Welcome back to our monthly veggie round up.
This is a great group of gals I get to pal around the internet with. Every month they knock my socks off with delicious & nutritious ideas & of course, October is no different! Naturally, we couldn’t resist pumpkin mania this month. I can’t tell you how many dishes I’ve made with pumpkin in them but… we’ll say it’s a lot.
Pumpkin is such a lovely winter squash. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 200% of your daily intake of Vitamin A, which specifically helps support your vision. Pumpkin is also rich in fiber as well as containing beta-carotene which may aid in cancer prevention. Probably most interesting to me is that pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, (anyone else remember that Seinfeld episode?) which can help in producing serotonin, a hormone that can influence your moods.
About 10 years ago, I bought this cook book when we were living in England. It was a British, Good Housekeeping Vegetarian Cook Book. I poured over the beautiful pictures & found myself fascinated by one that was of a stuffed pumpkin. I put it on my mental ‘to cook’ list but somehow never went back to it.
Fast forward about 10 years & I finally got brave. I picked up a few pumpkin pie pumpkins at my local indoor farmer’s market for 2 bucks a piece. I figured I couldn’t go wrong so I went home to stuff em.
Cutting & scraping the pie pumpkins is actually a bit easier than the big monster ones we hack away at for jack o’lanterns. Just use a really sharp knife & spoon. You’ll want to use any extra flesh that comes away by chopping it up & using it in your meat mixture. You can really use as much or as little as you like.
Stand back & be impressed with how thoroughly you’ve cleaned your pumpkin!
Typically, when people ‘stuff’ things they use things like bread or rice. I wanted this to be something Arthur could eat so I decided to stuff it with beef, bacon & vegetables. A word about eating bacon on GAPS: bacon is technically an illegal food for the GAPS diet because it is cured with preservatives & sugar. Some consider nitrate free bacon a GAPS ‘cheat’. I encourage you to use your judgement when going outside of the GAPS protocol. I chose a bacon that was nitrate free & contained only trace amounts of sugar & it’s not something I would feed Arthur every day or even every week.
I thought about using sausage for the stuffing, which I still think would be lovely, but decided to go with bacon & grass fed ground beef, mushrooms & onions. I also wanted the flavors to be warm & spicy, kinda like fall so I went with cinnamon, all spice & cardamom.
After I’d sautéed the meat & combined everything, I threw in a handful of kale for color. That’s pretty much my mantra these days – add a handful of kale.
Once your mixture is ready, stuff your pumpkin.
Put the lid back on, place on a baking sheet & cook until the skin has darkened & it cuts easily with a knife. I like to serve mine in slices!
Grain-Free Stuffed Pumpkin
Don’t forget to check out all the other great pumpkin posts!
Elaina from The Rising Spoon: Maple Spice Pumpkin Butter
Laura from Storybook Reality: Pumpkin Chocolate Chili
Katja from Savory Lotus: Baked Pumpkin Custard
Allison from The Sprouting Seed: Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
And don’t forget to check out our community Pinterest board!
- 1 3-4lb Pie Pumpkin
- Reserved Pumpkin Flesh, diced
- 1 lb Grass Fed Ground Beef
- 8 oz Nitrate Free Bacon
- 1 Onion, diced
- 4 oz Mushrooms, chopped
- 1 Heaping Cup of Kale, chopped
- 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
- ½ Teaspoon All Spice
- ½ Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cut the top off your pumpkin & using a sharp knife & a spoon, scrape away flesh & seeds.
- If you desire, you can carve out more flesh to chop up & use in the stuffing mixture.
- Set pumpkin aside.
- In a pan, fry bacon till crispy.
- Remove the bacon to drain & chop once it's cooled.
- In the remaining bacon grease, add the Cinnamon, All Spice & Cardamom & stir until they are fragrant. This won't take long. Be careful they don't burn.
- Add the onions, mushroom & bits of carved pumpkin to the bacon grease & stir until the onions are soft & translucent.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, pour them into a dish & cook the beef in your pan. (Or you can just use two pans at once; one to fry the veg & one to fry the meat).
- After your beef is crumbled & cooked through, add the vegetable mixture, the chopped bacon & a big handful of chopped kale.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Taste to see how much salt & pepper you need. This will depend on the saltiness of your bacon!
- Place you pumpkin on a baking sheet & fill with your meat & vegetable mixture.
- Place the lid back on the pumpkin & place in your oven for 1 hour & 15 minutes or until the pumpkin can be cut easily with a knife.
- Remove from the oven & let sit for a few minutes before slicing!