In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought we’d talk a little bit about pumpkin. And seriously, in the season of dry skin, what else is there to discuss as the temperature drops around us. I’m serious, these days my skin looks like I have a serious problem. No lie, I literally Googled ‘itchy arms’ today and went through a slide show titled, ‘The Ten Most Common Skin Rashes’ on WebMD. The good news: I am 95% sure I do not have ring worm. Fingers crossed. PS – when did googled become a verb?
Let’s get back to pumpkin. Boasting ~50 calories per cup (cubed), this little wonder should be a fall/winter staple in your kitchen. While it’s low in calories and fat, it also contains an ample, almost excessive, amount of vitamin A – a key nutrient in maintaining healthy skin, teeth, bone, retina and soft tissue. It is found in vegetables and fruits in the form of pro-vitamin A, beta carotene. If you did not know, beta carotene is an antioxidant crucial in protecting cells from damage.
For more benefits of the beautiful of pumpkin, click here.
In the meantime, here is one mean pumpkin recipe sure to provide you with warm comfort food during the week or please your Thanksgiving Day (Vegetarian) crowd.
Kale, Pumpkin and Chickpea Skillet
Serves 4-6 (entree)
1 bunch of kale, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh pumpkin
1 can chickpeas, partially drained
1 small jalapeño, minced*
3 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons fresh grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
Heat a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat, add chickpeas and simmer for ~10 minutes until liquid is mostly absorbed. Add minced jalapano and continue to sautee until liquid is gone and pepper is slightly cooked.
Meanwhile, in a duct oven, heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add pumpkin and continue sauté for ~15 minutes until pumpkin is fork tender.
Stir in kale and garlic cook for another 3 minutes until kale has wilted and garlic is fragrant, but not browned.
Remove from heat. Fold in chickpeas, walnut, parmesan and lemon juice.
Plate and serve!
Jalapeño – I kept 1/2 the seeds from the pepper, feel free to adjust seed amount. The more seeds, the hotter this dish.