College Kitchen: The great pumpkin

Praise the good gourd.

Pumpkin seeds fresh out of a pumpkin and pumpkin puree make up these festive fall recipes for Spicy Pumpkin Seeds and Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies.

Bridget Bennett

Pumpkin seeds fresh out of a pumpkin and pumpkin puree make up these festive fall recipes for Spicy Pumpkin Seeds and Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies.

Lucy Nieboer

With the quick “thunk” of the knife against an orange rind and several back and forth wiggles of it, carving season begins. A hand, digging into the chilly belly of guts, emerges with a handful of innards the color of Snooki’s last spray tan. Cleaned out and caricatured, the pumpkin is ready for his tenure on the doorstep.

Every year, pumpkins sit out on cold stoops, illuminated and alone. This year, bring Jack inside for some attention in the kitchen. Members of the squash family, pumpkins are rich and sweet in a variety of preparations.


Pumpkin Curry

Pumpkins are naturally very sweet, which is why they are so commonly used in baked goods. When preparing a pumpkin-heavy main dish, it is important to contrast that sweetness with a variety of savory spices. Using pumpkin in place of meat, this curry makes the most of the pumpkin’s thick fleshy exterior, making it a cheap, healthy and filling main dish.


1/4 medium pumpkin

1/2 yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 carrot

1 inch piece ginger

1 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon curry or turmeric

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon mild or spicy paprika

1 can no-salt-added tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Olive oil

In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, spices, tomato sauce and lemon juice. Set aside. Chop the pumpkin and carrot into small cubes. Finely dice the onion and ginger. In a large skillet, heat up a dash of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and onions. When the onions become translucent, add the rest of the vegetables. When the other vegetables have started to soften, add the sauce. Cook for an additional five-10 minutes. Serve over lentils or brown basmati rice.


Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Whether you’re carving jack o’ lanterns or pursuing culinary endeavors, roasting the leftover seeds from your pumpkin is a wonderful way to reduce your waste. Carry around a plastic baggie of this spicy snack and you’ll never go hungry in between lectures again.


Seeds from one pumpkin

Juice of one lime

1 teaspoon hot chili flakes

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

10 shakes tabasco

After removing all the gunk and goo from your pumpkin guts, carefully pick out the seeds. Place them on a well-oiled cookie sheet. Sprinkle them with salt. After 10 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 325 degrees, add the other ingredients and make sure they are equally coated with the mixture. Bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are perfect, they said. There’s no way to improve them, they said. Soon, chocolate chip cookie purists will be eating their words. If chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin pie had a love child, these cookies would be its more popular older sister. Simply divine.


2 sticks butter

2 eggs

2 cups pumpkin puree (1 15 ounce can)

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla, eggs and pumpkin. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, spices and baking soda. Add the flour to the batter. When you achieve a semi-stiff dough, fold in the chocolate chips. Place tablespoon-sized drops on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes.


 In “Cinderella”a pumpkin is magically bibbidi-bobbidi-booped into a horse drawn carriage. Your transfiguration skills may not yet rival the fairy godmother’s, but with a few intense kicks of spices and flavorings, you can turn a big orange gourd into a three-course meal.