Before: Pork Carnitas Plate. Carnitas are a labor of love, as pork simmers in fat for hours until tender, then gets piled onto a plate with refried beans and rice. Very few veggies find their way into this classic dish.
A half-pound of pork is a gracious plenty for these tacos, which are beefed up with pinto beans, Greek yogurt-amped avocado crema, and a crunchy slaw topped with pumpkinseeds. The plant protein sources make up about half the total amount.
2 of 21Photo: Andrew Thomas Lee; Styling: Kaitlyn Du Ross
Treat yourself to a comforting bowl of warm, creamy rice pudding and enjoy a better night’s sleep. The goji berries sprinkled on top add fruity chew, while the pepitas offer nutty crunch and a tryptophan boost. Look for both at specialty grocery stores. If you can’t find them, sub tart cherries or pomegranates for the goji berries and walnuts for the pepitas; walnuts also contain tryptophan. A mild, less expensive honey works beautifully here; save the pricier, more robust honeys for a recipe where their flavor will be front and center.
Briefly cooking the pumpkin seeds and cumin in hot oil—a process known as blooming—draws out the aroma of the seeds and spice and deepens their flavor. Turmeric pairs fantastically with winter produce like cauliflower or root veggies, where its brightness, astringency, and tartness balance the earthy sweetness of the plants. Use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, if you prefer.
5 of 21Photo: Travis Rathbone; Styling: Megan Hedgpeth
This hearty salad is brimming with the flavors of fall with ingredients such as pumpkin seeds, brussels sprouts, cranberries, and dark, leafy greens.
9 of 21James Carrier
Candied pepitas Recipe Sauté pumpkin seeds in butter with cumin, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne, and a little honey for a sweet, delicately spiced topping to a tossed salad. Substitute them in for your usual nut or seed topping and enjoy the refreshing bite of flavor the pepitas bring.
10 of 21Photo: Yunhee Kim; Styling: Kevin Crafts
Roasted Delicata Squash with Honey, Pomegranate Seeds, and Pepitas
Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Recipe Pack away the peanuts and make a lightly spiced pumpkin seed brittle instead this fall. Serve it in large pieces for guests to munch on, or use smaller sections to decorate a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Start with toasted pumpkin seeds or, if you'd rather toast them at home, bake then until they start to pop.
13 of 21Photo: Francesco Lagnese
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds Recipe Scoop seeds fresh from the pumpkin (no need to rinse) and bake them for an hour until they're dried, then toss them in a skillet with olive oil, celery salt, and ground cumin until lightly toasted. For a sweeter treat, one user suggested adding brown sugar to the mix. Serve as an appetizer or snack during a fall gathering.
Pepita-Roasted Tomatillo Dip Recipe Dip your chips into a creamy dip that's dairy-free–the smooth texture comes from puréed tomatillos. The tart, faintly sweet flavor of the tomatillos is complemented by fresh cilantro, garlic, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Blend the ingredients and serve in a hollowed gourd or pumpkin.
17 of 21Iain Bagwell; Dan Becker
Fruit-and-Nut Breakfast Bars
Fruit-and-Nut Breakfast Bars Recipe Make a hearty breakfast bar that calls for raw pumpkin seeds, dates, almonds, apricots, plums, and sunflower seeds. Bake the bars for about eight minutes on each side, turning when the nuts are lightly toasted but before the fruit begins to brown. The result is a chewy, nutty breakfast solution that keeps for about four days.
18 of 21Brown Cannon III
Spinach and Pumpkin Salad
Spinach and Pumpkin Salad Recipe Roast your own pumpkin seeds or buy the store-bought, salted variety to add a bright crunch to this zesty spinach salad. A dressing made from pomegranate juice and red wine vinegar gets an extra punch of fall flavor thanks to the toasted pumpkin-seed oil. If you don't have pumpkin-seed oil, you can substitute extra-virgin olive oil.
19 of 21Jim Franco
Pumpkin Soup with Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Soup with Candied Pumpkin Seeds Recipe A generous garnish of candied pumpkin seeds brings out the sweetness of the Vidalia onion in this harvest-season soup. Use a blender to get the soup rich and smooth, then serve in hollowed pumpkins or gourds and top with the sugared pumpkin seeds.
20 of 21HOWARD L. PUCKETT
Sourdough-Pumpkin Strata Recipe Take this make-ahead strata to a potluck this fall or, as a user suggested, serve it as a main-dish meatless alternative to the turkey on Thanksgiving. The pumpkin seeds in this recipe are optional, but they add a fun texture to the dish and a nice crunch as they brown in the oven, so don't skip them.
21 of 21Photo: Ralph Anderson; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine
Lanny's Salad With Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Lanny's Salad With Candied Pumpkin Seeds Recipe Candied pumpkin seeds, seasoned with paprika, orange juice, granulated sugar, and brown sugar, bring out the zesty flavor of this salad's bright Citrus-Cumin dressing. Toss the seeds and lettuce with dressing and top the salad with crumbled queso fresco before serving.