Whole roasted pumpkin
I have an excessive love of pumpkin, luckily for me pumpkin is available all year round in Sri Lanka, I eat some form of pumpkin at least 5 days out of 7 if not more. I have been eating a roast pumpkin and feta salad every day for lunch for nearly a year. I normally go through phases with my work lunch, eating one thing until I’m bored and then moving onto the next. Since March last year I have been eating this salad of pepper, carrot, cucumber, pumpkin, tomato, feta, olives with a dressing of olive oil and if there available narangs which are a tart local orange, bit like a lime version of an orange.
1 whole pumpkin – a 20cm ish / 2kg pumpkin can feed 3-4 depending how greedy you are (want to serve more? buy a bigger pumpkin and cook for longer)
1-2 onions depending on size (trimmed weight 80g)
4 rashers of bacon (without if vegetarian)
6 cloves of garlic
5tbsp (90ml) cream ( SL – Kotmale or anchor both work well)
2 tsp Rosemary or Thyme
1/2 grated nutmeg
Salt & pepper
Coconut oil for frying
First of all you need to cut into the pumpkin carefully with a knife at an angle and carve out a lid.
Scoop out all the seeds, remove most of the flesh from the seeds and keep to one side (do not throw away!) Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc, you can check this article out for 9 amazing health benefits of pumpkin seeds
Right, back onto the Roast pumpkin, once you’ve scooped out the seeds, sprinkle salt and pepper inside the pumpkin and heat the over to 180c / 350f / gas mark 4.
Chop the onion, mushrooms, leeks into smallish cubes, max 1cm chunks, finely chop the garlic and cut the bacon rashers (I find using scissors the easiest way) into 1cm squares.
Heat some coconut oil in a frying pan add the onion, mushrooms, leeks and bacon and fry medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
Pour this mix inside the pumpkin, there should be a small space on top, but if there is more then you need to make more mix so it’s nearly full.
Chop the cheese into 1cm cubes and add this to the pumpkin with the cream and grated nutmeg, mix well and taste, add more seasoning if required.
Place the lid back on, rub the outside in a little coconut oil (you can use olive but coconut oil in my opinion is far superior) put onto a baking tray and place in the oven. It will need cooking for 1 1/2 hours to 1 3/4 hours depending on thickness of pumpkin flesh. You can check if it’s cooked by taking off the lid and piecing the flesh with a knife, if it is soft then it’s cooked!
With the lid off. I normally scoop out the filling into a bowl then carve up the pumpkin, serve, then add filling. I have also found the organic pumpkins are far superior as they seem to hold less water and your filling stays nice and creamy, I get my organic pumpkins from Saaraketha Organics
Now what to do with the seeds? You can roast these for a delicious healthy snack and great to serve with drinks whilst your friends are waiting for dinner.
Heat the oven to 200c / 400f / gas mark 6. Boil the seeds with a teaspoon of salt in water for 10mins, drain and place in a baking tray, then add 1-2tbsp of coconut oil, 1 heaped tbsp of unroasted curry powder, 1 tsp of pepper and 1/2 tsp salt, mix this altogether
Once they’ve cooled just enough you can start eating, they should be delicious and crunchy. If you haven’t got enough seeds to do a whole batch, or can’t be bothered pop them in the freezer until you can!
Made without white flour or refined sugar, a nearly guilt free cake which tastes delicious. For a limited period, sign up with Knit1Tea1 to receive your free Spiced Pumpkin Cake recipe so you can enjoy a pumkin-threesome too!
I’ve just discovered the Food Renegade ‘Fight back Friday‘ I’ve added my delicious pumpkin recipe to the list and you can check out the page on the link above to find more articles on healthy lifestyle and cooking.
Take care, happy eating, come and say hello to my Mango man.