October 02, 2016
Comfort Food, Dinner, Lunch,
Main Dish, Soups/Stews, Beans, Alcohol, Vegetables, Pumpkin , North American, Budget-Friendly, Small Batch Cooking, Entertaining, Fall/Autumn, Game/Sports Day, Sunday Dinner, Winter, Oven Bake, Stove Top, Gluten-Free, High Fiber, Low Cholesterol, No Eggs, Vegetarian, White Beans, Kosher Dairy more
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"A great 'meatless' stew recipe. I have a few friends that are vegetarian; and, they really enjoy this. And, I even love a 'meat free' night now and then. So, this is a great alternative; yet, it has tons of flavor. I love to serve this in a mini pumpkin; which makes this a perfect Fall dish; and, it is definitely a great dish to entertain with. Because the pumpkin does take some time to cook; it is really best as a weekend dinner."
Pumpkins ... First, clean the pumpkins well on the outside. I use a small vegetable brush. Cut off the top of each pumpkin, leaving the stem on; and, remove the seeds and most of the pulp from each pumpkin using a large spoon. Brush the inside with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then, place in a baking dish; or, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil, cut side down. Add the lids to another baking dish or sheet pan, cut side down.
PUMPKIN NOTE: All pumpkins are different; but, I found that 1 1/4-1 1/2 lbs each, make a nice size for each person. You can also use smaller ones for a lunch portion; but, cooking times can vary. Also, you can use a larger one to serve 2 people too. You can eat directly out of the pumpkins; or, just use them as a serving vessel. Your choice.
Bake ... In preheated 400 degree oven on the middle shelf. Cook or roast for 30 minutes; then, remove the lids. Set those to the side, they are done. Turn the pumpkins over; and continue to cook for another 20-25 minutes, NOT too soft; you still need to fill them; and, they will cook another 15-20 minutes once filled. The first 2 cooking times can vary, depending on the type and thickness of the pumpkins. So, just check on them.
Filling ... As the pumpkins cook; prepare your filling. Melt the butter in a large deep saute pan; and, add the shallots, leeks, carrots, parsnips, and potatoes. Cook on medium low heat, covered for 5 minutes until they begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Then, add the mushrooms, thyme, Italian seasoning, and a pinch of salt and pepper; and, cook another 5 minutes. Remember, they will finish cooking in the pumpkin. Then, add the flour; and stir until everything is combined. Cook another minute to get rid of the 'raw' flour taste.
Add the beer and broth (start with 1 1/2 cups); and, increase the heat to medium high - cook just until the sauce begins to thicken. Then, add in the beans (start with 1 can ... you can add more if you like); and, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through. I like lots of beans in mine; so, I always add all the beans; but, if it is more of a personal preference how many you add. If the filling seems a bit thick ... add a bit more broth - remember it should be a stew like consistency, not soup. Once the filling is heated through, remove from heat; and stir in the spinach and walnuts.
Finish ... Spoon the filling into the pumpkins; and, top with the lids. Make sure to set them off to the side a bit, so steam can escape. Bake for 15-20 minutes, just until everything is heated through; and, the pumpkins are tender. NOTE: Not every pumpkin is the same size ... so, you may have some leftover filling. If so - simply refrigerate or freeze in a tupperware type of container. It's a great meatless stew on it's own.
Serve and ENJOY! ... Plate each pumpkin, set the lid off to the side on the plate; and, finish with grated cheese on the top, which is optional. As mentioned, this is a vegetarian recipe; so, perfect for a 'meatless' night. But, you could always add some sausage for those meat lovers in the family too. YES, they do take some time to cook; but, it's worth it. It really is a one dish meal; maybe a fall fruit salad on the side would be nice.
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