If you’re a pumpkin lover, then today is your special day. Because it’s the second annual Virtual Pumpkin Party hosted by Sara from Cake Over Steak. Which means that dozens and dozens of brand spanking new savory and sweet pumpkin recipes from some of your favorite food bloggers will be hitting the internet. It’s kind of epic.
Me? I’ve never really been bitten by the pumpkin bug. In fact, I’m sometimes even audibly opposed to the whole idea. Part of this is for social/cultural reasons. I just can’t stand the pumpkin mania that descends upon us every August. It’s too soon. August is for eating watermelon until your hands and face are sticky. And for enjoying fruity cocktails in the sun until you feel that warm glow both inside and out. August is not meant for pumpkin. So I find myself shunning pumpkin, maybe more harshly than it deserves. Because in my own weird way, it’s how I rebel against the early adopters.
Also, I’ve come to realize that I’m just not a super huge fan of either the canned stuff or the overpowering flavor that can come from pre-made pumpkin spice mixes. Sure, I’ve used them in the past with success. And I probably will again in the future. There is no denying their convenience. But maybe going forward, they won’t be my main source for pumpkin inspiration.
So to try to learn to love pumpkin (or at least to not so fiercely oppose it), I’m setting my focus on the fresh stuff. Real pumpkins. Grown locally and harvested in season. And you know what? I may be turning over a new leaf.
For last years #virtualpumpkinparty, I crafted this festive Pumpkin Beertail with Tequila and Spiced Rum (have you seen the color of this baby?). So this year, I decided to go the savory route. I picked up some fresh pumpkins from the local farm stand (the ones for cooking will be labeled “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins”) and got to work at creating this easy Chicken and Pumpkin Chili. It’s super hearty, filled with big chunks of pumpkin, shredded chicken and both white and black beans. And it’s loaded with warming spices like ginger and cumin. Oh and don’t skip the corn tortilla chips for serving. They are absolutely necessary, in my humble opinion.
To make my life easier, I used shredded chicken that I removed from one of those grocery store rotisserie chickens. It’s one of my favorite kitchen shortcuts, and I have no shame in admitting that. But you can cook your own chicken at home and use that instead, if you prefer.
Dismantling a whole pumpkin can be a bit intimidating. And I’m certainly no expert at this task. I cut mine into wedges, scooped out and discarded the seeds. Then removed the skin with a standard vegetable peeler before dicing the flesh into cubes. If you have a better way of handling things, please let me know! Oh and if you’re opposed to pumpkin (or simply can’t find any fresh ones), you can substitute in an equal amount of peeled and cubed butternut squash or sweet potato.
Recipe adapted from Gluten Free Goddess
Disclosure: I’m so happy to be able to give you all a peek into Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon. Thanks for letting me share this beautiful cookbook with you!
I was traveling for work last week, and about half way through the trip all I could think about was coming home and making up a big batch of this soup. Because even though exploring new restaurants and trying out new food items is one of the best reasons to travel (in my humble opinion), I do have my breaking point when it comes to eating out. Restaurant food is often much heavier than what I typically cook at home. And the portion sizes can be overwhelming as well. So usually after a few days of hitting up the restaurant scene, I start craving healthy, home cooked meals like nobody’s business.
The recipe for this bright, flavor-packed Creamy Thai Carrot Sweet Potato Soup with Roasted Tamari Almonds is straight out of Angela Liddon’s new cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day. You’ve probably seen it or heard about it by now. Because it’s taken the blogosphere by storm since it’s release earlier this month (kind of like her first cookbook, The Oh She Glows Cookbook, did back in 2014!).
Psst! I’m giving away a copy to one lucky reader! Keep scrolling to enter!
Oh She Glows Every Day is a collection of over 100 plant-based recipes that will appeal to vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Angela’s recipes are casual and straight-forward, but never boring. That’s because Angela has a knack for adding one or two unexpected ingredients to many of her dishes, which not only keeps things interesting, but also totally makes you want to stop and say “hmmm…why didn’t I think of that?”. For example, this soup contains a 1/4 cup of almond butter, which gives it a great creamy texture. And her homemade basil pesto sauce (SO GOOD!) uses hemp hearts to boost protein and omega-3 fatty acids. The whole book is sprinkled with little twists like these. It’s seriously genius.
Oh and the photography (taken by the talented Ashley from Edible Perspective) is insanely gorgeous as well. I could just sit and stare at the images in this cookbook all day long!
I’m excited to be able to give away a copy of Oh She Glows Every Day to one lucky reader. Hooray! All you have to do is leave me a comment below, telling me your favorite Fall vegetable. The giveaway will be open until October 3, 2016. After which I will randomly select a winner and notify them by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to me with their shipping address (United States shipping addresses only, please!), or I will select an alternate winner. Good luck! Update: This giveaway has ended and a winner has been chosen. Thanks to all those who participated!
Reprinted with minor adaptations from Oh She Glows Every Day by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2016, Glo Bakery Corporation.