ago, so I ended up giving a different recipe a quick once over so I'd know about how much rice to make and how long to cook it and then just improved on the rest. A lot of the recipes I saw called for some kind of breading, but I'm back to cutting all gluten out of my diet because I think it's part of the reason I've been having such severe memory problems lately, so I kept my pumpkin completely gluten free.

Here's my little pumpkin. It's a tiny thing, only about 2.5lbs, but that was more than enough as you'll see at the end. First I cut off the top and gutted it.

Nice and roomy for stuffing tasty things in later!

I started with a handful of some nice, fresh cilantro and...

...cut it like a bitch!

Next on the chopping block were three cloves of garlic...

...and about a quarter of a sweet onion. Now, the recipe I looked at said to cook the onions when you brown your ground beef, but I was using some beef that we had left over from making tacos the other night, so I tossed them in raw. They were still nice and crunchy when the pumpkin was done and I think it really added to the overall texture of the dish. Of course, your mileage may very.

Like I said, I used left over ground beef from taco night, so there was some taco seasoning in it. Honestly though, I couldn't even really taste the seasoning with all the other flavors that were exploding in my mouth. Maybe me palate is just too unrefined.

The original recipe called for about a cup of rice, but my pumpkin was a little too small for that, so I only used about 1/2-3/4 of a cup. More left overs. I love it when half your meal is already cooked. :)

I was feeling kind of fancy when I was wandering through the grocery store this morning and ended up picking up a lime. Blame it on my crazy fancy pants. Since I like a little surprise in my food, I decided to zest the lime and mix it in.

Isn't that pretty? Just be careful when you're grating things or you'll end up like me.

Notice the bandaid on my thumb? I slipped. Anyway, since I don't like to waste and I'm not a fan of tequila, I squeezed the lime juice into my stuffing...

...added a couple of eggs and mixed. Okay, if you want to get technical, I forgot about the eggs, mixed everything together, put it in my pumpkin, remembered the eggs, emptied out the pumpkin, added eggs, mixed everything again, and then put it all back in the pumpkin.

What can I say? I'm a total spaz. So! Now everything was in the pumpkin where it belonged-except for the mozzarella pearls which I didn't remember to add until after the pumpkin had finished cooking-so it was time to put the top back on my pumpkin, fill a pan with about half an inch of water...

...and plop my dinner in the middle. I cooked it at 350F for about an hour and fifteen-twenty minutes, and when it came out it looked like this.

Isn't that gorgeous?

And inside. You can't really tell from the picture, but it was all bubbly and the soft inside of the pumpkin was pulling away from the harder outer shell.

Cutting into it! I think this is probably the best picture for demonstrating exactly how small my pumpkin was. That's the same knife as the one in the pictures above. It looks a lot bigger cutting into my dinner than it did on the cutting board, doesn't it?

I'm not a small girl and when I served myself I was certain I'd be going back for seconds, but this was so filling that I could barely finish what I had. There's really nothing horrible in the recipe, so I'd definitely recommend this if you're looking for something healthy and filling. Plus, after I scraped out what I didn't eat...

...just take a look...

...at how many leftovers I had! I can easily make about three or four more meals out of that. The entire thing probably cost about ten dollars, so it was cheap and delicious. You can't really beat that.

Oh! And there aren't any pictures, but for dessert I made flourless peanut butter cookies. The recipe is literally 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup  white sugar, and 1 egg. Mix and bake at 325F for 8 minutes. Just in case you were looking to undo any good you might have done by having the above for dinner. ;)