Marco is away tonight, driving back from Sydney for a new car. I was meant to go with him, but with the job today I had to cancel. I did convince him to stop at Oliver’s Real Food, instead of McDonalds. He told me he got a delicious vegetarian burrito and smoothie. I’m very happy with him for breaking tradition.
Tonight I took advantage of his absence and made something with dried fruit and nuts. He really doesn’t like them added to savory food. I used dried cranberries, pistachios and pepitas seeds. I added them to brown rice and vegetables and stuffed them in a roasted butternut pumpkin. It was so delicious! This my first time whole roasting a butternut pumpkin and it was well worth it.
Roasted Butternut Pumpkin with Brown Rice, Vegetables and Cranberries (vegan, gluten free, soy free)
1/2 small butternut pumpkin
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup brown rice
1 medium brown onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
handful of green beans, roughly chopped
3 mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons cranberry seeds
1 tablespoon unshelled pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon pepitas seeds
sea salt and black pepper to taste
2. In the mean time, remove the seeds and slice lines diagonally across the top layer of the pumpkin and place 1 tablespoon coconut oil where the seeds were.
3. Bake the pumpkin for 30-40 mins or until the pumpkin is soft. While its cooking baste the the rest of the pumpkin in the melted coconut oil.
4. In the meantime cook the brown rice. Then leave on warm.
6. Add mushrooms and green beans and saute for a further few minutes or until cooked. Season with salt & pepper.
7. In the meantime, take another pan and dry toast the pistachio nuts and pepitas seeds.
8. Add the brown rice, cranberries, pistachio nuts and pepitas seeds to the vegetables. Heat through and re-season.
9. Top the roasted pumpkin with rice, slice in half and serve with the remaining rice on the side.