Happy Pumpkin Spice Day!

Happy Pumpkin Spice Day!

Bree is a full-time software engineer who loves arts and crafts, cooking and baking. She is very passionate about keeping a healthy and happy lifestyle. She strives to keep the work-days bright, colorful and enjoyable with delicious, nutritious and cutely designed lunches, and shares these creations on her Instagram account @bentosbybree.

Happy October! What better way to start the month than by celebrating one of the best flavor combinations – Pumpkin Spice!

In honor of Pumpkin Spice Day, I wanted to explore the savory side of this warm, cozy and delicious flavor. You may be thinking, “Wait, what? Savory pumpkin spice?!” I know, weird right? Someone says “pumpkin spice” and your mind usually floods with sweet treats like pumpkin pie, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and pumpkin pancakes - nothing savory. How can you incorporate pumpkin spice into a non-dessert?!

My simple answer may shock you – omit the pumpkin! *GASP* I know, how can you possibly have
pumpkin spice without the pumpkin?! Well here’s a little secret most people don’t realize – there is no pumpkin in pumpkin spice! If you look at any pre-made “pumpkin pie spice” at your supermarket, it’s usually a basic mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger – no pumpkin! We associate that spice mix with pumpkin because it’s usually paired with pumpkin, but it doesn’t have to be!

Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of savory dishes you can make with pumpkin, but to make the flavor more versatile, I’m simply using the spices so I can add them to a variety of dishes.

For example - in today’s lunch in my Bentgo Glass, I made Pumpkin Spice Roasted Baby Potatoes, Pumpkin Spice Kale Salad and yes, a pumpkin spice dessert with pumpkin – Pumpkin Spice Baked Donuts! The recipe for this scrumptious sweet and savory pumpkin spice lunch is below, I hope you enjoy and have fun experimenting with these delicious flavors!

Wishing you a day full of pumpkin spice and everything nice!

Pumpkin Spice Kale Salad

 6 cups / large bowl full of kale leaves, destemmed
 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
 1 tbsp olive oil
 ½ tsp garlic powder
 ¼ tsp onion powder
 ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
 ½ tsp oil (any)
 1 cup largely diced orange bell peppers
 ½ cup cooked quinoa (optional)
 ¼ tsp nutmeg
 ¼ tsp cinnamon
 1/8 tsp ginger
 Pumpkin spice baby potatoes, roasted (optional)

1. Place the kale into a large salad bowl.

2. In a separate bowl or cup, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, mustard, olive oil, garlic, and onion powders until well combined. Taste and adjust flavors as needed (I added a bit more apple cider vinegar).

3. Pour the dressing onto the kale and massage the dressing all over the kale – this step is the most important as it allows the kale to soften slightly and ensures each bite has plentiful flavor. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, allowing the kale to rest.

4. While the kale rests, toast the pumpkin seeds. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add a ½ tsp oil and the pumpkin seeds. Toss/stir frequently, until the pumpkin seeds begin to look toasted and are fragrant – about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 2-3 minutes.

5. Once the pumpkin seeds are slightly cooled, add to kale mixture. Add the bell peppers, and quinoa, if adding. Toss together.

6. As the final step, mix together the “pumpkin spice” - nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger - into a small
dish, then sprinkle onto the salad. Give it a final toss.

7. Serve with roasted pumpkin spice baby potatoes (season potatoes with olive oil and pumpkin
spice mix, roast on 400 degrees for 30min) and enjoy!

8. Finish your meal with dessert - Pumpkin Spice Baked Donuts – recipe adapted from Oh She
Glows (https://ohsheglows.com/2011/08/16/mini-cinnamon-sugar-pumpkin-spiced-doughnuts-rosemary-olive-oil-chips/) and made gluten free by subbing the flour with GF flour, omitting the cinnamon-sugar for a chocolate glaze using melted chocolate chips!


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