Thai-Inspired Pumpkin and Soba Noodles

thai pumpkin soba noodles 3

thai pumpkin soba noodles

thai pumpkin soba noodles 2

thai pumpkin soba noodles 4

thai pumpkin soba noodles 5

thai pumpkin soba noodles 6

If you know me by now, you know I love flavor.  Heat.  Spice.  Crunch.  This meal could be made with just the pumpkin noodles, but I had a box of soba noodles, so I decided to combine them.  Grating the pumpkin into noodles is definitely a workout and you will use way more muscle than grating a carrot…But what can I say?  It’s worth it.  The pumpkin noodles and soba noodles are perfectly paired–they play off each other’s nuttiness and the pumpkin adds a hint of sweetness to the spicy heat.  No, I was not just describing my relationship with my husband; I was in fact describing dinner.

I used a whole box of soba noodles and about 2 cups of grated pumpkin.  For the written recipe, I am cutting all the ingredients in half.  Don’t worry, there will still be plenty to share.


THAI-INSPIRED PUMPKIN AND SOBA NOODLES

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: pretty easy, except for that workout grating the pumpkin...
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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 box soba noodles
  • 1 cup grated pumpkin in long strips
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, julienned
  • 1/2 carrot, outer peel removed and continue grating into long, thin strips
  • 1/2 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, and finely diced (you can use more or less, depending on your heat preference)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, stems removed
  • 3-4 scallions, sliced thinly on a large diagonal
  • 2 teaspoons Szechwan seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek (depending on your heat preference)
  • 1 tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil (for sautéing the pumpkin noodles)
  • lime slices on the side

DIRECTIONS

  1. Take on the task of grating your pumpkin first.  If you don’t have a handheld Julienne peeler to make your noodles, a “spiralizer” would also work.
  2. Mix the ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and Sambal Oelek, and set aside.
  3. Boil water in a large pot to cook the soba noodles.  Add salt and cook noodles according to package instructions.
  4. While the soba noodles are cooking, pour the sesame oil in a large skillet and heat over medium to medium high heat.  Add the pumpkin noodles, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Saute until the noodles are crisp tender.  Add the snow peas, carrot, jalapeño, and Szechwan seasoning, and continue sautéing for 2-4 more minutes.  You want the veggies to retain fresh crispness.
  5. When the soba noodles are done, drain, and return to the pot.  Add the cilantro, scallions, soy sauce mixture and the sautéed vegetables and pumpkin noodles.  Stir gently to completely mix.  Serve with lime slices and fresh cilantro.

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Pumpkin. It’s What’s For Dinner.

jarrahdale pumpkin

On with our pumpkin-y pumpkin-ness.  This beauty of a pumpkin was in a bin at the grocery store labeled “Autumn Color Pumpkins”.  I looked it up when I got home and discovered its official name is Jarrahdale.  I thought I would be confronting a pale or even white flesh, but imagine my surprise–and delight–when I cut into this pumpkin and found a glowing orange beauty of a pumpkin.

I used this medium-sized pumpkin for four separate meals, two different pastas, a pumpkin noodle dish, and a salad, so stay tuned!  I’m starting with the pastas, because wouldn’t you?!

Making your own pasta isn’t as difficult as you think.  And the results are well worth your time and effort.  I’ve tried a couple different pasta recipes, but my favorite is simply following the directions on the back of the bag from Bob’s Red Mill Semolina Flour.  When you’re adding flavors (i.e. veggies) to your pastas, the most important thing is to make sure you aren’t adding extra liquid.  Roasting is a good way to do that with the heartier vegetables–it adds a ton of flavor while slowly evaporating liquid, resulting in a sweet, creamy, flavorful, ready to eat squash.

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Only don’t dig in yet, we’re going to take it one step further!  Just blend your roasted pumpkin with eggs, water, and olive oil, and add it to your semolina mix.  Stir until it starts to form into a lumpy mass, dump it out on a floured surface, then call in your cutest sous chef to help knead your dough.

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I have dibs on mine.  When I’m making bread or pasta, he always comes running, drags his stool to the counter, and says, “Mama, I can help you mush mush mush!”  We use very technical terms in my kitchen.

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After kneading it and forming it into a ball, let it rest for 20-30 minutes, wrapped in a towel or plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out.  About the time it takes to unload the dishwasher.  Or load it.  Or both.  There always seems to be an abundance of dishes in my sink.  {Except for when my mom visits and she graciously takes on dish duty.  I actually see the bottom of my sink for more than a few hours in the afternoon.}

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jarrahdale pumpkin roasted pasta 9

I normally use my KitchenAid pasta maker, but I got a new gadget I had to try out!  I cut the ball of dough in half and made both Fettuccine and Angel Hair, with the Pumpkin Fettuccine getting gourmet treatment in an Asiago Cream Sauce and topped with toasted walnuts.  Ummmm, yeah.  I’m drooling just typing this out.  Admittedly, this is vegetarian and not plant-based/vegan with the Asiago Cream Sauce, but it’s definitely worth the splurge.  {Or, if you aren’t into splurging, you could always make my Cauliflower Corn Cream Sauce, omitting the half and half.}

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PUMPKIN FETTUCCINE WITH ASIAGO CREAM SAUCE AND TOASTED WALNUTS

  • Servings: 4-6, depending on how hungry you are
  • Difficulty: on the harder end, since everything is from scratch--but well worth your Saturday afternoon
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I followed Bob’s Red Mill Semolina Flour Basic Pasta Recipe, and added Roasted Pumpkin.  You can definitely break up the labor over a couple of days–roast the pumpkin one day, store in the fridge, and add it to your pasta mix within 2-4 days from roasting.  Also, I used this amount of dough to make two different pasta dinners that served 2 hungry adults and had a small container of leftovers the next day.  If you wish to have less, cut the ingredients in half.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTA

  • 1 1/2 cups semolina flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup roasted pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

INGREDIENTS FOR THE ASIAGO CREAM SAUCE

  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups asiago cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the pumpkin into large chunks, skin on, cleaned of seeds, and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place on a cookie sheet and roast on the middle rack in the oven for at least one hour.  The pumpkin should be soft when poked with a knife or fork.  Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Mix semolina flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the center.  In the blender, mix the roasted pumpkin, eggs, water, and olive oil until blended to a smooth consistency.  Add to the semolina flour and stir together until a rough dough forms.
  3. Use all-purpose flour to cover the work surface and to add to the dough while kneading.  Dump the dough out onto the floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is elastic and soft, not sticky.  You will add up to 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour while kneading.  Once a smooth ball forms from kneading, cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Press the dough through your pasta maker–a fettuccine or linguine will work best for this recipe.  Let the pasta dough rest on parchment paper and fill a large pot with water to boil.
  5. While waiting for water to boil, scald the half and half over low heat; do not let come to a boil.  When you see tiny bubbles forming around the edge of the pot, turn off the heat and add the asiago cheese and stir until smooth.  The sauce will be thin, but the noodles will  slurp up the sauce and help thicken it.  Keep the cream sauce covered and warm until you add the pasta to it.
  6. When the water comes to a boil, season the water with salt and cook the pasta for 4-5 minutes {Fresh pasta cooks much faster than store-bought dry pasta}.  After 4-5 minutes, transfer the pasta to the pot with the cream sauce and let rest, uncovered.  The pasta will continue to cook with the warmth from the cream sauce and thicken.  Serve topped with toasted walnuts.

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Quinoa Pumpkin Black Bean Burgers

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{Recipe + Photo featured in LDS Living Sept/Oct 2016 Issue}

This is a double whammy of a dinner–It’s a Leftover meal as well as a Pumpkin meal!  I had a ton of leftover quinoa from those Cilantro Orange Quinoa Tacos, and thought they would transform perfectly into a quinoa black bean PUMPKIN burger.  Boy was I right!  The extra flavor from orange and cilantro made an amazingly fresh burger, played nicely with the sweet nuggets of roasted pumpkin, and the quinoa developed a toasty, nutty flavor from cooking in the skillet.  This made a perfect fall dinner!

For these burgers, I used a regular orange pumpkin, nothing special, easily found in any patch.  This one was definitely harder to cut and peel than the cinderella pumpkin–acting just like a “normal” winter squash.  Peel and clean, and then dice up your pumpkin to pan-roast.

leftover quinoa pumpkin burgers

leftover quinoa pumpkin burgers 2

I had 6 cups of quinoa, so the recipe reflects that amount.  With 6 cups of quinoa, I used 4 cups of diced pumpkin.  This made 7-8 burgers (based on how much you’re scooping); I cooked 4 to eat that night, and I froze the rest of the patties .

Hi, my name is Michal, and I have a proportion problem:  I ALWAYS cook more food than we eat that night for dinner.  I either need to have more kids, or learn how to reduce cooking amounts.  In the meantime, good things I transform leftovers into new yummy meals, or freeze the rest for quick weeknight dinners later.

leftover quinoa pumpkin burgers 3 leftover quinoa pumpkin burgers 4

Just mix up the quinoa, pan-roasted pumpkin, bread crumbs, and eggs, and form your burgers in equal-sized patties.  If you want to keep it vegan, substitute ground flax seed and water (see recipe).  So easy.

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And so delicious.

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QUINOA PUMPKIN BLACK BEAN BURGERS

  • Servings: makes 7-8 burgers
  • Difficulty: super easy, especially if you have leftover quinoa
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INGREDIENTS FOR THE CILANTRO ORANGE QUINOA
(Just in case you don’t have leftovers)

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2-1 whole jalapeño pepper (depending on the heat you like), seeds and ribs removed, finely diced
  • 1 cup rainbow or red quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice from the same orange, and enough water added to equal 2 1/4 cups total
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

INGREDIENTS FOR THE BURGERS

  • 6 cups cooked cilantro orange black bean quinoa
  • 4 cups pumpkin, diced
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten (for vegan version, mix 1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 2 tablespoons water to equal one egg)
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook the cilantro orange quinoa, if you don’t have leftovers.  Coat the bottom of a medium pot with olive oil and heat to medium.  Saute the onion, garlic, and jalapeño until the onion is soft and translucent.  Add the quinoa and saute until it is dry and slightly toasty.  Add the orange “stock”, zest, and cilantro.  Let come to a boil and then turn down the heat to low and cover the pot.  Let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the stock has been absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through.  You’ll know the quinoa is done when the seed has turned sort of translucent.
  2. When the quinoa is done cooking, turn off the heat, add the black beans, and stir.  Cover and let rest.
  3. If you already have leftover quinoa, start on this step to make your burgers.  Coat a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium to medium-high heat.  Add your diced pumpkin and salt and pepper to taste and saute until the pumpkin is golden and toasty.
  4. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper to place your burgers on while they are waiting to be cooked.
  5. Add the quinoa, pan-roasted pumpkin, breadcrumbs, and eggs in a large bowl, and stir until well combined.  For easy, same-size burger patties, I use a #6 scoop.  Scoop the quinoa pumpkin mixture, and press firmly into a tight ball, then gently flatten on the cookie sheet.  Even with the bread crumbs and eggs as binding, these burgers are a little delicate.  They will firm up as you let them rest on the cookie sheet, or putting in the fridge for a few minutes will also help.
  6. Coat a large skillet with olive oil (you can use the same skillet you used to pan-roast your diced pumpkin) and heat over medium heat.  Cook 4 burgers at a time, browning each side, about 5-7 minutes total.  Serve with toasted hamburger buns, and fav burger toppings of choice.

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