The Pain & Squash Goat Cheese Pie in a Pumpkin Sunflower Crust with Pomegranate Sauce

by Joanne on December 3, 2010

It’s December already.  It had been decided weeks ago that I wouldn’t tally my running miles for the year until December 1st.  At that point, I would decide if I wanted to achieve any nice round number of miles.  As of November 30th, my total running miles only (no walking miles in there) is 1702. 

Next, I made an easy calculation:  10 miles per day for the next 30 days would give me a nice round number of 2000.  Ted laughed “she’s having a  lapse of insanity”.  Still…my mind kept calculating… I could run 15 miles each Saturday with 5 days of running per week which would give me 22 days and if I ran mostly 11 miles, one or two 10 mile days, I’d get to 2000. STILL…insanity.  It won’t happen but DARN if those thoughts won’t be at the back of my running obsessed mind.

Tuesday night we had a swim lesson scheduled.  Early in the afternoon, I got a funny little “catch” in the front of my leg.  It felt like it should “pop” out any moment but wouldn’t.  It kind of hurt to walk or bear weight on it.  No swim night for me.  A sleepless night followed since there was no position except my back that was comfortable in lieu of the pain.  The pain was in my lower stomach and extended down the front of my thigh but was most pronounced just below the hip.  

When you have pain in the middle of the night, are your worrisome thoughts over exaggerated and senseless? Do you wonder if you should see a doctor?

These were my thoughts as I lay in bed. 

  • I wonder if it’s appendicitis? 


  • No – that’s on the left side. [she pokes her lower left side and releases it to see if the pain worsens]. Hmmm….no pain when I do that. Guess it’s safe. Hope so or the thing could burst and release poison into my body and, since I don’t know when  to see a doctor, I could die.   END OF THOUGHT.
  • I wonder if I have diverticulitis?  I eat an awful lot of nuts and seeds.. 

squirrel nuts

  • I’ll have to check the internet to see what that pain is like.  I wonder if I can get over it without medication?  I don’t think you die from diverticulitis?  Another one to look up. END OF THOUGHT.
  • Could it be a stress fracture?


  • No – it doesn’t feel like a stress fracture. Wait! You don’t even know what a stress fracture feels like.  It must be worse than this? But this is pretty painful…WHY CAN’T I LIE ON MY SIDE??!!! I’m afraid I’ll choke if I fall asleep on my back. 

Wednesday morning, I could barely pull my socks on and  resorted to a simple weight workout of back and shoulders.  No aerobics.  I couldn’t even walk Shane farther than one mile .  If he had pulled at all, I would have been…”dog meat”.  Smile with tongue out

Thursday morning, the pain was a bit easier.  At least I was able to sleep through the night.  It was cold and icy outside but I walked gingerly along for 3 1/2 miles.  

Thursday night was our last swimming lesson at MV so I went with Ted in hopes that swimming would be comfortable and there would be no need for the instructor or life guard to practice resuscitation maneuvers.

saving the swimmer

A good 45 – 50 min. workout but it wasn’t pain free. 

After the swim, we ventured out to UNO’s Grill to use my $5.00 off coupon.  That’s right – we LUUUV coupons!   For some unknown reason, I ate the onion in my salad. What’s WRONG with me?!!!


Friday, a 5K walk.  My entire leg was stiff, from the hamstring up to my hip.  But at least that intense “pin-point” pain was gone. So frustrating!


A savory side dish for any late Fall or Winter meal.  Yes it has a little sugar in it but not a whole lot. Just enough to give it a bit more flavor.  If you prefer, leave out the sugar and sauté some onions, or add a few finely chopped sun dried tomatoes for a neat little twist.  Experiment! This recipe is flexible.


Serves 8

  • 1 Kabocha or Acorn Squash, cooked *see below
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Salted Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat four
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 3 TBS Promise Healthy Heart Margarine
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 TBS Spiced Rum
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 TBS cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp all spice  (instead of all spice, try cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or some other favorite Fall/Winter spices)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs, slightly beaten

Cook the Squash:

Put the squash in the microwave for about 10 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.  The squash should be soft to the touch.  Remove carefully from microwave and allow to cool about 1 to 2 hours. 

After the squash has cooled, cut open, remove seeds, scoop the squash “meat”from the skin and put into a large bowl.  Set aside.

Make the crust:  Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a food processor, add the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and process about 10 seconds to a course crumb.  Add the flour and sugar, give it a whirl just to blend.  Remove the seed and flour mixture to a bowl.  Cut in the Healthy Heart Margarine and blend to a course crumb.

Press into a Pyrex Glass pie place.  Bake for 15 minutes or just until it begins to brown.

Make the filling: – while the crust is baking

Using the bowl that you have the squash “meat” in, add the goat cheese, rum, sugar cornstarch, all spice, salt, and eggs.   Use a hand mixer and beat this filling for about 1 to 2 minutes on medium to high speed. 

Pour the filling into the hot crust.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and bake for 40 minutes. Turn off the oven, leave the pie in the oven after you turn it off for another 20 minutes. 



Make the Pomegranate Sauce


  • 1 pomegranate – cut in half and seeds removed to a saucepan


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 3 tsp flour

Place the pomegranate seeds in a saucepan and add the water and sugar.  Stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook for 30 minutes over low heat.


Using wax paper (or other means to cover the sauce), cut a hole in the middle of the wax paper large enough to insert an immersion blender.  Drape the wax paper over the pan so it doesn’t splash.  Blend for a few seconds to remove the pomegranate pulp from the seeds.

Drain through a sieve and toss out the seeds.  Put the fine sauce back into the pan over low – medium heat and add the flour.  Stir until smooth and slightly thickened.

Pour over the pie and enjoy while warm.


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  • At 2010.12.03 07:47, claudia lamascolo said:

    You will have my vote for sure good luck looks awesome!

    • At 2010.12.03 11:29, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

      Okay 300 miles this month would be totally insane! My guess on that pain sounds to be IT band related maybe?

      • At 2010.12.03 13:22, Monet said:

        I’m so sorry about your pain! I am a bit of a hypochondriac, so I know I would have been anxious. I hope it feels 100% better soon. Thanks for sharing this lovely pie with us! What unique ingredients and flavors. I love the addition of the sunflower seeds.

        • At 2010.12.03 18:50, Angela said:

          UGH, so sorry about the pain. Maybe go to the doctor?

          That pie thing looks amazing!

          • At 2010.12.05 08:23, Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said:

            Uhh, I hate unidentified pain! I rarely have any but always head straight to doctors. Hope you figure out soon what’s up!

            I have voted for you!

            • At 2010.12.05 10:37, Amanda @ BakingWithoutABox said:

              Voted for you! Ouch. Hope you feel better soon. Gotta take care of that hamstring.

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