Lily Simpson, founder of The Detox Kitchen, shares her hearty and warming pumpkin recipes, which are rich in vitamins, essential minerals and fibre
Chickpea, Pomegranate & Pumpkin Curry
Serves 4 • 285 calories per serving
Chickpeas seem to have been made for vegetable curries as they have a wonderfully satisfying texture and they soak up all the spicy flavours. This recipe combines Indian spices with some Middle-Eastern influences in the pomegranate seeds and mint. The curry makes the perfect nourishing meal when you’ve been hit with the flu – iron and vitamin C are essential for a strong immune system, and coconut contains lauric acid, which has anti-viral properties.
- ½ large pumpkin
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- A thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated with the skin on
- 5 curry leaves (preferably fresh)
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 pomegranate
- 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 200ml coconut milk
- Juice of 1 lime
- A handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish
- To prepare the pumpkin, cut the piece in half and scoop out the seeds and fibres. Cut each half into four pieces, then peel off the skin and discard. Cut the flesh into 1cm-thick wedges or half-moons.
- Set a large pan on a high heat and add the oil. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes. Now stir in the garlic, ginger and curry leaves and cook for 3 more minutes. Mix in the curry powder, cardamom, chilli, 100ml water, the salt and the pepper. Cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin to the pan with 150ml water. Stir well. Simmer for 20–25 minutes until tender.
- Meanwhile, cut the pomegranate in half and place the halves cut side down on some kitchen paper. Gently tap them with a wooden spoon until all the seeds have fallen out. You will have to remove some of the skin that has fallen out too. Set the seeds aside.
- Add the chickpeas and coconut milk to the curry and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Finally, add the lime juice and chopped mint and stir through. Serve hot, garnished with the pomegranate seeds and mint leaves.
Rich in Vitamins B1 (thiamin), C and E • Iron • Potassium • Phytoestrogens • Fibre
Serves 4 288 calories per serving
The stew known as feijoada is one of Brazil’s national culinary treasures and it is often made for large gatherings of family and friends. It is traditionally based on meat but this vegetarian version with pumpkin and black beans is just as good and hearty.
- 200g brown or wild rice 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- onion, diced
- garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tbsp grated fresh root ginger 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 small pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 2.5cm pieces
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 400g tinned black beans, drained and rinsed Zest and juice of 2 limes, plus lime wedges
- to serve
- 100g cherry tomatoes, cut in half 1 tsp smoked paprika
- A small handful of fresh coriander Flaked sea salt
Put the rice in a pan with a pinch of salt and cover with three times the amount of Bring to the boil, then simmer until tender – brown rice will take 20–25 minutes, wild rice 30–35 minutes. Drain and keep hot.
While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic and ginger until the onion is Add the ground coriander, the red and yellow peppers and pumpkin and cook for a few more minutes, stirring. Pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for 10 minutes until the pumpkin is soft.
Add the black beans, the lime zest and juice, cherry tomatoes and smoked paprika and stir well. Simmer for a few more minutes until the beans are hot.
Meanwhile, pick the coriander leaves and set aside. Finely chop the Add them to the pan and mix into the feijoada.
Serve the feijoada with the rice, coriander leaves and lime wedges for squeezing.
Pumpkin, cherry and almond pie
Serves 4 646 calories per serving
Using pumpkin in sweet dishes has a long history – pumpkins were once stuffed with apples, sugar and spices to serve with savoury foods, and spicy, sweet pumpkin pie is traditional for American Thanksgiving. I love the naturally sweet, smooth texture of this pumpkin filling, which works very well with cherries. The pastry base can be a little fiddly as it doesn’t hold together like a regular shortcrust, but it’s worth the faff. If the pastry breaks as you line the tin, you can just patch it.
For the pastry:
- 200g porridge oats 150g ground almonds Grated zest of 1 orange 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp wheat-free flour, plus extra for rolling out and dusting the tin
For the filling:
- 400g pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil 2 tbsp maple syrup 1 tbsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground cardamom 70g ground almonds Grated zest of 1 orange 3 eggs
- 400g fresh cherries, stoned and cut in half
100g fresh cherries 1 tbsp honey Coconut yoghurt
To make the pastry, put the oats, almonds, orange zest, maple syrup and egg into a large mixing bowl and bring together with your hands to form a dough.
Dust your work surface with the tablespoon of Place the dough on the surface and knead into a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30–40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas Dust a 20cm fluted tart tin with flour.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on the lightly floured Place it over the tart tin and gently press over the bottom and into the sides. Trim off the excess and use to patch any holes. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then set the pastry case aside to cool. Leave the oven on.
To make the filling, spread out the pumpkin on a baking tray and roast for about 30 minutes until Leave to cool, then tip into a food processor, add the oil and maple syrup, and blitz until smooth. Add the rest of the filling ingredients, except the cherries, and blitz to combine – the texture should be similar to a sponge cake mixture.
Pour the filling into the pastry case. Scatter the cherries evenly over the surface and press them halfway into the mixture so that they are still visible on top. Bake for 25–35 minutes until the filling has set and is lightly golden on top. Allow the pie to cool to room temperature before
While the pie is in the oven, put the additional cherries in a pan with the honey and cook on a low heat for a few minutes until the cherries have Allow to cool.
To serve, top each piece of pie with coconut yoghurt and some honeyed cherries.
For more easy pumpkin recipes, pick up a copy of the October/November issue of Holistic Scotland Magazine or subscribe today.