Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Recipes for Halloween and Any Day

The Dona Elena Cuisinera Club (DECC) recently sponsored a meet-up with its club's members and mommy bloggers (including me) to show us how to prepare three delicious meals using pumpkin as a basic ingredient.

These 3 dishes were appropriate for Halloween but I think that these will be just as good any day of the year.

What I love about Dona Elena is that I'm able to buy olive oil for cooking or for my salads without spending an arm and a leg. You know how expensive olive oil can be. And yet, I splurge on this every so often, knowing that it is the healthiest oil there is.

Dona Elena olive oil is known to be rich in antioxidants, counteracting the harmful effects of free radicals which place us at risk for heart disease and certain cancers.

For this session, we were introduced to the health benefits of pumpkin, as well (the more common variety is squash or, as we call it in the Philippines -- kalabasa). Here's why you should consider pumpkin as part of your family's dish ingredients:

- phytonutrients prevent cell mutations
- for men's health, it helps reduce risk of prostate cancer
- its orange-red carotenoid helps reduce risk of emphysema and has anti-cancer properties
- reduces chances of birth defects, heart attack, and the folate promotes colon health
- the betacarotene is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, protects vs diabetes, regulates blood sugar, and reduces the severity of conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis
- potassium helps lower blood pressure
- it has other nutrients such as Vitamin C, fiber and more

Halloween is just a few days away so if you're looking for yummy treats to serve up on that day, here are 3 recipes for Pumpkin and Sausage Pasta; Pumpkin, Tomato and Basil Soup; and Pumpkin and Shrimp Fritters (popularly known as Okoy).



2 tbsp.  olive oil
1 pc white onion, chopped
400 gms  sausage, sliced (Italian/ Hungarian)
4 cloves garlic, minced
500 gms  pumpkin, diced
1 cup  chicken stock
½ cup  heavy cream (or 1 cup all-purpose cream)
¼ tsp nutmeg
To taste salt and pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
400 gms  linguini noodles

1. Heat olive oil and sauté onions and garlic.
2. Add the sausages and cook until well done.
3. In a separate pan, boil the stock and add the pumpkin. Simmer until tender.
4. Add cream, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
5. Mash the pumpkin with the cream and stock. Add in the sausage and re heat the sauce.
6. Add the dried parsley.
7. Pour the sauce on top of hot pasta.

Healthy note: You may reduce sausage to 300 gms and replace heavy cream with yogurt.



500 gms  pumpkin, diced
1 cup whole peeled tomatoes, quartered
4 cups chicken broth
8 pcs carrots, diced
1 pc onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
½ stick butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup  all-purpose cream


1. Cook pumpkin and carrots in the stock until tender.
2. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil and butter together and sauté the onions and mushrooms.
3. Add the tomatoes.
4. Add in the softened carrots and pumpkin (keep the stock) and sauté all together. Remove from heat and let cool.
5. Puree stock and other ingredients in a blender.
6. Put back in a pot and add the cream and basil.
7. Simmer for about 8 minutes or until thickened.
8. Serve with croutons on top.

Healthy note: You may replace the all-purpose cream with yogurt



4 cups  pumpkin, grated
½ kg  suaje, head on, spiny parts removed
1 pc red onion, finely sliced
1 cup  carrots, grated
½ cup  cornstarch
2 pcs eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil (for frying)


1. Combine the pumpkin, carrots, onions, cornstarch, agg and salt and pepper in a bowl.
2. Mix in the shrimp.
3. Form the mixture into patties. Place 1-2 pieces of shrimp on each patty.
4. Heat the olive oil for frying.
5. Deep fry the okoy until the patties turn golden brown in color.
6. Drain excess oil on paper towels.
7. Serve with vinegar dip.

One last thing: You may want to join the Dona Elena Cuisinera Club and learn all the healthy cooking tips, meet other members, exchange recipes and join the club's year-round events. Visit their site at

No comments: