I’ve been going through my first year of posts on the blog and sorting them into virtual piles of ‘trash’, ‘recycle and ‘keep’, kind of like an online version of the seasonal wardrobe clear out! Which posts still fit? Which are slightly out of date but a few cute alterations would make it last another summer? Which are mistakes that need hiding! 😉
It’s been fun but difficult because I find it hard to be brutal with the building blocks of this wonderful blogging adventure I’m on. So I have found that my ‘recycle’ list is extremely large! Recipe ideas I had 2-4 months into Veghotpot are still good ideas, but with everything I’ve learnt I would now cook them differently and definitely photograph them differently!
This stuffed pumpkin has been recycled from a warm autumnal rice salad I first posted in 2011. It was a delicious mixture of rice, onion, leeks, cranberries, pumpkin and feta cheese. But it was lacking the vibrant colours which I love about vegetarian food.
So I decided to take the principles of the rice, add a Moroccan twist (which lets admit, makes everything better!) and stuff it inside a beautiful roasted coquina squash. I removed the feta cheese because I find vegan foods fresher and lighter and I scattered it with pomegranate seeds just because! Pretty!
I leave the skin on when I bake gourds such as butternut or coquina squashes because it gives a lovely nutty flavour to the dish. It also holds everything together nicely in a boat shape so you don’t end up with a messy pile of rice and pumpkin on your plate.
(serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a lighter lunch)
1 Coquina Squash/ Butternut Squash or Pumpkin of choice
1-2 garlic cloves (I leave this vague because I like adding 2 fat cloves but you may prefer just one!)
1 Large handful Kale
1 Cup Rice (brown or wholegrain is best)
1 tspn Ground Cumin
1 tspn Garlic Powder
Small Bunch Thyme
Sprinkle Chilli Flakes
1 stock cube
1 Small handful Cranberries
Salt and Pepper
Drizzle of oil for cooking
Preheat the oven to 180c.
Slice the squash in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds and score the neck in a criss cross (see photo above) without cutting the whole way through. Place it on a baking tray sliced side up and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the flesh is soft and the skin is softened but still holding shape.
In a saucepan add your rice, spices and stock cube (crumble it in) and then pour in enough water to cover the rice and boil until the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked. See pack instructions for water to rice ratio and keep checking it incase it needs more water adding!
In a frying pan drizzle a little oil. Dice your onion and slice your leek and kale and add them to pan for 5-6 minutes to soften then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Season to taste.
Once the rice is cooked mix it with the leeks/ kale and add the cranberries. The rice will be rich with flavour from those spices and contrast nicely to the sweet leeks. Stir so everything is mixed well.
Take the cooked squash out of the oven and scoop out the inside so that you are left with a shell. Cut the flesh into bitesize chunks and mix this with the rice too.
Pile the rice mix back into the squash shells and put back in the oven for 10 minutes to make sure the filling is really hot! Then serve with pomegranate seeds sprinkled over the top.
I had a half for dinner with some broccoli and green beans and it was delicious and light yet substantial enough to fill you up!