Crash the SuperBowl Snack Recipe #1: Vegan Smoked Paprika and Garlic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (+ a Product Recommendation for Calphalon’s Stainless Steel Roasting Pan)

Previously, I posted my favorite stove top recipe for toasted pumpkin seeds, but this kicked-up oven-roasted version is just right when you need to serve a crowd, make a large batch for gift-giving or, in my case, both.

Every day from now until the SuperBowl (aka Supper Bowl) next Sunday, February 5, I am delighted to post a vegan recipe ideal for snacking during the big game.  Some will be from my Blooming Platter Cookbook, some will be new, and some, like this one, will have been previously posted, but worth highlighting perhaps with a ‘coupla changes.

We’re feeling particularly “bowl protective” about this year’s game because, as some of you know, our dog, Huff the Great Dane, co-stars in a locally-produced commercial by our friend, Jonathan Friedman, that earned a Top Five Finalist status in the Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” competition!  TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO VOTE to make “Man’s Best Friend” a Top Two Finalist, thereby earning it air time during the bowl game.  (Click here to vote.)

We abandoned plans for a huge bash when we learned that Frito-Lay would not be announcing the winners, even to some of their own employees.  Rather, everyone just has to watch and see.  Jonathan and Matt, his brother and assistant director, will be watching from the Frito Lay sky box on the 50 yard line!  So, just in case our boy doesn’t win, we decided to have just a few close friends over for a potluck.  And these seeds will be perfect for healthy snacking.

But, these addicting pepitas are also serving another purpose:  the busy winter holiday season came and went without my preparing a gift from my kitchen as I do every year for my freelance clients.  So, with two weeks of grueling exams over last Friday–grueling for teachers AND students–this was the weekend I promised myself I’d get them made for delivery early in the week as more of a New Year’s gift.

Before I share the recipe, though, I want to put in a plug for the world’s best roasting pan: Calphalon’s Stainless Steel Roasting Pan.  See what I have to say here if interested.

Vegan Smoked Paprika and Garlic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Yield; 6 pounds

This recipe is easily cut to one-third or two-thirds.

Generous 1 tablespoon of olive oil

6 tablespoons vegan butter (my choice is Earth Balance)

1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

6 pounds raw pepitas or pumpkin seeds (I purchase Trader Joe’s brand in 2-pound bags)

Plenty of sea salt to bring out all the delicious flavors

6 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Coat a large (16 x 13.5″) roasting pan with the olive oil, add butter, and place the pan in a cold oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and allow the  butter to melt during the preheat.  Mix together the garlic powder and smoked paprika.  Remove the pan from the oven, add the seeds, the spice mixture, and a sprinkling of sea salt.  Roast the pepitas for 25 minutes total, removing the pan from the oven and stirring well in 5 minute intervals.  I recommend adding a pinch of salt and tasting at each stage, building up the layers of perfectly salted goodness to your preferred level so that you don’t over-do it.  After 15 minutes, add the nutritional yeast, stir well, and return the pan to the oven for the remaining 10 minutes, remembering to stir after 5.  The pepitas should be light golden brown.  Remove the pan from the oven, place it on a rack, and allow to cool.  Store the pumpkin seeds tightly covered at room temperature.  If you accidentally let the seeds get a little more roasted than you intended, pour them onto a baking sheet to cool, so that the residual heat from the pan does not continue to cook them.

Note, if you bake a smaller batch, you might need to adjust the cooking time down, as they will likely cook more quickly since the layer of seeds will be thinner, unless you use a smaller roasting pan.  My seeds were about  1-inch deep.

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