It’s Halloween and I’m celebrating it with a little something special this year (and no, it’s not getting my twerk on in a Miley Cyrus costume) but rather by paying tribute to the holiday’s tried and true mascot- the pumpkin!
With an autumn chill permanently in the air, lately all I want for dinner is something warm and comforting. Creamy soups, thick stews and chilis and warm grain bowls are a constant in our house this time of year and I’m always on the lookout for new recipes to add to my repertoire. Enter in this Thai style curry- warm, flavorful, slightly spicy, creamy, thick and filling- this dish is everything I’d want in a comforting fall meal. It also highlights some of the season’s most flavorful produce, particularly the Japanese pumpkin aka Kabocha squash.
Kabocha is my new fave this season, outshining butternut, acorn and perhaps even my most beloved delicata. It’s highly underrated and underused (I believe this is due to it’s unlikely green pumpkin appearance and it’s high difficulty factor when it comes to cutting in half) but tastes absolutely incredible (think rich, BUTTERY goodness).
If tasting like BUTTER isn’t reason enough to try out this gourd, how’s this for convincing? Kabocha is an excellent source of vitamins (A,C,B) , iron and fiber and is low in carbohydrates and calories. It’s completely versatile and can be used as a thickening agent (like in my curry) or the base in soups and sauces. It’s inexpensive and tasty as leftovers (which can last you up to the whole week) so if you’re on a budget like moi, this pumpkin is your NEW pumpkin (ya dig?). Also, please note you don’t have to peel this beast. Just cut it in half, roast upside down and the soft, tasty flesh will fall right off.
For my curry I roast the pumpkin and sweet potatoes while letting the rest of the spices simmer in vegetable broth to give it that distinct Thai flavor. Then simply mash in the squash/potatoes, add some coconut milk, cilantro and fresh lime and feast on it all week. You’ll feel surprisingly full but skinny at the same time. Spooky.
Thai- style Pumpkin Curry
1 medium sized Kabocha Squash cut in half, seeds removed
2 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
2 large carrots peeled and chopped
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp red curry paste
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp GF soy sauce such as Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acid
5 cups vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp maple syrup
Juice of 1 lime
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, Coat pumpkin halves and diced sweet potatoes with coconut oil and sea salt. Place pumpkin halves face down on a large pan or cookie sheet and pierce skin in several areas with a knife. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Bake sweet potatoes in a separate pan for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.
2. While your gourds are roasting, melt coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in red curry paste and diced onions and saute 5-6 minutes or until onions are translucent.
3. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder and sea salt and saute another minute or two. Then add in veggie broth, chopped carrots and GF soy sauce. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes or so.
4. Once squash and potatoes are finished cooking let cool for a bit before adding to the curry mixture. Scoop out the flesh of the squash from the peel and stir into the pot, mixing and mashing well to form the thick curry dish.
5. Add in coconut milk, chopped kale (if you want), maple syrup, fresh lime juice and cilantro. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper or sriracha if you like that heat. If you’d like serve over quinoa or brown rice, or just eat plain out of a bowl (as I like to do). The MLB and I plan to enjoy while watching horror movies and passing out candy to the kiddos.
Happy Halloween indeed!
Disclaimer- The photos I took do not do this curry justice. It’s really hard to make this ish look good, but trust when I say it tastes way better than it looks.