Stuffed Pumpkin Recipe - Revisited

October. The month of falling leaves, rusty ochre, and pumpkins. Blogging is still a weird, new world to me; shy little thang, sharing my words with strangers. I was surprised to see a recipe that I posted two years ago get a bunch of hits this month, and I honestly don't remember how well it turned it out, so it's time to revisit the Vegan Stuffed Pumpkin!

Note: this recipe is not vegan, but it could easily be adapted. You can use a meat substitute such as ground Quorn, TVP, tofu, tempeh, or you can skip the substitute to add more quinoa and veggies.

Stuffed Pumpkin Recipe - Revisited!
Stuffed Pumpkin

(loosely adapted from MotherEarthNews)

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 2/3 cup water/broth
3 sausages or whatever substitute you desire (I used chicken-apple sausages...yum)
butter or ghee for sauteing 
1 large onion,  chopped
1/2 of a red bell pepper (eat the other half, pronto!)
2 small apples, chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
2 eggs
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp basil
1 tsp sage
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 small pie pumpkins

The Pumpkin:
Preheat the oven to 350.
Firstly, clean the outside really really well.
Cut the tops off, scoop out the seeds and scape all the pulp out.
Save those seeds for roasting!
Coat the inside with melted butter/ghee/oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Bake while you prepare the other ingredients!

The Stuffing: 
Start with the quinoa:
Rinse thoroughly! It's full of saponins that are likely to turn your stomach.
After it's rinsed, heat quinoa and water/broth until boiling, then simmer until done. (I cheat a little here and add veggie Better Than Bullion to the water - makes the quinoa so good!)

Brown the sausage:
Cut the casings off the sausage and mash up a bit in the pan.
Browning and mashing as you go.
You might have to pour the grease off a few times (I saved it for later sauteing)
Once thoroughly cooked, set aside for later.

And then the veggies: 
Melt a dab of butter or ghee in a large skillet. (I use cast iron for everything)
Sauté the onion and red pepper until they are slightly softened.
Throw in the rest of your seasonings.
Add the apple and cook until golden.
Make some room in the center of the pan, add a little more butter/ghee and cook the garlic until translucent and fragrant.

Mix mix!
Mix together the cooked quinoa, sausage, sauteed veggies, raisins, and walnuts (soaked first, if you prefer).
Wisk two eggs and mix into this concoction.

Stuff 'em!
Stuff your "stuffing" into the pre-baked pumpkins.
My pumpkins were tiny! I had enough to fill four so I froze the rest.

Bake 'em!
@ 325 degrees for another hour or so, depending on the size of your pumpkin.

I only had time for this super quick picture before running off to see my midwife, and as soon as we got home, our dinner guest was waiting at the door!

To serve: Cut pumpkin in half, then peel the outerbits off (they come off super easily if baked long enough!)

Yield: Two pumpkins were more than enough for three people (we each ate less than half of one) especially if you serve it with other yummy things, like...

Roasted Brussels Sprouts!
Wash 'em. Trim stems and outer leaves. Cut in half.
Toss in melted butter. Bake! 

I baked them with the pumpkin for about half an hour then turned the oven off and let everything coast for a few hours. 
Dinner parties are one of my favorite things! 

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