Jack O'Lantern Bowls with Chicken, Bell Pepper, and Sage
Want to impress your guests? Whip up this chicken stew, bake and serve it in sugar pie pumpkins. Not only is the presentation amazing, the entire dish has only 320 calories and a whopping 32 grams of protein.
For the Jack O'Lanterns:
- 4 small sugar pie pumpkins (about 4-5 inches tall) with stems intact
- 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the filling:
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning, divided
- 1 8 ounce container crimini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow small onion, diced
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
For the Jack O'Lanterns:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut out the stem end of the pumpkin, holding the blade at an inward angle to keep the lid from falling through, creating an opening large enough to eat out of with a fork, about 3-4 inches wide.
- Scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon. You can save the seeds for cooking later, if you wish.
- Using a washable marker, draw on the pumpkins face that you wish to carve*, and then carve it using a pumpkin cutting tool or small serrated edge knife.
- Place the pumpkins on a sheet pan, ideally lined with parchment paper or a silpat for easy release, placing the lids directly on the sheet pan.
- Brush the insides and outsides with oil and sprinkle the insides with salt and pepper.
- Cover the pumpkins and lids loosely with aluminum foil to help them retain moisture. Bake until the inside of the pumpkins are fork tender, about 30 minutes.
For the stew:
- Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add 2 teaspoons of oil.
- Add the chicken in a single later and brown on one side, about 5 minutes, sprinkling with teaspoon salt and pepper.
- Stir and brown the side of the chicken pieces, sprinkling in teaspoon poultry seasoning. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook until the water releases from the mushrooms, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Add the peppers, onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and cook until heated through. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning, and pepper.
- Divide the stew amongst the cooked pumpkins, then sprinkle the cheese, leaving a bit around the front rim to create the appearance of hair.
- Bake uncovered until the cheese is completely melted and the bottom of the pumpkins are sizzling, about 20 minutes.
- To serve, sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds, if desired, and cover pumpkins with lids.
- Recipe provided by Michelle Dudash, R.D., of Dish with Dudash.
Per serving: 320 kcal cal., 13 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 19 g carb., 4 g fiber, 32 g pro.. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet