It’s nearly that time of year again. Children sport strange outfits in the attempt to secure more sugar than they can physically carry home. Adults of sensible age will too make a fool out of themselves by dressing up, for reasons I am still unsure of. If you are anything like me, you won’t be fond of Halloween festivities. It’s an American-imposed ‘holiday’ that necessitates discarding your perfectly good clothes for something far less comfortable from the fancy dress section of the Amazon website.
However, if like me, you will inevitably and rather underwhelming embrace festivities with a half-baked attempt to carve a pumpkin, this blog post could be for you. It may be for the ‘sake of the office’ or to dull the enthusiasm of that one person oddly committed to celebrating this non-holiday – whatever the reason, you’ve armed yourself with a pumpkin.
Although carving a pumpkin can momentarily distract from the incredibly cringeworthy nature of this day as you allow your creative side to come out, it is in fact the start of monumental and annual waste. Up and down the country, pumpkins will be purchased for this one-day spectacle, before being relegated to the rubbish bin quicker than you can say November 1st.
So, why not do something a little different this year? Maximise the potential of that pumpkin and make a delicious pumpkin-based recipe – create something worth shouting about out of this relatively meaningless day. Pumpkin seeds themselves are high in protein, unsaturated fats and contain a rich range of nutrients from iron to calcium, so eating your carved pumpkin will reduce waste and provide you with the sustenance your body craves during these chilly winter months.
3 Pumpkin Based Recipes
- Cut the top off the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and pumpkin flesh.
- Heat the oven to 200C. Cut the pumpkin flesh into slices, drizzle with olive oil, season and place alongside 2 cloves of garlic, before putting in the oven to bake for 45 mins.
- Transfer pumpkin and garlic into the food processor with lemon juice, 2 tbsp of tahini paste and 400g of chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper and add more olive oil gradually. Serve with pitta/raw vegetables.
- Heat oil and cook onions for about 10 mins. Then add pumpkin, parsnips and carrots to cook for another 5 mins before adding curry paste.
- Blend together 8 ripe tomatoes, 6 cloves of garlic and ginger until smooth and then pour over the vegetables along with 200ml of water and let it simmer for 40 mins.
- Meanwhile, cook some rice and mix yoghurt, mango and chutney in a bowl for a side accompaniment to the curry. Serve the curry alongside rice with fresh coriander and the yoghurt.
- Put the oven on 180C and cut the pumpkin into small cubes. Drizzle with olive oil, season and then bake for 20 mins.
- While that is roasting, focus on the risotto. Heat some oil in a pan and add 2 cloves of garlic and 8 chopped spring onions. Add 200g of risotto rice and 2 tsp of cumin to the pan and coat the rice well.
- Add half of your 1litre of stock and stir occasionally until absorbed by the rice. Carry on adding and stirring the stock gradually for another 20mins until all absorbed.
- Once the rice has been cooked, add in grated parmesan, grated pumpkin and fresh coriander – now it’s ready to eat!
After all, pumpkins aren’t exclusively reserved for Starbucks and their autumnal spiced lattes!