Thursday, November 1

Pumpkin, Pepita, & Black Bean Quinoa

I learned today: after eating candy nonstop for a week because "it's Halloween," it's very difficult to try and stop abruptly because "Halloween is over." And it's very hard (read: impossible) to sate a chocolate craving with an apple.

I think I may have a sugar problem. 

But with Halloween being a thing of the past this year, I believe that only leaves us with one thing to do. Buy all the half priced candy from the CVS near your office AND the CVS near your apartment. Eat your decorations.

Ok, not all your decorations (unless you decorate solely with candy). Certainly not the skeleton hanging on your front door. Specifically, the little pumpkin you bought because it looks cute in your living room/kitchen/office. I'm talking "pie pumpkins." (I'm sorry, but you can't actually eat the one you carved.)

Didn't do that? I'm sure they're cheap now. Go get one! Next year, plan ahead. Eating decor is so strangely satisfying. (Was that too bossy? Sorry.)

While it would be fun and delicious to whip said pumpkin into a pie, my thoughts were really focused on taking a few steps away from the sugar shaker. This dish is packed with protein and, when it's unaccompanied by the rest of the pie, pumpkin is actually super healthy. Vitamin A anyone? It's important to eat all the colors of the rainbow all year long and not just in the summer. Pumpkins, sweet potatoes and other squashes are perfect seasonal ways to attain this goal.

Pie pumpkins can be hard to hack open. The way I cracked mine was to cut off the top (as if it were a carving pumpkin), scoop out the seeds and microwave the topless (ooh-la-la) pumpkin for 5 minutes. This softened the outside of the pumpkin so that I was able to cut it in half. This also conveniently reduces the roasting time. #winwin


Pumpkin, Pepita, & Black Bean Quinoa
Serves 4

1 pie pumpkin
1 c. quinoa
2 tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp water
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried sage
1-2 tsp sriracha
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Baby spinach

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the pumpkin by removing the top and scooping out the seeds. Set the seeds aside. Microwave the pumpkin for 5 minutes, or until it begins to soften.

While pumpkin is in the microwave, clean the seeds of pulp and pat dry. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Toss the seeds with salt and lay flat on the baking sheet. These will roast for 25 minutes and will need to be stirred at 10 minutes.

Remove pumpkin from the microwave. Cut in half. Place the halves face down on a foil lined baking sheet. This will roast for 20 minutes.

Rinse quinoa and cook according to package instructions (this is usually about 20 minutes as well, so the recipe will be well timed to start this when the pumpkin begins roasting).

Meanwhile, whisk together to EVOO, honey, white vinegar, water, cinnamon, sage, and sriracha.

Once quinoa, and pepitas are finished cooking, toss together with black beans and dressing in a large bowl. The pumpkin can be cut into cubes in the shell (much like you would cut an avocado) and then removed. Add to bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over bed of baby spinach.

I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween!