Food + Drink Mum
Move over Michel Roux Jr, we've got our very own Masterchef who is on hand to bring you everything from low-cost and low-cal food ideas to mouth-watering recipes and meals in minutes. Bon Appetit!
3 Pumpkin Recipes.
Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Honey and Balsamic Dressing:
Ingredients – serves 12
• 1.75KG Butternut Pumpkin, Deseeded, cut into 2cm-thick pieces
• Olive Oil Cooking Spray
• 1/2 cup pine nuts
• 200g baby spinach
• 1/4 cup honey
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 250°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Place pumpkin in a single layer on trays. Spray with oil and turn to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast pumpkin, turning once, for 20 minutes or until golden and tender. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Step 2: Meanwhile, heat a small, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add pine nuts. Cook while stirring for 3 minutes or until golden.
Step 3: Make honey and balsamic dressing: Combine honey, vinegar and oil in a screw top jar. Secure lid and shake to combine. Remove lid. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 10 seconds or until honey is melted. Replace lid. Shake until well combined.
Step 4: Place spinach and pumpkin in a large bowl. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Drizzle with dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
Creamy Pumpkin and Lentil Soup:
Ingredients – Serves 4
• 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp
• 2 onions, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 800g chopped pumpkin flesh, plus seeds
• 100g split red lentils
• 1/2 small pack thyme, leaves picked, plus extra to serve
• 1L hot vegetable stock
• Pinch of salt and sugar
• 50g crème fraiche, plus extra to serve.
Step 1: Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onions until softened and starting to turn golden. Stir in the garlic, pumpkin flesh, lentils and thyme, and then pour in the hot stock. Season, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
Step 2: Meanwhile, wash the pumpkin seeds. Remove any flesh still clinging to them, and then dry them with kitchen paper. Heat the 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan and fry the seeds until they start to jump and pop. Stir frequently, but cover the pan in between to keep them in it. When the seeds look nutty and toasted, add a sprinkling of salt and a pinch of sugar, and stir well.
Step 3: Whizz the cooked pumpkin mixture with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth, then add the crème fraîche and whizz again. Taste for seasoning.
Step 4: Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche, a few thyme leaves and the toasted seeds scattered on top.
Pumpkin Curry with Chickpeas:
Ingredients – serves 4.
• 1 Tbsp sunflower oil
• 3 tbsp Thai Yellow Curry Paste, or vegetarian alternative
• 2 onions, finely chopped
• 3 large stalks lemongrass, bashed with the back fo a knife
• 5 cardamom pods
• 1 tbsp mustard seed
• 1 piece pumpkin or small squash (about 1kg)
• 250ml vegetable stock
• 400ml can reduced fat coconut milk
• 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 2 limes
• Large handful of mint leaves
• Naan bread, to serve.
Step 1: Heat the oil in a sauté pan and then gently fry the curry paste with the onions, lemongrass, cardamom and mustard seed for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Stir the pumpkin or squash into the pan and coat in the paste and then pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring everything to a simmer, add the chickpeas, then cook for about 10 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.
Step 2: Squeeze the juice of one lime into the curry, then cut the other lime into wedges to serve alongside. Just before serving, tear over mint leaves, then bring to the table with the lime wedges and warm naan breads.