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What is October, and Fall in general, without a few days (or in my case…weeks!) of eating everything pumpkin!

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#TBT
Pumpkin Picking at Eckert’s Farm in Millstadt, IL- October 2010

When you think pumpkin, I bet you often think about the warm and delicious pumpkin lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, and many other sweet pumpkin goodies we have during this time of year…am I right?

But pumpkin can also be a seasonal ingredient in savory foods as well, such as soups and sauces.

Also, when we think about pumpkin, we think the color ORANGE! Just like other orange vegetables (sweet potato and carrots), pumpkin contains a large amount of vitamin A to maintain a sharp eyesight, the antioxidant beta-carotene to prevent cancer, and vitamin C to fight off those winter colds!

If you don’t have a sweet tooth OR you don’t crave pumpkin bread and lattes OR you just want to make something new with pumpkin, try making a new fall inspired creamy sauce to spice up your pasta! Pasta sauces don’t have to be loaded with high fat cream and butter like many alfredo and ala vodka sauces. Pumpkin, butternut squash, or cauliflower puree with white beans create a rich and creamy sauce that would be perfect over a cup of pasta or baked chicken breast!

Creamy Pumpkin Sauce: AKA Low Calorie Ala Vodka Sauce

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Yield: 8 servings (1/2 cup, (4 oz) per serving)

Ingredients:

  • Blended Ingredients:1 cup of roasted cherry tomatoes (bake in oven or cook on skillet with olive oil until tomatoes are soft)
    • 2 shallots, minced
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp of olive oil
    • 1-15 oz can pumpkin puree
    • ½ -15 oz can of cannellini beans
    • 1 Tablespoon of oregano (or mixture of Italian spices)
    • 1 tsp of cracked black pepper
    • 1-15 oz can of low sodium vegetable broth

Directions:

  • In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and cook the shallots until soft and translucent for about 10 minutes.
  • In a blender, add the cooked shallots and the rest of the blended ingredients in the recipe. Blend sauce until is a smooth puree.
  • Add the roasted tomatoes to the sauce before serving over your pasta or chicken.

Nutrition Information Per Serving (sauce only, 1/2 cup): Calories: 63 kcal, Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbohydrate: 12 g, Dietary Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 3 g, Sodium: 158 mg

VS.

Classico, Ala Vodka Sauce (1/2 cup): Calories 90 calories, Fat: 4.5 g, Saturated fat 1.5 g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Dietary Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 2 g, Sodium: 440 mg.

To look up other brands of ala vodka sauce you may frequently by, click here! I bet you will be surprised at how much fat and sodium are in your particular brand!

Add a chicken breast an broccoli to make a balanced pasta meal!

Add a chicken breast an broccoli to make a balanced pasta meal! 1 cup of pasta (GRAIN), 4 oz of chicken breast (LEAN PROTEIN), 1 cup of broccoli (VEGETABLE) plus pumpkin sauce (another vegetable)!

What is your favorite pumpkin food or drink?