Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pumpkin Stew Atop Pumpkin Bread (No Added Fat)

Last weekend, we attended a fun vegan potluck dinner. My wife picked up a big pumpkin from the local farmers' market. I had hoped that she would have brought a small one so that I could have put it straight into the pressure cooker and cooked intact for 8 minutes, as my friend Lani Muelrath describes. I had to cut the pumpkin into maybe eight chunks; it was more than done in 7 minutes.

That day, I made a tasty stew that I should replicate at home. I used the following ingredients, cooking the pumpkin for 7m in the high pressure steam mode of my Instant Pot, then peeling and chopping the squash and mixing the rest of the ingredients in:
  • Pumpkin
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Rapunzel brand bouillon cube (yeast extract, palm oil, rice flour, carrot, onion, celery, parsley, turmeric, mace)
  • Ground cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Black salt (kala namak)
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Ceylon cinnamon
  • Tarragon
  • Water
It was quite good (I also added hot sauce at the table)! The pumpkin was soft, which was fine, but I went with a minute less cook time today.
Yesterday, I found an interesting seasonal pumpkin bread. I thought that I'd make a simplified version of the stew and serve it atop a slice of toasted pumpkin bread. Here is what I did:

  • Half of a medium pumpkin cut into large chunks (so they can fit into the pressure cooker; it should end up, after being cut up, to be about 6 cups of pumpkin)
  • 8 ounce package of seitan strips
  • 2 cups onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1 cup corn (I used frozen grilled corn)
  • Spices to taste (my suggested starting point is in parentheses): salt (1/4 t), ground cumin seed (1/8 to 1/4 t), cinnamon (just a pinch), tarragon (1/8 t), and garlic powder (1/2 t)
  • Salsa; I used a pumpkin salsa
  • Toast
  1. I put the pumpkin pieces atop a steamer basket and water in the Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked on high pressure for 6 minutes. The basket is just a metal mesh that keeps the food from touching the bottom of the pot, allowing for quicker and higher temperatures without burning food.
  2. I waited a few minutes then slowly let out remaining pressure.
  3. I waited a few more minutes till I could handle the pumpkin and remove the skin, as well as chop the pumpkin into approximately 3/4" cubes.
  4. I mixed in the remaining ingredients, except the salsa and toast, and served, topped with a dollop of salsa and on the toast.


Dinner was good! Some of the pumpkin was just barely cooked (but it wasn't a problem) and the rest was perhaps a little softer than I'd prefer.

Ideas for the future

If I could be more uniform with pumpkin sections, I might be able to get away with a 5-minute cook time. It was a nice idea to serve atop bread, and could be fun again, but I prefer this and many other kinds of stew with rice.

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