Monday, 20 October 2014

October's Crazy Ingredient Challenge

I missed last month's Crazy Ingredient Challenge because life just got a little crazy, so this month I made sure to participate. The challenge was a little greater for me this month though because it was to combine pumpkin and bacon and if you know me, you know I don't eat bacon!

Because of my no bacon rule, I took a few liberties with the challenge and used tempeh bacon instead of the real thing. But if you really love bacon and beef,  I know you could substitute regular bacon and regular meatloaves in my recipe if you wanted to. Either way, the best part of the recipe is baking it in a little pumpkin!

I know this recipe is sure to get you in the mood for Halloween, or Thanksgiving if you live in the US. It's too perfect for either one of those holidays! So before you read on, just be sure you are ready to get into the holidays!

Vegetarian Meatloaf in a Pumpkin - serves 4

4 small pumpkins or squashes, whole with the tops cut off and the seeds scooped out
2 tablespoons each of grated carrot, finely chopped bell peppers, and finely chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons oil
1 package of veggie ground round
4 strips of tempeh bacon, crumbled (I used a smokey flavoured version)
1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 egg
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tomato salsa

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and then microwave pumpkins for about 15-25 minutes. This will ensure they are cooked through by the time the meatloaves finish baking.

2. Saute carrot, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in oil until fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes.

3. Combine sauteed veggies with veggie ground round, crumbled tempeh bacon, oatmeal, ketchup, egg, and spices. Mix until well combined.

4. Divide meatloaf mixture between the pumpkins and firmly mound the tops. Top with a spoon of salsa. 

5. Bake pumpkins for about 30-45 minutes or until the meatloaves are firm to the touch and hot.

6. Dig in and enjoy!


  1. What a great twist to make a vegetarian recipe. i also love that you baked it in a pumpkin!

  2. Great way to turn a favourite comfort food, into a vegetarian version.

  3. This looks wonderful...such a great combination of flavours! And I love how you've presented it!

  4. Very interesting and not something I would have thought of. Great job!
    Spatulas On Parade

  5. I love stuffed squash, but doing an individual serving in a mini pumpkin is so cute! And I am always on the hunt for Vegetarian recipes.