1 small-medium pumpkin (about the size of a volleyball)
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small can cream of chicken soup (or homemade substitute)
2 cups cooked rice
1 can sliced water chestnuts (drained)
options suggested by Stacey: chopped green pepper, celery, sausage
Wash the outer surface of the pumpkin thoroughly. Cut a circle off the top just like you would if you were making a jack-o-lantern. Remember to put your knife on slant when cutting the top. If you cut it straight up and down the lid will fall into the pumpkin while it is cooking. Clean out all of the seeds and stringy pulp. (I like to save the seeds and roast them later for a healthy snack.) Clean out the pumpkin and rinse it well. Set it aside.
Heat two tablespoons oil in sauce pan. Add ground beef and chopped onion. If you want to try adding a little green pepper or celery, put that in at this time as well. Once the meat is browned add the brown sugar, soy sauce, cream of chicken soup, mushrooms, cooked rice and water chestnuts. Mix well.
Place the cleaned pumpkin in a 9×13 baking dish or on a cookie sheet. Scoop mixture into the pumpkin and put the pumpkin’s top back on. At this point you can draw a jack-o-lantern face on your pumpkin if you would like. Place the stuffed pumpkin in a 350 degree oven and cook for 1-2 hours. Check after one hour. The cooking time will vary due to the size of your pumpkin. You will know it is done when the pumpkin is very tender and your casserole is bubbling all the way through.
You can serve this however you want. We like to put chow mein crunchy noodles on top and a little more soy sauce. The pumpkin is edible too, so scrap a little of the edge when you are dishing it up.