Hehe. Mini Pumpkins. Don’t they just make you want to smile?!
Cutest little foods ever! I can’t believe I’d never cooked with them until now…all the years I have been missing out on their cuteness!
Here’s the deal, I currently have a cat sleeping across my arms, cause Snape (my little black cat that you probably see way too much of on Snapchat) likes to be touching me at all times. I have a cool cat, he is semi-annoying and WILL NOT stay off the counters while I am cooking. He acts like I don’t feed him and goes for things like butter, pumpkin puree and raw chicken (eewwwww). He’s also spilled my full cup of hot coffee multiple times now. Luckily only once did it spill on ME and luckily, it was almost gone.
Why all the talk about my cat? Well for one, he’s the best, and totally becoming my best friend. You see, I never leave my kitchen and am constantly covered in flour and or chocolate and or grease (ahh the advantages of being covered in food). Plus, I have completely annoyed the heck out of my mother with too much “work talk” (cause I love what I do a little too much and too intensely). So Snape it is, he doesn’t like to leave my side, and while I am photographing recipes, he snuggles in the pile of linens that I have in the open drawer of my pantry table. When I am typing on the computer he’s on my lap or laying across my arms on the desk. Yep, we’re buds for sure!
Anyway, the point of all this cat ramble was supposed to be that Snape is obsessed with these mini pumpkins. Well, more like very interested in them. A few weeks back my dad was down in Denver and picked me up around twenty-five of these little mini pumpkins. Ever since they made it into the kitchen, Snape can’t stop messing with them. He’ll roll them around with his paws, jump all over them and basically entertain himself for a good hour just messing around with the little mini pumpkins.
He’s kind of a freak. But aren’t all cats???
But really, I get why he’s into them. For the millionth time today, they really are the cutest!
Ok, and it helps that they are delicious when roasted. Especially when roasted and stuffed with wild rice.
SOO, can you believe I made yet another super healthy dish for my Thanksgiving feast?!?! I think I am just trying to save all the butter for my mashers, and the cheese for my appetizers, and the sugar for my pies.
They may be healthy, but I’m still totally into them, cause we’re talkin really good food here.
These Stuffed Mini Pumpkins are my favorite! Aside from good old white rice, wild rice is one of my favorite grains. I love its nutty and earthy flavors + textures. I ramped up the nuttiness in this mix with some pecans and also added some shredded brussels sprouts, dried cranberries and OK, just maybe a little manchego cheese, because really, you gotta have just a little cheese!
This is such a simple dish to make, but full of so much flavor. It was a huge hit with everyone…well, everyone in our family who eats orange things like pumpkin. So basically me. Dad. And maybe mom. Actually, mom was into these because wild rice is her thing. Really any carb is her thing, and she’d be the first to tell you that.
This is a such a fun side dish for the Thanksgiving table. You can even make it into more of a main for your vegetarian OR vegan guests (just omit the cheese for vegan eaters).
AND, they also double as a centerpiece too. Obviously you want to serve these warm and all, but they look pretty dang nice on a Thanksgiving dinner table. Just saying.
Double and… you can make this whole dish a few days in advance and then just throw the dish in the oven before dinner. Making your life like SO much easier come Thanksgiving Day, or whatever day it is that you plan on serving these.
Finally, did I mention how healthy these are?!? Healthy and delicious. Cool!
Nutty Wild Rice and Shredded Brussels Sprout Stuffed Mini Pumpkins.
- 1 1/4 cups uncooked wild rice
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 6-8 mini pumpkins
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 pound brussels sprouts halved and then shredded, about 2 cups
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
- 1 cup raw pecans chopped
- 1/4 apple cider
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 cup manchego cheese shredded (optional)
In a large sauce pot, bring the water to a boil, add the wild rice. Cover and cook over low heat for 35-45 minutes or until the water is gone and the rice is fluffy. Note that wild rice takes longer to cook than traditional rice. If yours still seem hard after 45 minutes, add 1/2 cup more water and cook over low heat for another 15-20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice the tops of your mini pumpkins and scoop out the seeds (reserve the seeds for roasting and then topping the dish if desired). Place the pumpkins on a baking sheet and rub each with a little olive oil, salt + pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkins are just tender.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the brussels sprouts in a single layer and season with salt + pepper. Let sit 1 minute then stir. Continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes, until tender and caramelized. Stir in the thyme, pecans and cider, cook another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the wild rice (there should be around 3 cups of wild rice). Stir in the cranberries, and manchego cheese.
Arrange the pumpkins in a large baking dish and stuff each pumpkin with the wild rice mixture. If desired, sprinkle the top of each pumpkin with a little manchego cheese.
Place in the oven and bake for 10-20 minutes or until the pumpkins are soft and the wild rice has heated through. Serve hot!
Almost too cute to eat…but not really.