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Meatloaf-Stuffed Mini Pumpkins


Funny story: my 9-year-old has a pet pumpkin. He got it at a market at the beginning of the month and it sleeps on his pillow and watches him do his homework. One day I jokingly threatened to cook his pumpkin. I was joking, but Dylan was not amused. So, needless to say...when I served this dinner, the first thing he did was run to his room to make sure that his pumpkin hadn't been a casualty of my pumpkin massacre. Then he announced, "Pumpkin is not coming to the dinner table tonight because I don't want him to see me eating his friends." Fine by me.

Somewhere along my pumpkin travels, I saw meatloaf-stuffed mini pumpkins. Maybe I was in the checkout line at the grocery store. Maybe it was in a cookbook. But it definitely wasn't pinned to any of my Pinterest boards, so I decided to wing it. How hard could it be? Turns out...it was a piece of cake...and the perfect dinner for a busy school night.

Serves 6
6 mini pumpkins
1 lb ground meat (I used turkey)
1 egg
1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/4 C ground almonds
1/2 C shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)
1/2 C raisins
1/2 t curry powder
dash of ground cardamom
dash of ground coriander
dash of smoked paprika
freshly ground sea salt
freshly ground pepper
olive oil

Cut open and clean out your pumpkins. Place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, blend together the meat, egg, leek, ground almonds, and spices. Mix well. Add in the raisins and cheese. And mix again.

Stuff the pumpkins with the meat mixture, taking care to press the meat all the way into the pumpkin so that there are no air pockets. 

Place the pumpkins back on the baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. 

Bake for 50-55 minutes. Your pumpkins should be soft to the touch, i.e., squeezable, and the meat nicely browned on the top.

Serve hot with some greens on the side. I served these with some just wilted spinach from Fogline Farm in our CSA box this week. 

Hope you're enjoying pumpkin season.

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