Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere: Wild Rice Stuffed Pumpkin

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I know it’s December, but the pumpkin-ness continues at our house with a new recipe from Vegetarian Times, a Wild-Rice Stuffed Pumpkin.

I have to admit the whenever cooking dinner involves scraping out a pumpkin I groan a little. Dissecting the mighty orange orb is not an easy task, although it looks very impressive when finished.

Needless to say I marched on determined to stuff this pumpkin with yummy goodness.

Ok, first you should know that the recipe was for 12 servings. I assume they assumed you were making this for Thanksgiving or a grand dinner party (Lyn, it might work out well for your Meatless Monday Dinners).

I was making it for 3 people, so I had to do some math. It started with buying a 3-4 pound pumpkin instead of a 6-8 pound pumpkin. I rinsed him off and set him aside.

Then I cooked 2 servings of wild-rice according to directions. Then I transferred it to a medium sized mixing bowl.

Then I lightly steamed in 2 handfuls of fresh spinach by bringing a 1/2 cup of water to boil in the bottom of a skillet, then cooked the spinach for 4 minutes or until it wilted.

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After draining the spinach and I let it cool in the colander while I chopped the veg: 1 1/2 cups of mushrooms, 1/4 of a large onion, 1/4 cup of celery, and 6cloves of garlic. I reduced to 3, because the mega recipe calls for 9, but in the future I will go with the 9 recommended for a flavor boost.

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Add it to the skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and your spices: 1teaspoon of thyme, 1 teaspoon of sage. Then I sautéed it all for 10 minutes.

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While things are sautéing, it’s time to gut the pumpkin. I have to admit I was dreading this part. I hate dealing with those little strands and can’t figure out any tricks– if you have any let me know!

Come here little pumpkin, pumpkin….

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Once the 10 minutes were up, I added 1/2 cup of frozen corn to the pan and a cup of red kidney beans and sautéed everything for 3 minutes more.

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Next I folded in a 1/4 of a cup of pecans. The recipe says to toast them, but the flavor gets lost in the casserole, so I would skip that step if I were you.

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Combine 1/4 a cup of olive oil and a teaspoon each of garlic powder, sage, and thyme in a small bowl. Brush the inside of the pumpkin with the olive oil mixture.

I filled the pumpkin with the rice mixture. Putting the lid back on. I baked it at 350 for 2 hours or until the sides of the pumpkin were tender enough to be pierced with a knife tip.

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The pumpkin barely fit in the oven!

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After the two hours, I removed the pumpkin’s lid and baked it for 10-20 minutes.

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Finished!

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We had ours with spicy roasted brussel sprouts and veggie loaf topped with warm apple butter.

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