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Lite Pumpkin Fondue for Two
Did you think pumpkins were just for Halloween? Carve in a face, lit from within, and spook the undead into leaving your house alone.
This pumpkin-based recipe will not keep visitors at bay. It's a trendy favorite, a clever party food. The original recipe weighs in at about 800 calories and a crazy 44 grams of fat! Fondue is meant to be an indulgence, but that's way too much of an indulgence.
Lightening this recipe involves replacing the heavy cream with half and half and reducing the pumpkin size. By reducing the pumpkin size, the ratio of pumpkin to deluxe filling reduces calories and fat.
This recipe features the added advantage of slimming the portion size so that the entire recipe is just for two people. Great for a date night or entertaining your best friend! Serve with a green salad or some other fall harvest vegetables.
Lite Pumpkin Fondue for Two
Lite Pumpkin Fondue for Two
- 3 slices baguette, 1/2-inch slices
- 1 3-lb. pumpkin, outside washed thoroughly
- 1/2 c half-and-half
- 1/2 c chicken broth, low-sodium
- 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
- 1 1/4 c Gruyère, grated
- 1 1/4 Emmental, grated
- 1/2 T olive oil
- 1/2 T corn starch
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
- Place baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in oven until tops are crisp -- bread will be pale golden. Cool on a wire rack
- Remove top of pumpkin, cutting a 2 1/2-inch circle around the stem. Scoop out seeds and loose fibers. Set aside. Sprinkle salt inside pumpkin.
- Whisk together half-and-half, broth, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl. Sprinkle with corn starch, mixing thoroughly.
- Place one bread slice at the bottom of pumpkin. Cover with one-third of cheese mixture. Pour one-third of broth mixture over bread and cheese. Repeat two more times.
- Cover pumpkin with top. Oil a small roasting pan and place pumpkin inside. Brush remaining oil over outside of pumpkin.
- Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed.
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Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are delicious and healthy. For one, they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which besides their heart-healthy properties have also been shown to improve cognitive function. They offer zinc, which supports the immune system, and magnesium, which aids in bone and tooth formation as well as minimizing muscle twitches. You can buy pumpkin seeds in bulk, but nothing beats the flavor and crunch of pumpkin seeds freshly-roasted from a peak-fresh pumpkin.
After removing seeds and pulp from the pumpkin, place in a colander and rinse with water. This helps dislodge the fibers from the pumpkin seeds. Finish removing the fibers and pulp from the seeds. Toss pumpkin seeds in coarse sea salt. Let dry.
Spread pumpkin seeds in a thin layer on a cookie sheet. Place in oven preheated to 425 degrees F. Roast pumpkin seeds for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, stir seeds, turning over as many as possible. Roast for an additional 10 minutes or until desired color is achieved. Let cool a minimum of 20 minutes. You can roast the pumpkin seeds at the same time as the pumpkin fondue. Just watch carefully to avoid burning the seeds.
You can change the flavor of the pumpkin seeds by varying the seasonings. Try smoked Hungarian paprika or spicy Mexican chile powder. Cumin is another delicious option. Alternatively sprinkle with spice blends such as Indian curry, parsley-garlic or Moroccan "ras al hanout."
Pumpkin Fondue for Two
|Serving size: 1/2 pumpkin and cheese|
|Calories from Fat||189|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 21 g||32%|
|Saturated fat 12 g||60%|
|Unsaturated fat 19 g|
|Carbohydrates 61 g||20%|
|Sugar 16 g|
|Fiber 14 g||56%|
|Protein 22 g||44%|
|Cholesterol 56 mg||19%|
|Sodium 461 mg||19%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Health Benefits of Orange Foods
Bright is better, at least when it comes to nutrition. Pumpkins and other orange-colored foods are packed with nutrients.
- Reduce Risk of Cancer: Orange-colored foods such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots and, yes, pumpkins are filled with beta-carotene, the cancer-preventing antioxidant.
- Wrinkle Reducer: That powerhouse beta-carotene also works to reduce the effectiveness of free radicals attacking your skin.
- Weight Loss: Pumpkins have three grams of fiber in a one-cup serving, meaning they fill you up and keep you feeling full.
- Vision: You know how carrots help eyesight? Pumpkin features the same carotenoids that convert into vitamin A. That equals good eyesight.
- Immune System: Everyone knows the vitamin C in oranges boosts the immune system. A serving of pumpkin has 11 milligrams of vitamin C, or 20 percent of the daily allowance.
Pumpkin pie is the most common pumpkin dish. However, don't be afraid to experiment. In addition to Lite Pumpkin Fondue for Two, try roasted pumpkin with melted butter and brown sugar. Pumpkin cheesecake is another delicious option.
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Wine Pairings for Pumpkin
Lite Pumpkin Fondue for Two makes an excellent dish for date night. So, you want a great wine pairing, right? This is a rich dish with deluxe cheese and half-and-half, so stay away from buttery Chardonnay. Choose a solid wine with good acidity for white or light tannins for a red.
- Pinot Noir: Go New World to match the New World flavor of the pumpkin. Choose a Pinot from the Willamette Valley region of Oregon. These wines are medium body for a Pinot with dark berry notes sometimes mixed with occasional pepper. The wines finish with light tannins.
Gewürtztraminer: This wine is actually made from the Traminer grape -- "Gewürtz" means "spicy." Old World Gewürtztraminer wines come from the cooler climes of Austria, northern Italy and, naturally, Germany, especially the Alsace region. These wines usually have exotic and spicy notes such as lychee, rose petal and clove. However, they finish with tight acidity. This complex wine stands up to the fullness of the cheese and pumpkin.
This recipe calls for two imported cheeses: Gruyère and Emmenthal. Naturally "imported" also means "more expensive." However, don't opt for a cheaper cheese just because you're using it in a recipe. Warming and melting the cheeses bring out their rich, toasty flavors, which cheaper cheeses won't have. Fondue of any kind is meant to be a bit of a treat, so choose a cheese you'd love to eat all on it's own.
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© 2013 Nadia Archuleta