Is there a food you absolutely hated as a kid? Most children are picky eaters, but we generally grow out of it as we get older and more adventurous … or just exposed to different (better) preparations. When I was little, I would rather sit at the table until bedtime than have anything to do with things like beans, cooked peas, squash or carrots. Most of that I’ve gotten over.
That being said, I was excited about the dish I was assigned for a recent Swanson recipe email: Pumpkin Chickpea Curry. Pumpkin? Favorite! Garbanzo beans? Yes, please! And I love a good curry, so it definitely sounded promising. It also gave me another opportunity for my newest kitchen hobby: DIY groceries. A while back I looked at some of the prepackaged things I buy regularly and thought, “I bet I could do this myself.” Refried beans, for example: Surprisingly limited vegetarian versions, loads of unpronounceable preservatives, and a lot of wasted food since I’d never use the whole can before it went bad. Also amazingly easy to make at home. So when I saw the pumpkin puree in the curry recipe, I grabbed a couple little pumpkins from the farmers’ market and set about making my own puree.
All you need is a big knife, an oven, and a food processor or blender. Quarter and gut the pumpkins, roast at 350˚ F for 45 minutes or until you can easily stab the pieces with a fork. Scoop the meat off of the skin and toss it in the food processor; let that whir away until creamy. Feel free to add water if it gets too heavy. Two pumpkins (each was just a bit bigger than a cantaloupe) yielded 8 cups of organic, preservative-free, additive-free, creamy, delicious puree. With the prevalence of pumpkin-themed recipes this time of year, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to use or share it. *Bonus points for getting roasted pumpkin seeds out of the deal, too.
The recipe—courtesy of blogger Faith over at An Edible Mosaic—went over well here at the office. Warm and filling, it's full of tasty things like ginger, Garam Masala and coconut milk and healthful things like carotenoids, lutein, and fiber. The pumpkin complements coconut and curry flavors beautifully. Cooked carrots, however? One of the great perks of being an adult is that no one can make me eat them if I don’t want to.