Now is the perfect time of year for including pumpkins or squash into your meal plans.
Our delightful pumpkin and chickpea recipe below serves four people and is great served with brown basmati rice and steamed broccoli. Total calories are 1368 (or 342 per serving).
Pumpkins are rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin A, so this meal will give your immune system a great boost, great now that the nights are drawing in. They are also a good source for the B-complex vitamins (including B6, folic acid and niacin). As pumpkins are high in dieatary fibre, they will keep you feeling fuller for longer, so a great addition to any diet for weight-loss. Pumpkins are great roasted in the oven (you can leave the skin on to make it easier to prepare), then mash or include in soups.
Pumpkin and chickpea curry
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
- 25g fresh root ginger, grated
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 150ml vegetable stock, hot
- 1 small pumpkin, skin and seeds removed and cut into small chunks
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 75g cooked chickpeas
- 400ml can reduced fat coconut milk
- 75g green beans (or use frozen, thaw first)
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh coriander to garnish
1. Cook the onion for 10 minutes in a little vegetable stock or water, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, ground coriander, cumin and turmeric and cook for 2 minutes, stirring all the time.
2. Add the pumpkin and carrot and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add in the stock or water. Then add the chickpeas, coconut milk and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce the heat, cover and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes.
4. Add the green beans and cook for a further 3-5 minutes, checking that the pumpkin and carrot are cooked.
5. Stir in the chopped coriander and lemon juice, then season to taste with pepper. Spoon onto a warmed serving dish and garnish with a sprig of fresh coriander.
If canned coconut milk is unavailable, use 175g chopped creamed coconut, which comes as a block, dissolved in 350ml boiling water.
A quick way to keep this a low salt meal is to make your own vegetable stock: place onion (cut into quarters), celery (roughly chopped), bay leaf and carrots in boiling water. Cook on low for 60 minutes or longer, then remove all the vegetables.