Happy Halloween! There’s nothing spooky or scary about the following pumpkin-colored recipes because you can make them before the festivities.
Children of all ages like hummus. Typically, hummus is made with chickpeas and tahini, but I substituted organic red lentils cooked in vegetable stock for the chickpeas. The rest of the ingredients are basically the same: garlic, lemon juice, spices and extra virgin olive oil. This colorful tasty hummus will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. (If you like a chunkier hummus, add drained canned chickpeas to the lentil puree.) It’s the perfect dip for crudités and pita chips at Halloween.
When everyone returns from trick-or-treating, pumpkin vegetable curry is an ideal “savory supper.” Arrange small bowls of roasted peanuts, raisins or sundried cranberries, toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped scallions and bell peppers and chopped crystallized ginger to sprinkle over the curry. Grownups and kids will love this dish (it’s a good way to get them to eat vegetables) because it’s reminiscent of pumpkin pie.
P.S.: If you want protein, add cubed roasted or grilled chicken breast after the vegetables are cooked and simmer until the chicken is hot.
For dessert make Jerry’s sugarless chocolate sauce with apple slices for “dunking.” Happy Halloween!
Red Lentil Hummus(Yields about 2 cups)2 cups organic red lentils, picked over
About 1 quart of vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon turmeric or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander or more to taste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, or more to taste
2 large lemons, juiced
2 to 3 large cloves garlic, minced
About 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Snipped chives or chopped parsley for garnish
Optional: 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsedTo prepare:Rinse lentils under cold running water, transfer to a large saucepan over moderate high heat. Add stock and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook until the lentils are very tender, (add more stock if necessary) about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove from the heat, let cool 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer the lentils to a food processor bowl fitted with the stainless steel blade and process until nearly smooth. If using, add drained chickpeas and process until well blended.
Add turmeric, coriander and smoked paprika and process until blended.
Through the feeding tube, add half of the lemon juice, garlic, and oil and process until blended. Taste and correct the seasonings and consistency. Add more lemon juice, salt and pepper as needed.
Transfer the hummus to a clean container, float a thin film of extra virgin olive oil to completely cover the hummus, add the lid, and store in the refrigerator. Garnish with chives or parsley and serve with crudités and pita crisps.Pumpkin Vegetable Curry(Serves 6)1, 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1, 15-ounce cup of pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, or more to taste
2 tablespoons maple syrup, or more to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons red curry paste
About 3 cups vegetable stock or waterFor the vegetables:1 small head broccoli, separated into small florets – 1 heaping quart
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets – 1 heaping quart
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
2 medium zucchini, sliced into coins
4 or 5 Peruvian purple potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small cubes
1 to 2 cups green peas, defrostedFor the garnishes:1 cup plain yogurt cheese or thick Greek yogurt
1 cup salted roasted peanuts
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
1 cup raisins or sundried cranberries
About 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1 bunch cilantro leaves,
Optional: 3 chilies, seeded and choppedTo prepare:In a deep saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk coconut milk, pumpkin puree, spices, and maple syrup together, and bring to a boil. With a hand-held immersion blender, puree the mixture until it is smooth.
Stir in the red curry paste, reduce the heat to low, and simmer to blend the flavors, for five to seven minutes.
Add the vegetables and just enough stock or water to barely cover them, cover the pan, bring to a simmer, and cook until the vegetables are crunch tender, about five to seven minutes.
Taste and adjust the seasonings. For more spice, add chilies or extra curry paste.
If the sauce is too thick, add a small amount of vegetable stock or water at a time until desired consistency is attained.
Cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight for optimum flavor.
To serve, reheat on stove top over low heat until steaming hot.
Ladle the curry into shallow soup bowls and pass the condiments at the table.Jerry’s Sugarless Chocolate Sauce With Apple Slices(Serves 4-6)3 ripe bananas, sliced
About 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, or more to taste
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon non-alcoholic pure vanilla extract or more to taste
About 1 tablespoon cold water
Crisp red apples, cored and slicedTo prepare:Working the food processor fitted with the stainless steel blade, add bananas, cocoa, salt and vanilla, and puree until smooth. Add water if necessary to create a sauce consistency. Taste and adjust the amount of cocoa.
To serve, slice apples and arrange them on a small dessert plate, drizzle or spoon chocolate sauce in the center.