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Try pumpkin in something other than pie this holiday season, like a pumpkin bisque. Almond milk is the secret ingredient in this recipe, creating a creamy, nutty flavor. As an athlete, you can’t afford to miss out on using this ingredient. Pumpkin is loaded with vitamins A and C, contains 3 grams of fiber and is only 50 calories per one-cup serving.
Serving suggestion: Ladle the pumpkin bisque into a bowl and place a small pile of the roasted veggies in the middle. Any veggies can be used for the pesto veggies. The veggies selected are in season and were found at a local farmers market. They also make a great side dish or a fun topping for salads.
1. 2- 15 oz cans pumpkin puree
2. ½ small yellow onion, finely diced
3. 4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
4. 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
5. 3 Tbsp real maple syrup
6. 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
7. 1 Tbsp olive oil
8. 1 tsp salt
1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot or French/Dutch oven. Add onion and salt and sauté about 15 minutes until the onion is very soft and lightly browned.
2. Add the pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup to the pot and let sauté another minute.
3. Add the pumpkin puree, almond milk and vegetable broth and whisk until the ingredients are well combined. Cover and let simmer 15 minutes.
4. Turn heat off. Using an immersion blender, directly into the pot, blend the ingredients until completely smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a little almond milk or vegetable broth (the bisque should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon). If you do not have an immersion blender, wait for the ingredients to cool and use a regular blender to blend in 2-3 batches.
Roasted Pesto Veggies
1. 2 medium red beets, peeled
2. 3 carrots, peeled
3. 1 large zucchini
4. ¼ cup prepared pesto
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cover two large sheet pans with foil, and spray generously with cooking spray.
2. Cut the beets, carrots and zucchini into medium sized sticks (the size of a carrot stick).
3. Lay the carrot and zucchini sticks on one tray and the beet sticks on another.
4. Roast the beets for 20-25 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. The beets are done when they start to soften and form a golden crust.
5. Roast the carrots and zucchini for 5 minutes. Turn the zucchini and roast another 5 minutes. Remove the zucchini and turn the carrots and let roast another 10-15 minutes until they start to soften and form a golden crust.
6. In a bowl, toss the vegetable sticks with the pesto.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif. She is also a professional Xterra triathlete and mountain biker. Follow Jess’ recipes on her “Fit Food by Jess” Facebook page.