pumped with pumpkin

Pumpkin seems to be floating around blog land these days.

Some of us continue to eat it in everything.  Some of us are screaming “enough already!” 

And then there are those of us who still have a good dozen cans waiting in our pantry.  Just sitting there.  Lost, confused, alone.  Desparately looking for some way to be used and appreciated.

Now, I’ve always been one to err on the side of sweetness when it comes to pumpkin, which is why I always pair it with warm, creamy oatmeal.  Or yogurt topped with crunchy granola.  But now—with November being over and all—I felt that I needed a change.  A bite of something completely new.

With that in mind, my lunch evolved.

Thursdays require me to pack a lunch the night before.

I’ve learned to embrace this time spent alone in the kitchen at night, trying to think up what it is that I want to eat the following day.  I flick on some Christmas music, pull my comfiest of wool socks on, and dance around the kitchen while preparing my meal.  Speaking of which, whoever said cooking is serious business, obviously did not know what they were talking about.  The less serious you are, the better things will turn out.  Having fun and enjoying the creation of a meal is the key to success! 😀

First, I tossed a couple handfuls of baby romaine leaves with a tsp of olive oil and sea salt.  This is a simple way to up your veggie intake.  It also creates a nice bed for whatever foods are tickling your fancy at the moment. 

With pumpkin on the brain and a bag of leftover whole wheat pasta sitting in the fridge, I created what I now call “pasta with pumpkin and sage.”

I didn’t take any exact measurements, but I did taste a little as I went, just to be sure that the seasonings were exactly where I wanted them to be.  Remember, when you are cooking solely for yourself, there is no need to primp and ponder whether everything tastes exactly like it should.  If you love it, that is all that matters. 😉

The rest of my snacks and lunch itmes included a mini whole wheat bagel smeared with roasted red pepper hummus… 

…a handful of almonds…

…a mini luna white chocolate macadamia bar just for fun…

…and a container of pineapple and red pears.

I received this Luna bar at the recent nutrition expo that I went to.

My thoughts were that it was just “okay.”  Honestly, I don’t think I would actually ever buy one for myself, as all the flavors seem to blend and taste the same to me after awhile!  But it did make for a nice mini-sized snack, and I can see how it would come in handy for an “emergency snack.”  They’re small enough to stash in a purse or to have on hand before or after a visit to the gym.  Still.  I think I’d rather have a handful of almonds or a fruit instead.  Much more satisfying. 😀

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sage

 If you’re looking for a new way to use your canned pumpkin, give this simple, savory dish a try!  I never thought I’d live to see the day, but I can honestly say that I much prefer savory pumpkin to sweet!  There’s something wonderful about sage and pasta mixing and mingling with creamy pumpkin.  These three simple ingredients really do go very well together. 

The addition of lemon juice is a must in this dish!  It (along with the garlic!) gives the dish such a lovely bite, pulling it all together.  Feel free to change things up as you go!  I’m pretty sure nutmeg and/or thyme would be two interesting ingredients to play with as well.  

  • 1 c. cooked whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. canned white beans, drained and rinsed
  • a few dashes of sage
  • one or two sprinkles of cinnamon
  • garlic powder to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • sea salt to taste
  • a few splashes of lemon juice (be semi-generous with this!  It offers a wonderful flavor)
  • lettuce, olive oil, sea salt (optional)
  • toppings (optional): walnuts, cranberries, pepitas, etc.
  1. Combine all ingredients from pasta to lemon juice together in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Toss together lettuce, oil and sea salt.
  3. Top the lettuce mixture with the pasta mixture.  Place in fridge for following morning’s lunch or eat right away.
  4. ENJOY! 😀

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My room is officially filled with Christmas cheer! :mrgreen:

This little tree stands a meer 2 feet tall, but it’s sending such a warm glow throughout my room.  I love it!  I can’t wait until the official tree is put up next week. 😀

Question: When do you usually put up your Christmas tree?

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12 thoughts on “pumped with pumpkin

  1. we will b putting ours up around the 10th, very eciting! 🙂 pumpkin+butternut squash, mashed togther+v.good combo! also, pumpkin coconut curry=delish! xx

  2. This looks delicious!

    We never put our tree up before the 2nd half of December. I think the last two years we’ve actually put it on Christmas Eve due to me and my brother getting home there for school break. This year I’d like to put it up a bit earlier, though, so maybe next weekend and if not, then the one that follows. 🙂

  3. Your lunch creation looks very good! Go Pumpkin!! I’m planning on putting a christmas tree up in my room today…while listening to christmas music, of course.

  4. My tree is already up! Yours is adorable 🙂
    I’m with you on the luna bar thing… I find nuts or fruit to be so much more satisfying than any silly bar. And all luna bars tend to taste the same to me!

  5. Sounds good! I’ve never had a savory pumpkin dish – I should really try this out for my lunches next week!

    We’re getting our tree tomorrow!! I’m SO excited – I can’t wait to sit by it in the mornings while I read and feel the warm Christmas glow…and smell the heavenly Christmas scent 🙂

  6. That looks rather strange but also kind of amazing. Totally going on my gluten cheat list (can’t/shouldn’t eat it too often, but sometimes I just want pasta, and damn the upset stomach)! 😀

    We usually get the Christmas tree on November 30th, my mom’s birthday. We’re late this year…

  7. I love the sound of this recipe!! Neat mix of flavours, I imagine, and so nutritious.

    That’s the cutest little tree. My family normally doesn’t put up ours until a few days before Christmas, since my sister and I haven’t been living at home the last few years and we were the impetus for decorations, haha. But we always get it up and decorated eventually, and it usually stays up for many weeks after Christmas 🙂

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