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Chipotle Roasted Pumpkin with Lime Cilantro Yogurt

Chipotle Roasted Pumpkin with Lime Cilantro Yogurt

re you pumpkin spiced out yet? It would seem like doused in that infamous spice blend was the only way people enjoyed pumpkin. Savory pumpkin is a thing though, and here is a delicious way to make some!

ere pumpkin is roasted with Mexican spices like chipotle, cumin, and cinnamon until caramelized and savory. It might seem unusual to prepare pumpkin with Mexican flavors, but pumpkins (and other squash) are commonly used in traditional Mexican cooking. Fun fact: squash, corn, and beans (the “three sisters”) were strategically grown together by ancient Mesoamerican peoples to promote plant yield and health, a technique known as companion planting. 

umpkin and other orange veggies have high amount of beta-carotene, a orange-yellow pigment that acts as a powerful antioxidant. Although beta-carotene is sometimes referred to as vitamin A, it more accurately is called pro-vitamin A because it is not in the vitamin A form until the body converts it. Vitamin A is a critical micronutrient to include in the diet as it has many roles in maintaining good health. 

Some of the functions of this vitamin include support of the immune system, cell growth and communication, and vision. Maintaining eye health is likely the benefit most commonly associated with consuming beta-carotene or vitamin A rich foods.  This is why your mom always told you to eat your carrots to keep your vision strong. Aside from orange veggies with beta-carotene, you can make sure you are keeping your vitamin A levels adequate by including animal products that contain vitamin A such as dairy, fish, and meat. Because this vitamin is fat soluble, you can increase absorption of vitamin A by consuming fats at the same time. 

hese roasty spiced pumpkin wedges are made with olive oil and topped with pepitas to help you absorb even more vitamin A with their heart-healthy plant fats, but mostly there just because they taste good. Also upping the deliciousness is a bright and tangy yogurt flavored with lime and cilantro. These two are staple flavors in Mexican cuisine that compliment the pumpkin and spices perfectly in this dish. 

umpkin can do so much more than flavor your latte and scent your favorite candle. Give it the chance with this roasted pumpkin! And enjoy another way to get more plant based goodness in your diet.

Chipotle Roasted Pumpkin with Lime Cilantro Yogurt
Makes about 6 servings
 
I used a Long Island Cheese pumpkin, but you can absolutely substitute another medium sized cooking pumpkin. Look for “sugar or pie” pumpkins, and don’t use the ones you carve. Not so tasty. Butternut squash would be perfect here too, just use 2 large ones for this recipe. You can easily halve this recipe if you like.
 
1 medium pumpkin, or 2 large butternut squash
1 tsp. chipotle powder
½ tsp. cinnamon, ground
1 tsp. cumin, ground
1 ½ tsp. coarse/kosher salt
several grinds fresh black pepper
2 tbs. olive oil
 
Lime Cilantro Yogurt
1 cup low or non fat Greek yogurt
4 tsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. lime zest
2 tsp. cilantro, minced
big pinch coarse/kosher salt
 
cilantro and toasted pepitas to serve
 
Preheat oven to 425°F.
 
Cut pumpkin or squash in half top to bottom. Remove seeds and membranes. Cut into slices about ¾” thick. (The skin of the pumpkin I used was quite edible and not too tough, but if you are against the skin, just peel your squash of choice.) Toss the slices with the spices, salt, and oil until they are well coated. You can do this on a sheet tray or in a big bowl. Arrange on sheet tray as to not crowd the pieces too much. Cook in oven for 45 minutes, until roasty and caramelized.
 
While roasting, combine all the yogurt ingredients in a small bowl.
 
Serve the roasted pumpkin with the yogurt sauce, and garnish with toasted pepitas and fresh cilantro. Extras will last a few days in the fridge and make great leftovers!

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