38 Power Foods, Week 33, Pumpkin Seeds — Acorn Squash Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Cumin Vinaigrette


My favorite place for pumpkin seeds is in my mouth.  Preferably with salt or salt with cumin and cayenne.  I also like them on top of pumpkin soup. Texture! I put them in my pumpkin bread, too.  If you’re a jack-o-lantern carver, you probably have saved your seeds, cleaned and dried them, and roasted them in the oven for a treat in the days following Halloween when your teeth are still gritty from the sugar high night. (You can roast and eat the seeds from any kind of pumpkin at all.)

Alyce’s Pumpkin-Ginger Bread

I don’t think I actually was cognizant of the fact that pumpkin seeds were good for you for a very long time.  I probably just never thought of it.  Which is why blogging Power Foods is such a great idea for me.  Of course I know that seeds are healthy; I just didn’t spend much time thinking about the ones that came out of a pumpkin. I was more interested in getting the kids out trick-or-treating or in fixing English muffin pizzas topped with jack-o-lantern faces cut out of a slice of cheese…..or, later on, that big pot of chili.  But pumpkin seeds, like many other seeds, are fabulous treasure troves.  Read on:

When the ancient Aztecs snacked on pumpkin seeds, they were on to something:  Just a handful of these seeds offers a concentrated source of protein and energy-producing magnesium, along with generous amounts of immunity-protecting zinc. Abundant in phytosterols, which help lower cholesterol, pumpkin seeds also provide plenty of fiber when eaten in their shells.

Power Foods : 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients from the editors of WHOLE LIVING MAGAZINE.

At 180 calories for 1/4 cup (32.25 grams), they pack a wallop calorically. That’s a lot of energy for a very small, portable amount of food.  Read more about pumpkin seed facts and nutrition here, but first make my…

acorn squash salad with pumpkin seeds and cumin vinaigrette
serves 2

  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 acorn squash, cooked*, cut in half, peeled and sliced into 1/2″ x 3″ pieces (approximate)
  • 1/2 lime, sliced
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup roasted or toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  1. Mix spinach with cilantro.
  2. Divide spinach mixture and sliced squash between two salad plates, placing squash on top of spinach.
  3. Squeeze 1 or 1 lime slices over the vegetables and sprinkle salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the pumpkin seeds evenly and sprinkle salads with cheese.
  5. Drizzle with cumin vinaigrette. Garnish with slice of lime. Eat while squash is warm or at room temperature.

*To easily and quickly cook an acorn squash:  Cut it in half carefully and scrape out seeds and strings.  Put the halves in a 2-quart Pyrex dish,  drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high 3-5 minutes, testing after 3 minutes (and adding more time if needed) until squash is tender.  Let cool briefly, peel with a sharp knife, and slice into half-rounds.
(A half squash is simply fixed in the microwave in a cereal bowl topped with a salad plate.)

Of course you can also bake an acorn squash in the oven if you’d rather.

Cumin Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch each kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, ground cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Whisk the first five ingredients together in a small bowl.  Slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking until well-combined or emulsified.  Taste and adjust seasonings by dipping a piece of spinach briefly into your vinaigrette.


{printable recipe}

inspiration from: Bon Appetit’s recipe for Pork Chops and Squash with Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette

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38 Power Foods is a group effort!  

Stop by these other blogs and see what they’re cooking each week as we team up to bring you some of the healthiest cooking available:

Minnie Gupta from TheLady8Home.com

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink

All sites may not blog power foods every week.
    Are you a food blogger? Join us! 

We’d like to have you as part of the group.  Get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits:  Mireya@MyHealthyEatingHabits.com  

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soup cookbook update–recipe testing is about done
still editing

The hub testing “I Have a Spring Cold Chicken Noodle Soup”–he made it all by himself and said, “This is the best thing I ever made; it tastes just like your soup.”  That was the compliment…that I had transferred the taste to the page.  AH!

Tonight, several of the local testers for my soup book come together at my house to eat, drink, and share their results;  most out-of-town testers have emailed their recipe surveys.  I think we are eating eight or nine soups (a taste or two each), but we’re also trying a couple of the accompanying recipes–a tapenade salad with goat cheese toasts, as well as microwave individual flourless chocolate cakes that are done in around a minute each.  Think  of us tonight as the book appears to be coming together in a VERY  HAPPY, TASTY WAY!

Thanks to everyone who’s participated so far!  You know I love you! So cool for this food to no longer be only between me, my stove, my computer, and Dave’s tummy.

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As I write today, I listen to Carol King and James Taylor, Live at the Troubadour. 
For those of us of a certain age (or maybe anyone), this is good listening.

So good night, all you moonlight ladies.  Rock-a-bye sweet baby James.  Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose.  Won’t you let me go down in my dreams… and rock-a-bye sweet baby James?

My, this music has aged well.

Sing a new song,