Chef Wendell: Thai pumpkin stir fry

Chef Wendell cooks up a fall themed dish on September 20, 2015. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Researchers world-wide reveal a poor diet is one of the leading causes for early death. This fall eat pumpkins-o-plenty. The orange super-star of autumn foods is a healthy powerhouse that can be used as an appetizer, in an entrée, dessert or side dish.

Thai Pumpkin Stir Fry
Serves: 2 – 4
2 cups roasted ‘Pie’ pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes (recipe for baking pumpkin below)
1-1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced thin
1 cup kale, washed, de-stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup scallions (use white and green sections) cut into 1 lengths
½ cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. raw honey
2 Tbsp. wheat-free soy sauce to taste
1/4 lime for squeezing

Heat coconut oil in sauté pan over med-high heat. Add the jalapeno and garlic and fry until the garlic softens. Not overcooked.

Add the kale and allow it to wilt.

Now add the pumpkin, toss to coat with oil, and add 2 Tbsp. soy sauce.

Add soy sauce, honey, salt and pepper.

Turn the heat to low and simmer for one or two minutes. If it begins to dry out add more water to make a little sauce.

Don’t walk away or over mix.

When pumpkin is warmed (still a tad firm), add the scallions and squeeze a bit of lime juice over the mixture. Cook for 30 seconds more and remove from the heat.

Serve over a bed of quinoa or brown rice.

Garnish with chopped almonds.
Roasting a 1 to 2 pound Pie Pumpkin
A sharp knife
9 x 13 baking pan
1 small pie pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350F and grab a small 2-3 pound sugar pumpkin.

First sharpen your knife. You don’t want to use a dull knife on any squash.

Slice the stem off before slicing in half so you don’t have to slice through the stem. Remove the top.

Slice in half.

With a sharp-edged metal tablespoon with a sharp edge or a metal ice cream scoop, remove the seeds & guts.

Place face down in the 9 x 13 pan. Pour in water so it’s about ¼ inch up the side of the gourd.

Roast at 350F for about 35-40 minutes. The exact time will vary depending on the size of the pumpkin(s) and you may need more or less time.

The skin will be slightly darker and you should be able to poke a fork easily through.

While it’s still warm, peel off the skin much like you would a roasted beet.

Cut into 1 inch cubes.

Side dish suggestion: At this point, mash the orange gold like mashed potatoes and add butter, cinnamon, sautéed onions, honey and a pinch of salt.

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