Learn to Cook Healthy Meals with Pumpkin


What would fall be without pumpkins? From Halloween jack-o’-lanterns to Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, these gorgeous squash and their many relatives are everywhere.

But pumpkin isn’t just for these traditional dishes; it’s used throughout the world in delicious soups, stews and other savory dishes. And fall is the time to get creative with winter squash when it’s fresh in your local grocery store and farmer’s market.

You can find out more at my next Thrive Kitchen class, Pumpkin: It’s Not Just for Pie, on October 3. In this hands-on class, you’ll explore all kinds of different and delicious ways to incorporate pumpkin and other winter squash such as kabocha and butternut into main dishes, side dishes, and salads. (As well as desserts, don’t worry.)


Here’s what we’ll be cooking:

  • Pumpkin Hummus with Fall Crudité Platter
  • Cabbage Slaw  with Orange-Pepita Vinaigrette
  • Mexican-Spiced Roasted Butternut Squash Soup  with Spiced Pepitas and Lime Cashew Crema
  • Whole Wheat Linguine with Pumpkin “Alfredo”
  • Thai Kabocha Red Curry with Tofu
  • Pumpkin Pot de Crème

Pumpkin and its squash cousins are rich in beta-carotene, the antioxidant that gives them their bright orange and yellow hues. Beta-carotene is a key nutrient supporting the immune system. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which supports healthy skin, mucous membranes and other tissues.

For more information about Kaiser Permanente’ San Francisco’s unique program the Thrive Kitchen, email the Health Education department at SFHealthEd@kp.org or call 415-833-3450.

To learn more about my cooking and my Thrive Kitchen classes, visit my Facebook page,  where I announce upcoming events. For more recipes and healthy cooking ideas, check out my blog, spiceboxtravels.com.

Thrive Kitchen will be continuing the fall holiday theme with a Thanksgiving class next month. The title is Thanksgiving: Extreme Makeover (everything but the turkey) and that pretty much says it all. I’ll be giving a primer on how to make a plant-based meal so delicious you won’t miss the traditional bird.

Advance registration for that class opens on October 14. The fee is $30 for Kaiser Permanente members and $40 for non-members.


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