This fail-proof recipe will help you to make a boosting pumpkin dish for the coming winter months and will give you lots of power, vitamins and minerals that you can use to lift your record pumpkins.
The dish combines the inside of a pumpkin (which you will probably have laying around from carving out a lantern) and quinoa, a very healthy grain. We throw in some wonderful flavours and serve it in the pumpkin itself.
So, as a bonus, you won't have to do the dishes afterwards, you can just throw away your pumpkin bowl. If you have nice carving skills, you can even decorate your bowl. But first, let's start cooking!
This recipe is based on a recipe I saw from a local chef called 'Jeroen Meus' who made a stew from quinoa and pumpkin. I added some extra flavours, simplified the cooking process and changed how to serve it. I would like to thank him for the inspiration I got for this dish.
Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment
I made this dish for the two people. After you are done eating diner you will still have some left. That is on purpose, so you can take the leftover with you to work the day after and show off to your co-workers. It is tasty as well when eaten cold.
- one small pumpkin
- two red onions
- 150g (0.8 cup) of quinoa
- 40g (1/2 cup) of almond flakes
- 20g (1/7 cup) of sesame seeds.
- 50g (1/3 cup) of raisins
- 100g (?) of feta (Greek cheese from sheep milk)
- 1 orange
- 1/4 of a bush of parsley
- 1 tablespoon of thyme
- 1 teaspoon of Ras el Hanout (or any other spice mix you fancy with pumpkin)
- olive oil
- vegetable stock (I made mine from bouillon cubes)
- some honey (take the good stuff from a local bee-keeper, it tastes a lot better)
- pepper and salt
Since I live in Europe, we measure ingredients by weight (mostly in grams) and not by volume (cups, ...). I tried to include the amounts as well in cups based on these guidelines. But no worries, it still tastes great even if the ratios are a bit different. For example, if you have a sweet tooth, don't hesitate to add some more orange(juice).
For this recipe you won't need any special equipment, only an oven and one heat source for your pot or pan. In your kitchen drawer you should find:
- a chopping board
- a small knife and a big knife
- a pan
- an oven tray
- a cooking pot
Step 2: Carve Out Your Pumpkin Bowls
First, remove the seeds and carefully carve out the pumpkin, but don't damage the outside. You will need the outside for the bowls. I don't have any carving tools, so I used a spoon and a sharp knife to do the job. Try to make the chunks not to small so you will have a bite in the finished dish.
Step 3: Season the Pumpkin an Put It Into the Oven
Slice up some red onion and throw it together with the pieces of pumpkin into an oven tray. Add olive oil, thyme, Ras el Hanout, pepper, salt and honey. Toss it all around until all the pieces of pumpkin are seasoned.
Put the tray into your oven at 200°C for at least 30 minutes. Take a drink, sit back and take a short break. Once every 10 minutes I stirred a bit in the tray to get some other pieces on top. When the last 10 minutes start, move on to the next step.
Step 4: Making the Quinoa
Making quinoa is as easy as making rice. Nothing fancy here. Throw the quinoa into a pot with a lid and add two volumes of vegetable stock for each volume of quinoa. Bring the water to a boil and turn down the heat to let it boil very slowly. Keep the lid on for about 10 minutes. If the quinoa hasn't swollen by then and absorbed all the moisture, remove the lid and wait a bit longer. In the end it should look like the
A quick thing about quinoa:
Quinoa has a large protein content per 100 calories (larger then for example brown rice or patotoes) and a low gluten content, which makes it more tolerable for people who are gluten sensitive. It is often called a super-food due to this two reasons. Oh, and it has a nice Wikipedia article about it.
Step 5: Adding Flavours and Vitamins
Last step before serving. Time to add some extra flavours and vitamins.
First, roast the almond flakes and sesame seeds. They will add a nice roasted flavour and bite to your dish, but more important, also some vitamin B, vitamin E and essential minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. Put a pan on high heat and when it is warm, throw in the seeds and flakes. It takes only a few moments before you smell the nice flavours and see them changing colours. If that happens, throw them into the large bowl that we will use later to mix everything.
Second, add some vitamin C and sweetness by slicing an orange into small cubes. If you like your food a bit sweet or if you are in desperate need for vitamin C you can even add a bit of orange juice to the quinoa.
Throw in some fibers with the raisins and chop down the feta cheese and parsley to add flavour.
At this point you will have everything you need for serving on your chopping board and the pumpkin in the oven should be ready, unless you have ninja-chopping skills and did this step incredibly fast.
Step 6: The Pumpkin Bowl of Power Food: Serving Time
Since I was cooking for my wife, I did something extra when serving, but no worries, if you don't like doing the dishes you can serve it in the pumpkin bowl with just a spoon to eat.
Start by adding the orange, raisins and roasted almonds and sesame seeds to the quinoa. Next, take the pumpkin pieces from the oven and add them to the quinoa mixture. I personally like the flavoured olive oil that is left at the bottom of the tray and add that as well. This makes the dish a little bit less healthy, but gives it a lot more taste. Mix it gently and scoop it into the pumpkin bowl.
Top off with the feta cheese and parsley and serve with a little light to add a bit of Halloween mood to your diner.