Sunday, October 28, 2012

Crock-pot pumpkin oats and more

Today, everything is pumpkin.
Crockpot Pumpkin Oatmeal

Pumpkin Beef Stew with GF bread
Yesterday we realized that our neighborhood was celebrating Halloween in just a few hours, hastily bought and carved a few pumpkins, and bought way too much candy for the 10 or so groups of kids who dared knock on our door. We don't have any kids, so we don't think of these things until it's almost too late. One year we forgot completely and went out to dinner. We came home to smashed pumpkins in our yard.

After Eric and I eviscerated and knifed three innocent pumpkins, we threw the insides into a bowl stared at the mess, trying to figure out what to do with all that pumpkin. Jor-El, our trusty pumpkin-pie colored dog, stole a few bits of carved-out mouths and eyes and gnawed on them, but that still left me with a large bowl pumpkin bits.

Later, when trick-or-treating was over and the dog had settled down and stopped barking at everyone, we just wanted to sit down and enjoy being childless adults, so we covered the pumpkin parts in plastic wrap and went downstairs to watch James Bond and drink beer.

Today was a little more productive. I started the day off with pumpkin hot chocolate, then fished out all the seeds from the pumpkin brains and toasted them in tamari and ginger. The dog liked those too, but I only let him have the ones that dropped on the floor. Then I started the soup and the oatmeal, baked some GF bread (from a mix), and curled up in bed to read Cloud Atlas while Eric raked leaves in the rain. I told him not to, but he did anyway. By the time he came back inside, freezing and complaining of aches and pains, the soup was ready for him. I sent him upstairs for a long winter's (okay, autumn's) nap.

Crockpot Pumpkin Oats
1 cup steel-cut oats
2 cups fresh pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup almond milk
2 tsp chia seeds (optional)
2 tsp sprouted mung beans (optional)
1/4 cup honey
1 cup of dried berries/nuts (cranberries are good)
2 tbsp ginger syrup (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and put in well-oiled crockpot. I put it on high for an hour, then low for two and a half hours. By then it browned a little on the bottom. This will be my breakfast for most of this week. If anyone sees me look a little orange, it's just pumpkin overload.  

Pumpkin Beef Stew
I used a recipe for Beef and Sweet Potato Stew from Joy the Baker, substituting  pumpkin for the sweet potatoes. I'm pretty sure I poured a lot more than 1/2 cup of GF beer in there, but I drank the rest, so I couldn't tell. I also found a couple of sites that cooked the whole thing in the pumpkin. I might try that next week if I'm feeling adventurous.