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Easy dinner recipes: Pumpkin pancakes, bread and more for Meatless Monday

November 04, 2013|By Noelle Carter

Love pumpkin? Here are some treats that go beyond traditional pie, from pancakes and bread that work well any time of the day, to a rich ice cream for a sweet after-dinner finish. Better yet? They're all vegetarian -- perfect for Meatless Monday.

Pumpkin pancakes: Pancakes are an easy dish for any time of the day. This recipe uses canned pumpkin along with a medley of spices for fluffy cakes that come together in less than 30 minutes.

Pumpkin bread: Serve a warm slice of this bread alongside a simple salad for an easy dinner idea. The recipe, Monastery Pumpkin Bread, has been a favorite of readers for years, and was provided by the nuns of the Monastery of the Angels in Hollywood.

RECIPES: 99 easy dinner ideas in about an hour or less

Pumpkin pie ice cream with pecan praline: Craving something sweet for after dinner? Have your pie in ice cream form, the rich and creamy ice cream studded with bits of pecan praline. Make the ice cream base -- it comes together in less than 30 minutes -- in the morning and freeze, so it's ready to dish up after a long day.

You can find all of the recipes below.

And for more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at

MORE RECIPES: 99 ADDITIONAL easy dinner ideas in about an hour or less


Total time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup milk

2 eggs, separated

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar

1. In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and ginger.

2. In another bowl, combine the pumpkin, milk, egg yolks, brown sugar, butter and salt.

3. Add the liquid ingredients all at once to the dry, stirring just to blend; the batter should be slightly lumpy.

4. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff but not dry; fold the whites into the batter.

5. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or heavy skillet over medium high heat. For each pancake, pour one-fourth cup of batter onto the hot griddle, leaving space between the pancakes. When bubbles cover the surface of the pancakes and the undersides are browned, turn the pancakes over and cook for two minutes more. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.

Each serving: 325 calories; 10 grams protein; 47 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 11 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 130 mg. cholesterol; 414 mg. sodium.


3 1/2 cups sifted flour

3 cups sugar

2 teaspoons soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup oil

2/3 cup water

2 cups mashed, cooked pumpkin

Walnut halves


Sift together flour, sugar, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Combine eggs, oil, water and pumpkin and mix well. Stir into dry ingredients.

Turn into 3 greased 8x4-inch loaf pans and top with walnut halves. Bake at 350 degrees 1 hour or until wood pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool before slicing. Serve with butter. Makes 3 (8- by 4-inch) loaves.

Note: Bread freezes well and tastes best slightly warm, spread with butter.


Total time: 25 minutes, plus freezing time

Servings: 6 to 8

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup toasted pecan pieces

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

2 cups heavy cream

5 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Pinch of salt

1. Line a (16- by 12-inch) jellyroll pan with buttered parchment paper. In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar and 2 tablespoons water and bring to a boil. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring (but if the liquid colors unevenly, swirl the pan gently from time to time to distribute the color), until the mixture turns a dark mahogany, about 7 to 8 minutes. The process will go very quickly in the last minute. Watch carefully and when done, immediately remove the pan from the heat.

2. Quickly add the nuts to the hot caramel, swirl to coat and pour the mixture onto the buttered parchment paper, using a rubber or silicon spatula to scrape the mixture from the pan and spread the nuts in as close to a single layer as you can. Set aside to cool. Immediately run the saucepan under hot water to clean. If the caramel has set, fill the pan with water and bring it to a boil to dissolve the caramel, and clean.

3. When the poured-out praline is hard -- it should look and feel like brown glass -- pull it off of the parchment and flip it over. Using a big spoon, a hammer, a wooden mallet, or some other pounding tool, smash it into half-inch chunks. Don't crush it any finer; the smaller pieces will dissolve into the ice cream.

4. Whisk together the pumpkin, heavy cream, brown sugar, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

5. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker, according to manufacturer's instructions. When it's almost frozen, add the praline pieces and continue freezing. Spoon the mixture into a container, seal tightly and freeze for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to ripen. Let soften 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Each of 8 servings: 409 calories; 3 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 33 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 82 mg. cholesterol; 45 mg. sodium.  


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