Indigenous to the Western hemisphere, pumpkins have been grown in the Americas for more than 5,000 years. A member of the gourd family (which includes cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelons, and zucchini), pumpkins are rich in vitamin A, specifically beta-carotene—a powerful cancer-protective antioxidant. Count on pumpkin to provide vitamin C, fiber, and potassium too.
This easy recipe calls for canned pumpkin, but you can use fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, about 2 cups chopped. It’s fun to experiment to discover which you like best!
Make it a meal: Serve with some crusty whole-grain bread or add a cucumber, avocado, and tomato salad. Cut the cucumbers into thick slices, add tomato and avocado wedges, and onion slices. Then drizzle on extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of good quality vinegar–or a squeeze of lemon juice–and some dried Italian seasoning. Gently toss. You have goodness in two bowls, one orange and one green.
(Makes 4 servings)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin (curry powder may be substituted)
- 1 (15 ounce) can pureed pumpkin (2 cups fresh may be substituted)
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, no salt added, drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can yellow corn kernels, no salt added, drained (1-1½ cups fresh or frozen may be substituted)
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, no salt added
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (vegetable may be substituted)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup plain, low-fat yogurt, optional
- In large saucepan warm oil over medium heat. Stir in peppers, onion, and garlic and sauté about 6 minutes until peppers and onion soften. Stir in cumin and continue to cook 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in pumpkin, beans, corn, tomatoes, and broth. Add 1 teaspoon cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, and then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 25 minutes.
- Divide stew among four bowls and garnish with cilantro and yogurt, if desired.
Total fat: 5 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Carbohydrate: 57 g
Fiber: 14 g
Protein: 14 g
Sodium: 307 mg