Pumpkin, Kale, Black Bean, and Gnocchi Stew

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I live in sunny southern California now, so winter isn’t quite like last year when I lived in central New Hampshire (too many -15° mornings for me!). When eating a bowl of this, I couldn’t help but think this would be the perfect meal for a snow day. It’s thick–the stew is somewhere in between a soup and a curry–and the smell of simmering pumpkin and cinnamon would be great after a trek in the snow.

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 package (approximately 17.6 oz) gnocchi
  • 2 15oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 cups kale, ripped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

A couple notes: I normally try to make my meals low-sodium, but this stew really does taste better with salt. If you’re sensitive to spicy food, reduce the cayenne and chili powder to taste.

Directions

  1. In a large pot, stir together the pumpkin and milk. Cook until it reaches a boil.
  2. Add the gnocchi, black beans, chili powder, cinnamon, and cayenne, then return to a boil.IMG_0269
  3. Reduce to a simmer and cook for ten minutes.
  4. Add the kale and simmer until the kale is slightly wilted.
  5. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Pumpkin & Mushroom Risotto

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I am going to be completely honest with you: I hate making risotto. A couple of times a year, I convince myself that it can’t be that bad, that I can do plenty of other things while standing and stirring a pot for the better part of an hour, that it’s not hard work, it’s just time consuming…. And then I make risotto, and I get tired of standing and stirring and watching a pot. It tastes delicious, but I promise I won’t make risotto again.

Well, if you don’t mind standing in front of your stove and stirring for awhile, and want to listen to music, or take Buzzfeed quizzes that will tell you which Muppets character you are or what state you should really live in, or watch some Netflix… this dish is for you!

This risotto gets its creaminess from pumpkin, not butter or cheese. It is warm and hearty, and perfect for winter.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 tablespoon fresh, diced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1 tablespoon fresh, diced)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice
  • 8oz mushrooms, sliced (I used crimini, but white would also be good!)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (I always buy low-sodium)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • parmesan or crumbled goat cheese, to serve (omit for vegan option)

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, toss the oil in the onion until well coated. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the spices (thyme, rosemary, curry powder, cinnamon, cumin), followed by the pumpkin, mushrooms, and rice. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to low/medium low.
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  3. Add one cup of the vegetable broth. Now the stirring starts! Stir until the rice absorbs the liquid. When it’s absorbed, add another cup of broth. Stir continuously, then add more broth, repeating this process until you’ve used all 4 cups of broth and the risotto has thickened. This will take awhile.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with parmesan or crumbled goat cheese.
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Pumpkin Bread Cookies

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From September to November, it’s hard not to notice the pumpkin-flavored craze: lattes, muffins, granola bars, doughnuts, ice cream… This year, I even saw pumpkin-flavored vodka. I know it’s February, but personally, I’m a big supporter of year-round pumpkin consumption.

These cookies are soft and moist: a little cake-like, a little cookie-like. They are very fluffy right out of the oven, but they sink down a little bit as they cool. They are best if you let them sit for a little while; the pumpkin flavor (and orange color) becomes much more pronounced.

Ingredients

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plain or vanilla greek yogurt*
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2  bag semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (~6oz)

*can be substituted for another 1/4 cup oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F

  1. Place all of the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Using a mixer, stir until well-combined.
  2. Add the dry ingredients. Mix until well-combined.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  4. On a baking sheet line with parchment paper, drop spoonfuls of the dough.
  5. Bake the cookies at 350°F for approximately 12 minutes.