Posts tagged pumpkin

the crust goes… crustless

Here at The Crust life has been going through a lot of ups and downs. Jobs found, jobs quit, jobs found again. We’ve moved three times. It’s no wonder my poor little journal here fell by the wayside. And in the meantime our eating habits haven’t exactly been wonderful. Just four or five posts ago I promised to take my diet in a different direction, but life got in the way again. This time the hubs and I are in it together, and we’re trying it on for six weeks.

The Plan:

  • vegetarian 6 days per week
  • grain-free, refined-sugar-free
  • no soy protein replacements
  • no (well, few) “replacement” baked goods using alternative flour
  • Breakfast: fruit crumble with granola topping of coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. OR soup (miso or broth base with vegetables and poached egg)
  • Lunch: nut-free energy bars for hubs, fruit and nut butters for me
  • Dinner: lettuce wraps, stuffed vegetables, chili, stews, roasted veggie bowls, etc.
  • Snacks: cheeses and lentil/chickpea flour crackers, fruits, nuts

Yesterday was our first day. For me:

  • Breakfast: garlic broth with poached vegetables and stirred in egg (like egg drop)
  • Lunch: apple with peanut butter
  • Dinner: roasted broccoli and sweet potato bowl with beet greens and miso dressing
  • Late Night Snack: pineapple; leftover half-poblano stuffed with corn, goat cheese, and chickpeas

And today:

  • Breakfast: skipped – I still fast when I can
  • Lunch: grapes, apple, peanuts
  • Dinner: pumpkin chipotle chili
  • Late Night Snack: roasted pumpkin with maple syrup and tahini

No pictures tonight, I’m afraid, but I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things gradually. To make up for it, double recipes!


Stuffed Poblanos with Grilled Corn, Goat Cheese, and Chickpeas

(serves 4 as a light meal; add a salad or, if you like, some roasted chicken. if you are sensitive to spicy foods, feel free to use bell peppers or even tomatoes or zucchini)


  • 4 poblano or anaheim peppers
  • 2 ears corn
  • 5 oz. goat cheese (herbed or peppercorn work nicely here)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 c. creme fraiche or yogurt
  • 1/2 red onion, minced


  1. Grill corn directly over the heat, turning every few minutes, until well browned–even slightly charred. Let cool and shuck into the bowl of a food processor. Add goat cheese and chickpeas, and pulse several times until it resembles a chunky paste.
  2. Stir creme fraiche and red onion into goat cheese mixture.
  3. Halve peppers and remove seeds. Fill pepper halves with goat cheese mixture.
  4. Grill 10-20 minutes, or until peppers have softened and charred slightly.


Pumpkin Chipotle Chili

(serves 4; in order to make this meal quicker, I “cheated” a little and added a can of refried beans–or in my case a package of delicious seasoned red beans–in order to get a thicker texture and richer taste without an hour of simmering)


  • 1 small sugar pumpkin
  • olive oil
  • ancho chile powder
  • smoked paprika
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 large or 2 small bell peppers, diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • chili powder
  • 1/2 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 c. chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 6 green onions, diced
  • 2 avocados, diced


  1. Preheat the oven to 425. Peel the pumpkin, cut in half, and remove the seeds and pulp. Set aside half of the pumpkin for another use (I roasted them along with the seeds to eat later). Dice the other half of the pumpkin. Separate the seeds from the pulp, toss with a little olive oil, sprinkle with ancho chile powder and smoked paprika, and spread on a baking sheet. Bake about ten minutes, watching to see that they don’t burn.
  2. Heat 2 T of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add pumpkin and cook, tossing often, until lightly browned on all sides. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook a few minutes, until softened, and then sprinkle with chili powder to taste.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a frying pan over high heat. When hot, add cherry tomatoes and cook, shaking the pan often, until blistered and some have popped open.
  4. Add chipotle peppers, chicken broth, refried beans, black beans, and cherry tomatoes to the pot. Stir until well combined. Heat to boiling, then cover and reduce heat. Cook for about ten minutes, until pumpkin is cooked through.
  5. Divide into four bowls and top with avocado, shredded cheese, green onions, and pumpkin seeds.

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Pumpkin Ginger Cookies

These definitely ended up kind of flat and sticky, so, the ratios are probably a little bit off.  The taste, however, was very nice – sweet and lightly spiced.  No picture since this is from awhile ago and they weren’t very pretty.  When I get around to making them again, I’ll probably update.


  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. spelt flour
  • 2 c. oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Cream butter until light and fluffy.  Add maple syrup and brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until combined.  Add pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla, and beat until thoroughly combined.
  • Fold in remaining ingredients.
  • Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets and bake 10-12 minutes or until done.

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Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie with Teff Pie Crust.

What to do when you have a hankering for pumpkin pie, and realize you have neither sweetened condensed milk nor evaporated milk?  Use another thickened dairy product, of course.  It occurred to me you could probably make pumpkin pie with almost any other dairy product, such as yogurt or sour cream.  I know restaurants and those who want a particularly decadent pie have used heavy cream.  I had buttermilk on hand, so that’s what I used.

As anyone who reads this knows, I’ve been experimenting with non-wheat flours.  I happened to find a recipe for an all-teff crust (teff being an Ethopian grain, used to make injera, a sour, spongy flatbread).  Having heard that teff could be considered deep, rich, and somewhat chocolatey, I thought it would make a suitable substitute for graham crackers.  It was, but next time I might make a combination crust.  Also, this recipe makes enough for there to be quite a thick crust.  If you prefer a thinner crust (or even one of standard thickness), you will have some leftover.

Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie with Teff Crust (1 9-inch pie)


  • 2 c. teff flour
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 3/4 c. whole milk
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 grated whole nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  1. Preheat oven to 425.  For crust, mix first five ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined.  Press into a pie pan, and then bake about 10 minutes, or until cooked.
  2. Lower heat to 350.  Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl, and then pour into prebaked crust.  Bake about an hour, or until pie is just slightly jiggly in the center.  Remove, and let cool to room temperature before serving.

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Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread is one of the first quickbreads I ever made, and remains my very favorite.  The deep base squash flavor combined with autumnal spices is just delicious.  As with the zucchini bread I made earlier in the year, this recipe made an entirely too moist bread, I think from a combination of using applesauce for oil, honey for sugar, and spelt flour for all-purpose, all of which increase the total moisture content.

More specifically, using applesauce and honey increased the moisture content.  When baking with spelt flour, I’ve heard that you are supposed to use 25% less liquid in those recipes, but I have been making recipes that have no liquids in them.  So, I increase the spelt flour until the texture seems correct for what I’m making, and perhaps add a pinch more leavener.

Spelt Pumpkin Bread (makes 1 or 2 loaves – I don’t remember)


  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix all ingredients in the same bowl, careful not to overmix.
  3. Pour into a loaf pan (or two?  I forgot how many loaves this makes)
  4. Bake 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.

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