Pumpkin Spice, and Everything Nice

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by Yzabetta Sativa

Eighty percent of the pumpkin supply in the North America is available in October. It’s no wonder that everywhere you go you see pumpkins; be it stacked out front of grocery stores, in bins in the middle aisles at Walmart or decorating everyone’s front porch. Pumpkins are a must for Hallowe’en but also a very versatile fruit. You can make anything from food to doormats with the darn things.

You can make Jack ‘o’ Lanterns as well but that’s not really the traditional Hallowe’en decoration. Sure, nowadays it’s a carved pumpkin but originally it was any and all root vegetables found in the Scottish highlands and in Ireland. Over there people carve turnips and beets instead of the giant oranges orbs. Immigrants from Ireland and Scotland brought the tradition to North America. There, the pumpkin replaced the turnip as pumpkins were more readily available, bigger, and easier to carve.

October is also National Pumpkin months, for obvious reasons. What’s not obvious is that pumpkins are loaded with vitamin A and fiber, and low in calories. There is no cholesterol whatsoever in a cup of pumpkin puree. Not only that but pumpkins can help protect the eyes from cataracts and degeneration, and contain lots of potassium and zinc to prevent the onset of cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Heck, even the seeds are good for you because they are high in protein and plant based fatty acids, which help regulate cholesterol levels, protect against arthritis, promote healthy skin, and improve brain function.

With the evangelical conviction of Linus Van Pelt, I say to you that pumpkins are great!

 

Pumpkin Curry

Ingredients:

1 pound of pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 a cup of marijuana infused coconut milk

1 1/2 cups o vegetable stock

6 cardamom pods

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1 teaspoon of mustard seeds

3 tablespoons of Thai yellow curry paste

sea salt

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Directions:

Heat the oil in a sauté pan. Gently fry the curry paste in the pan, along with the onions, turmeric, cumin, cardamom and mustard seed for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.

Stir the pumpkin into the pan and coat in the paste, and then pour in the stock and coconut milk.

Bring everything to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender to the fork. Bring the mixture back up to a boiling point, then pour this mixture over the pumpkin curry.

Season and serve. This recipe is enough to get 4 people baked.

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

1 cup of pumpkin, pureed

1 and ½ a cups of marijuana infused cream or milk

1/2 of a cup of brown sugar

3 Large eggs

1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg

6 cups of day-old bread, cubed

1 cup of chocolate chips

Pinch of salt

Brown Sugar about 2 tablespoons

 

Directions:

Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9”x9” ovenproof casserole dish

Blend together the eggs, milk/cream, pumpkin, ½ of a cup of brown sugar and salt until smooth and creamy.

In a large bowl toss the chocolate chips and cubes of bread in the pumpkin mixture until every bread cube is well coated.

Let this sit for about 10 minutes so as to soak up all the liquids.

Pour the contents of the bowl into the lightly greased casserole dish. Sprinkle coarse sugar over the top and bake until the eggs set, the pudding firms and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour.

Serve warm. This is enough pudding to get 8 people baked.

 

Haricots Vert and Pumpkin Salad

Ingredients:

1 pumpkin, peeled, cut into cubes and roasted and then cooled

1/2 of a cup of pepitas

1 small garlic clove, minced

1/3 of a cup marijuana infused olive oil 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 a teaspoon of grated lime zest

1/2 of a teaspoon of ground cumin

1/4 of a cup of red ion slices

1/2 of a teaspoon of salt

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 cups of green beans, lightly steamed and then cooled

2 small tomatoes halved, seeded, and cut lengthwise into strips

 

Directions:

Toast the pepitas in a dry small heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until puffed but not browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Keep back about 1 tablespoon of the toasted pepitas, then purée remaining seeds in a blender with garlic, infused oil, water, lime juice, cumin, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro until smooth.

Arrange the al dente green beans on a platter then top with the roasted pumpkin cubes. Drizzle the beans and pumpkin with two thirds of the dressing. Top the salad with tomatoes and remaining dressing then sprinkle with remaining tablespoon cilantro, onion slices, lime zest and reserved pumpkin seeds.

Serve immediately with the extra dressing and lime wedges on the side. This salad should get 8 people baked.

 

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Butter Sauce

Ingredients:

Gnocchi

2 cups of roasted pumpkin purée

1/2 of a cup of grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

1 teaspoon of sea salt

1/4 of a teaspoon of garam masala

2 cups of all-purpose flour, thereabouts

Sauce

1/3 of a cup of canabutter

1/4 of a cup of slivered almonds

20 fresh marjoram leaves

 

Preparation:

Gnocchi

In large bowl, stir together the pumpkin purée, cheese, egg, salt and garam masala. Make sure everything is well combined.

Stir into the dough the flour, a bit at a time, to make a soft, sticky dough that pulls away from bowl but still sticks to spoon and fingers.

On well-floured surface and with floured hands, roll the dough into a log shape; divide the log into quarters. Gently roll and shape each quarter into 3/4-inch diameter strands.

With sharp knife, cut each strand diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi in 2 batches, stirring gently, until the gnocchi floats to the surface; this takes about 2 minutes or so.

Scoop the gnocchi out with a spider (wide shallow wire-mesh basket with a long handle) or a slotted spoon and place on a heated serving platter.

Butter Sauce:

While the gnocchi is cooking melt the cannabutter over medium heat in a large frying pan; cook the slivered almonds until they are lightly toasted; takes about 2 minutes.

Add the marjoram leaves to the frying pan; cook until you can smell the marjoram, which takes less than half a minute. Pour the sauce over gnocchi; making sure to scrape out all the leaves and nuts.

Serve immediately with parmesan cheese. This gnocchi dish should get 8 people baked.

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