Meatless Monday: Wild Rice-Stuffed Pumpkin

Pumpkin stuffed with wild rice makes for a fun and tasty dish. Serve as a light lunch or with an entrée of your choice, and a fresh green salad, for a beautiful fall dinner. This is also a perfect substitute for the centerpiece of the meal, replacing turkey for vegans and vegetarians at Thanksgiving.

IMG_2620-0.JPG
Wild Rice-Stuffed Pumpkin
Vegan, Gluten-Free
Servings: 12

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of uncooked wild rice blend*
2 lb. fresh spinach, stemmed
Low Sodium Gluten-Free Vegetable Broth
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil, divided
6 cups sliced button mushrooms (1 ½ lb.)
1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
1 cup diced celery
3 Tbsp. cloves garlic, minced, divided
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage, divided
4 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, divided
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 6- to 8-lb. cooking pumpkin

Instructions:

1. Prepare wild rice blend according to package directions (using GF vegetable broth instead of water). Transfer to bowl.

2. Bring 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to a boil in bottom of skillet. Add spinach, and cook 4 minutes, or until wilted. Drain, and cool, then squeeze dry, chop, and add to rice in bowl.

3. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, celery, 4 tsp. garlic, 1 Tbs. sage, and 2 tsp. thyme; sauté 10 minutes, or until all liquid has evaporated. Stir in corn and kidney beans, and sauté 3 minutes. Stir mushroom mixture into rice mixture. Fold in pecans, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut top from pumpkin, and scoop out seeds and pulp.

5. Combine remaining 1/4 cup oil, remaining 5 tsp. garlic, 2 Tbs. sage, and 2 tsp. thyme in bowl. Brush oil mixture over inside of pumpkin. Fill pumpkin with rice mixture, cover with top, and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until pumpkin is tender when side is pierced with knife tip. Uncover, and bake 10 to 20 minutes more.

*Variations:

IMG_2621.JPGFor individual servings, bake is small pumpkins and garnish with dried cranberries and toasted pumpkin seeds.

*Quinoa or quinoa/rice combo would be great too and add even more protein per serving.

Recipe from Vegetarian Times

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