Meatloaf in a Pumpkin

4 small (1 pound each) sugar pumpkins

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 (8-ounce) can stewed tomatoes

2 eggs

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried basil (optional)

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)

Cut top 1/4 off each pumpkin; remove and discard seeds and fibers. Peel and coarsely shred tops of pumpkins. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large skillet, sauté beef until no pink remains. Add onion and pepper and cook 5 minutes longer; drain well. Stir in shredded pumpkin, tomatoes, eggs, salt, seasonings. Pack into pumpkins. Place pumpkins in roasting pan; place a piece of aluminum foil over top but do crimp it over the sides of the pan. Roast 35 to 45 minutes or until pumpkins are just tender. Watch carefully at end of roasting time so that pumpkins don't overcook. Serve with tossed salad and bread for a balanced, nutritious, and colorful Halloween meal!