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Roasted Stuffed Pumpkin with Shiitake Mushroom Gravy

This delicious centerpiece makes for a beautiful vegetarian meal!

Hands-on Time: 20 min. | Total Time: 2 hr. | Serves: 6-8| Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:
  • 1 (3 lb.) pie pumpkin
  • 4 oz. Tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 tsp. Fennel seed
  • ½ tsp. Smoked Spanish paprika
  • ¼ tsp. dried sage
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup cooked barley, farro or Freekeh
  • 1 shallot, minced, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. red onion, minced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced, or variety of root vegetables, including parsnips, rutabaga, turnips or beets
  • 3 Tbsp. dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup dried apples, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, sage and marjoram
  • 2 cups vegetable or mushroom broth, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan margarine or coconut oil
  • 2 cups shiitake, crimini or button mushrooms, washed and sliced (about 5 oz.)
  • 1½ tsp. cornstarch
  • 4 Tbsp. Port, Sherry or Marsala wine
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut off the top of the pumpkin, set aside and scoop out the seeds. An ice cream scoop is helpful to get the interior of the pumpkin clean. Measure the capacity of the pumpkin cavity by filling it with water and then pouring that water into a liquid measuring cup. The average capacity of a three pound pumpkin is 2-2½ cups. If you are using a larger pumpkin, you can adjust the filling recipe accordingly. Rub the pumpkin inside and out with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season the interior liberally with salt and pepper. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with a large piece of aluminum foil.
  2. Mix the tempeh crumbles with the fennel, paprika, sage, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Spread onto a small baking sheet and roast the tempeh ‘sausage’ until crispy, about 15 minutes.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan and sauté half of the shallot, and the onion, celery, and root vegetables until caramelized and tender. Stir in the cooked grain, dried fruits, herbs and 1 cup of the vegetable broth and simmer to heat through. Pour the mixture into the cavity of the pumpkin, place the top of the pumpkin back on, wrap the in aluminum foil around the pumpkin and roast on the baking sheet for 1-1½ hours until pumpkin is golden and tender. Allow pumpkin to rest so that the liquid is absorbed while you prepare the gravy.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt the vegan margarine and add the remaining shallot and mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms are softened. Mix remaining cup of vegetable broth with the cornstarch. Deglaze the mushrooms with the port wine and stir to release anything stuck to the pan, and then add the vegetable broth. Simmer the gravy until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper and serve with slices of the stuffed pumpkin. Refrigerate leftovers.

Wine Pairing: Chenin Blanc

Nutrition Analysis:

Per serving: Calories 240, Calories from Fat 110, Total Fat 12g (18% DV), Saturated Fat 4.5g (22% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 180mg (8% DV), Carbohydrates 30g (10% DV), Dietary Fiber 3g (12% DV), Sugars 11g, Protein 6g, Vitamin A 350%, Vitamin C 30%, Calcium 8%, Iron 15%.

View Party Plan: Serve a Fresh & Fit Thanksgiving Feast!

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