I’ve been taking it easy on myself in 2016, showing a little kindness and self-care to the only body I got, doing the things I love (like this virtual pumpkin party), and trying some things I’ve always wanted to (like spending a summer in Vermont, sigh).
You see, 2015 was awash in travel (about 20 trips of the airplane variety), a big pop-up market for just a few of my closest 8,000 friends, and a book release that wiped me out. I’m signing a lot of books right now, with the holidays moments away, and it reminded me that my first book came out one year ago, wow.
On top of all that, after every step and snack was finally taken in last year, I lost nearly 70 pounds. In one year – probably one of the most demanding years of my life. As if it wasn’t enough to do a million new-to-me things, I tossed in the task of finally getting a handle on my body issues, the stuff I’d never before been able to handle in all the years of my life. Because I’m a glutton for doing everything hard at once, ha. (eek, pardon all the meanings in that sentence) I actually didn’t know I was finally getting a handle on all my body issues – it was just right time, right place, and finally being “ready” – but we’ll talk about that another time.
I lost the weight – and began to really appreciate my body – by eating mostly plant-based; cutting out cocktails and dairy and sugar; and making everything I put in my mouth from scratch. I weighed myself almost daily (which is annoying but also a great way to take control of your body and truly understand how certain foods affect it) and found that when I ate food made from scratch – even traditionally indulgent breads, pancakes, pasta, and dumplings – I rarely gained weight.
In contrast and perhaps as it should be, 2016 has been my year of the pause, gathering my proverbial troops, maintaining my weight loss, and really making it part of my forever story. I’m happy to say that I’ve maintained the weight loss, give or take five-ish pounds – and feel more equipped than ever to lose a little more next year, though my doctor says that if I lose just five pounds next year, she’ll be happy. She’s right, I’ll be happy too because we’re being kinder to ourselves, right?
In case you were wondering, I kept it all off while still eating all of these dumplings.
Instead of filling dumplings with pork, however, I prefer to sneak vegetables into my comfort foods. Sometimes, I stuff them with cabbage and I know there’s a freezer stash of dumplings made from potatoes mixed with shredded zucchini. But during these chilly months, all I want is pumpkin stuffed dumplings.
I roast my own, because why not. Plus, a warm oven keeps the house warm. But really, pumpkins aren’t just for carving, as this virtual pumpkin party demonstrates. Still, my recipe is easily made with a can of pumpkin puree because sometimes a week night needs dumplings, too, and to roast a pumpkin after a 12-hour workday seems like a little too much to ask – of you and me both.
When I do, however, roast that pumpkin, I make trays and trays of dumplings. I freeze them in portioned out bags and steam them from frozen. While they steam, I make a big shredded salad or roast something green to serve alongside. I really love to make an herb-filled green sauce, a loose pesto of just herbs, garlic, olive oil, nuts, and seasoning, for dipping but, in a pinch, a quick soy sauce based dip does fine.
I’m overjoyed to share my recipe alongside hundreds of others in this virtual pumpkin party. Take a long hard look at all the other recipes, because you’ll be roasting pumpkin for days. Thank you to Sara and Aimee for hosting and including me! Don’t forget to scroll down for the recipe.
Cake Over Steak • Quick Pumpkin and Kale Risotto + Arancini
Twigg Studios • Sausage Stuffing Baked in a Pumpkin
Donuts, Dresses and Dirt • Pumpkin Spice Latte Popsicles
Cloudy Kitchen • Pumpkin Cake with Vanilla German Buttercream
Vegetarian Ventures • Smoky Pumpkin & Black Sesame Hummus
Eat Boutique • Pumpkin Scallion Dumplings
A Little Saffron • Pumpkin Stuffed Shells
Two Red Bowls • Pumpkin & Maple Caramel Baked French Toast
Wallflower Kitchen • Mini Pumpkin & Cinnamon Sugar Donuts
Wit & Vinegar • Pumpkin Butterscotch Banana Split
Style Sweet CA • Pumpkin Creme Brulee Cake
Nommable • Pumpkin Biscuits with Mushroom Thyme Gravy
With Food + Love • Cinnamon Raisin Pumpkin Seed Bread
Hortus • Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Sevengrams • Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Jojotastic • 1 Pumpkin, 2 Ways: Pumpkin Trail Mix & Dog Treats
Grain Changer • Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal
Girl Versus Dough • Pumpkin Cranberry Flax Crisps
Earthy Feast • Pumpkin Grits + Pumpkin Home Fries + a Fried Egg
Harvest and Honey • Truffled Pumpkin Papardelle Alfredo with Frizzled Sage
Tasty Seasons • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake
Broma Bakery • Pumpkin Butter Pop Tarts
Tending the Table • Roasted Pumpkin and Barley Salad
The Sugar Hit • Super Soft Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Delicious Not Gorgeous • Waffles with Spiced Pumpkin Butter and Brown Sugar Walnut Crumble
Taste Love and Nourish • Pumpkin Bread Pudding
The Green Life • Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chunk & Hazelnut Skillet Cookie (Vegan)
Foolproof Living • Pumpkin Creme Fraiche Pasta with Sage
The Monday Box • Pumpkin Butterscotch Cakes
Design Crush • Pumpkin Bourbon Hot Toddy
The Road to Honey • Pumpkin Pie & Chocolate Layer Cake
My Name is Yeh • Roasted Pumpkin with Yogurt and Hazelnut Dukkah
Give Recipe • Orange Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
Heartbeet Kitchen • Magic Vegan Pumpkin Pie Fudge
Beard and Bonnet • Marbled Pumpkin Muffins
Eat Within Your Means • Vegan Pumpkin Blender Muffins
Snixy Kitchen • Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Ruby Josephine • Moroccan Sweet Pumpkin + Beef Tagine
An Edible Mosaic • Pumpkin Spice Chia Seed Pudding
Hey Modest Marce • Mascarpone Pumpkin Pie
Inspired By the Seasons • Pumpkin Applesauce Smoothie
CaliGirl Cooking • Pumpkin Praline Cinnamon Rolls with Spiked Cream Cheese Glaze
Sally’s Baking Addiction • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Well and Full • Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus
Appeasing a Food Geek • Cheese Fondue Stuffed Roasted Pumpkin
SweetPhi • Pumpkin Chili Biscuit Bake
Warm Vanilla Sugar • Buttermilk Pumpkin Doughnuts
Mademoiselle Poirot • Cinnamon-Pumpkin Mousse on Honey Panna Cotta topped with Hazelnut Brittle
Heart of a Baker • Pumpkin Sticky Buns with Vanilla Bean Frosting
Flourishing Foodie • Massaman Curry with Pumpkin and Chickpeas
Ginger & Toasted Sesame • Pumpkin Jeon
Lindsay Jang • Best Ever DIY Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Fix Feast Flair • Hokkaido Pumpkin + Sage Mac and Gouda
Will Frolic for Food • Pumpkin Kale Patties with Coconut Cilantro Rice
A Couple Cooks • Pumpkin Pecan Baked Steel Cut Oats
Vermilion Red • Pumpkin Pie Souffle
B. Britnell • Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Displaced Housewife • Brown Butter Pumpkin Donuts
Sweet Gula • Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
La Pêche Fraîche • Pumpkin and Condensed Milk Cakes
Kitchen Konfidence • Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Rosemary Brown Butter Sauce
Loves Food, Loves to Eat • Savory Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Kale & Caramel • Goat Cheese & Sage-Stuffed Pumpkin Challah
Okie Dokie Artichokie • Pumpkin Chorizo Chili with Sweet Potatoes + Pinto Beans
Salted Plains • Easy Pumpkin Bread
Liliahna • Chicken Legs with Pumpkin and Tortellini
TermiNatetor Kitchen • Whole Wheat, Pumpkin & Brown Sugar Brioche
Vermilion Roots • Sweet Rice Dumplings with Pumpkin
Celebrate Creativity • Pumpkin Mini Cheesecake Tarts
Serendipity Bakes • Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake
So Much Yum • Vegan Maple-Glazed Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts
The Brick Kitchen • Pumpkin, Pecan & White Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches
Lisli • Pumpkin Pie Cake
Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt • Pumpkin Pie Dip
Fig+Bleu • Pumpkin Granola
The Speckled Palate • Pumpkin Caramel Cream Cheese Swirl Blondies
Floating Kitchen • Chicken and Pumpkin Chili
The Wood and Spoon • Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting
Fork Vs Spoon • Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
Lemon & Vanilla • Pumpkin and Coconut Caramel Flan
Dunk & Crumble • Pumpkin Chocolate Icebox Cake
Chicano Eats • Pumpkin Butter Pan de Muerto
On the Plate • Pumpkin Pancakes, Salted Caramel & Pecans
Rough Measures • Cosy Pumpkin Spice Latte (Caffeine and Dairy Free)
Brewing Happiness • Pumpkin Ginger Breakfast Cookies
A Butterful Mind • Pumpkin Cheesecake with Vanilla Whipped Cream
The Little Loaf • Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Fork to Belly • Pumpkin Gnocchi
The Little Epicurean • Chocolate Hazelnut Pumpkin Pie
Bourbon and Honey • Spicy Roasted Pumpkin with Honey and Feta
What to Cook Today • Spicy Pumpkin Noodle Soup
Food by Mars • Pumpkin Pie (Grain-Free, Diary-Free)
The Bojon Gourmet • Pumpkin Butterscotch Pudding
Oh Honey Bakes • Pumpkin Cake with Gingersnap Toffee
Long Distance Baking • Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake
The Jam Lab • Pumpkin Madeleines Dipped in White Chocolate
The Lemon Apron • Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaf with an Olive Oil Glaze
Sun Diego Eats • Thai Pumpkin & Sticky Rice Cakes
A Cozy Kitchen • Pumpkin Chai Scones with Black Tea Glaze
A Cookie Named Desire • Pumpkin Shrubs
Eating Clean Recipes • Vegan Pumpkin Chia Pudding
Kingfield Kitchen • Vegan Fresh Pumpkin Soup
Drink and Cocktail Recipes • Pumpkin Dirty Chai
The Pig & Quill • Pumpkin Sage Cannelloni (Dairy-Free)
My Lavender Blues • Pumpkin, Banana & Olive Oil Bundt Cake
Betty Liu • Pumpkin + Pear Butter Baked Melty Cheese
Happy Hearted Kitchen • Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin with Tahini Yogurt + Hazelnut Dukkah
InHappenstance • Pumpkin Scones with Maple Butter
Live Eat Learn • Pumpkin Gingerbread Hot Cocoa
Pumpkin Scallion Dumplings
I make these with canned pumpkin puree or, even better, roasted pumpkin or butternut squash during the season. If you prefer to roast a pumpkin (and I hope you do), then halve, seed, and roast it for 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven until it’s tender. Let cool and remove the skin for this recipe. Use a 1-pound portion of the pumpkin flesh whizzed up in a food processor or mashed up by hand to make about 24 dumplings. (A 4-pound sugar pumpkin will make closer to 100 dumplings.) Fresh pumpkin has more moisture in it, so I let the filling mixture rest for 20 minutes and drain off any liquid that collects before making the dumplings. Dumpling wrappers are 100% up to you. On the weekends, I make them from scratch using this recipe. During a busy week day, I use the store-bought kind. Let your time allotted determine your approach. Once in a while, I mix things up by dipping these dumplings in an herb-filled green sauce. The quick dipping sauce recipe below is rather easy to pull together from the fridge, though, so I included that recipe.
I make these with canned pumpkin puree or, even better, roasted pumpkin or butternut squash during the season.
If you prefer to roast a pumpkin (and I hope you do), then halve, seed, and roast it for 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven until it’s tender. Let cool and remove the skin for this recipe. Use a 1-pound portion of the pumpkin flesh whizzed up in a food processor or mashed up by hand to make about 24 dumplings. (A 4-pound sugar pumpkin will make closer to 100 dumplings.) Fresh pumpkin has more moisture in it, so I let the filling mixture rest for 20 minutes and drain off any liquid that collects before making the dumplings.
Dumpling wrappers are 100% up to you. On the weekends, I make them from scratch using this recipe. During a busy week day, I use the store-bought kind. Let your time allotted determine your approach.
Once in a while, I mix things up by dipping these dumplings in an herb-filled green sauce. The quick dipping sauce recipe below is rather easy to pull together from the fridge, though, so I included that recipe.
Makes: 24 dumplings
Ingredients:For the Pumpkin Scallion Dumplings:
- 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree or equivalent of roasted pumpkin flesh
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or buckwheat flour
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon pureed ginger or 1/2-inch knob, very finely diced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 tablespoons scallions, finely diced, from 3-4 scallions
- Pre-made dumpling wrappers or homemade wrappers using this recipe
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili paste or to taste
- 1 tablespoon scallions, finely diced, from about 1-2 scallion
Directions:For the Pumpkin Scallion Dumplings:
- In a medium bowl, place the pumpkin puree, flour, soy sauce, ginger, salt, and scallions. Stir until the scallions are evenly distributed.
- Fill the center of each wrapper with 1 teaspoon of filling mixture. Apply a light coat of water around the mixture with your finger (see animated image). Fold wrapper in half and seal ends together with firm pressure.
- Place dumplings on parchment-lined sheet and freeze until ready to use.
- Set a steamer, the bottom filled with water, over medium-high heat. Line the top of the steamer with parchment paper. Once the water has come to a boil, place the dumplings in the top of the steamer, taking care not to let them touch. Steam for 10-12 minutes until cooked through.
- Stir together the soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste, and scallions in a small bowl. Serve with dumplings.
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