Roast Pumpkin Pesto Wedges

Dinner, Lunch, Salad

Autumn brings an end to warmer and longer days but it does add great colour to our trees and plates. Squash plants and in particular pumpkins are in prime condition at this time of year. I’m definitely trying to make the most of them and adding them to lots of different dishes.

A simple spoonful of pesto brings lots of flavour to any recipe and I love to experiment with different combinations. Pesto is traditionally made using pine nuts but they can be quite expensive and hard to find in shops. Hence I use nuts or seeds in my recipes. Roasting pumpkin seeds until they begin to pop make a great base for pesto. So reserve your seeds when you are carving your pumpkin to make this very tasty pesto.

This pumpkin recipe is great as a side with roast or grilled chicken or added to any salad.

Find out more great pumpkin and squash recipes here.

Serves 4.

Roast Pumpkin Pesto Wedges, Delalicious

  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Pumpkin Seed & Coriander Pesto:

  • 30g pumpkin seeds (reserved from the fresh pumpkin)
  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 40g coriander/mint/basil include the stalks
  • 10g parmesan
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat an oven to 180°C.
  2. Halve the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds, set the seeds aside and slice the pumpkin into half moon shaped wedges.
  3. Stir the honey, oil, salt and pepper together in the bottom of a roasting tray before adding the pumpkin.
  4. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Wash the seeds in a fine sieve, place in a dry frying pan over a low heat until they begin to pop.
  6. Place all the pesto ingredients excluding the olive oil in a food processor/blender or pestle and mortar. Combine until a smooth texture is formed, gradually adding the olive oil.
  7. Place the pesto in a sterilised glass jar with another layer of olive oil on top. Store in the fridge for 3 weeks.
  8. To serve: drizzle the pesto over the pumpkin wedges.

Roast Pumpkin Pesto Wedges, Delalicious

Happy cooking,

Sinéad

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Grated Carrot, Courgette & Pumpkin Slaw

Salad

If you haven’t figured it out already, I love salads!! It’s not just because they are healthy but I love the texture of salads, the crunch of cabbage, the burst of flavour that fresh herbs add and the juicy sweetness of sun-ripened tomatoes. This recipe is a very colourful slaw that combines lots of vegetables, seeds and a simple vinagerette that will add a serious burst of colour to your plate.

  • 200g red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 medium courgette, coarsely grated
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley or coriander, roughly chopped

Dressing:

  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  1. Place all the vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the seeds and combine well.
  3. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together until well combined.
  4. Combine the dressing, lemon juice and freshly chopped herbs to the vegetables and stir together until well coated using a fork.

Cheesey Bruschetta Pesto Toasts

Lunch, Snack

I’m not the biggest eater of bread but when I am going to eat some, my general rules are homemade or else locally produced sourdough. Sourdough is possibly the purest bread of all with only three ingredients (water, flour & time). If you fancy making your own, I would recommend trying Riot Rye‘s foolproof method, time & patience is required but you will be well rewarded for your efforts I promise! Bruschetta is a great option when in a hurry or simply have very little in the fridge. The pesto should last for 1-2 weeks in a jar in the fridge. Simply add your favourite toppings & enjoy!

 Coriander Pesto:

  • 50g cashews
  • 50g walnuts
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 50g coriander include the stalks
  • 25g parmesan
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Bruschetta:

  • 2 slices fresh sourdough bread
  • 4 tbsp cottage cheese
  • toppings of your choice: sliced cherry tomatoes, olives, sauteed mushrooms with butter & garlic, parma ham, smoked salmon
  1. For the pesto: simply add all the ingredients with half the oil into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add the remaining oil little by little until you get a suitable texture, taste as you go. 
  2. For the bruschetta: heat the grill, spread 1 tbsp of pesto on each slice of bread and place under the grill until lightly toasted. Top with the cottage cheese & the toppings of choice. Return to the grill for 2-3 minutes.

 

Mexican Bean Salsa

Dinner, Lunch, Salad

This salsa simply sings with all the best things about food: colour, texture, flavour and goodness. Fresh corn on the cob works best but tinned corn will be fine too. Serve alongside some Citrus Chicken and smoky paprika sweet potato wedges, add to a crunchy lettuce cup as a quick snack or simply eat directly off the spoon.

Serves 4.

  • 2 vacuum packed fresh corn on the cob or 1 x 400g tin corn
  • 1 x 400g tin kidney beans
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 fistful fresh coriander
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  1. Cook the corn on the cob as per packet or rinse tinned corn. Once cooked, heat a grill pan until smoking and lightly charr the corn on all sides.
  2. Allow to cool and cut the corn off the cob.
  3. Drain and rinse the kidney beans, dice the tomatoes, finely slice the spring onions and finely chop the coriander.
  4. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl, squeeze in the lime juice and mix well.

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Dinner, Lunch, Salad

Tabbouleh is a traditional Lebanese dish made with bulgur or couscous; here I’ve substituted cauliflower rice which is a great way to squeeze some extra veggies into your diet. Serve simply on its own or else alongside my Baby Gem, Spinach & Broccoli Salad. It also works great with some sweet potato wedges and my Citrus Chicken.

Serves 4.

  • 1 small head cauliflower (around 250g)
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp pistachio
  • 1 large bunch each of fresh parsley, mint & coriander
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower and cut into cubes. Blitz the cubes in the food processor until a rice consistency is formed.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the cauliflower, 1 tbsp lemon juice & stock, bring to the boil, cover with a lid & reduce to a simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, stir regularly to ensure the cauliflower cooks evenly & doesn’t get stuck to the pan. Transfer to a large mixing bowl & allow to cool.
  3. Place all the seeds & pistachios in a small frying pan and toast over a medium heat until you hear the seeds pop.
  4. Roughly chop all the fresh herbs & add to the cauliflower with the pomegranate seeds, toasted seeds & lemon juice.Mix well together & serve.

Dip In!!

Snack

Both of these dips are ideal as a snack at any time of the day or as an easy starter with a bunch of friends. Simply add some vegetable sticks or slices of charred sourdough bread. The salsa verde is also a great way to liven up a steak sandwich!

I do love hummus so here are a few more flavour options to try: Minty Beetroot, Roast Carrot and Garlic or Spicy Roasted Red Pepper.

Simple Creamy Hummus:

  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp parmesan, grated
  1. Place all the ingredients with 2 tablespoons of the oil in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Gradually add the remaining oil until you get your preferred texture.

Salsa Verde:

  • 20g fresh coriander (include the stalks)
  • 20g fresh parsley
  • 20g fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Bunch all the herbs together into a ball and roughly chop.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together with the oil, lemon zest and juice.
  3. This will keep fresh in the fridge under a layer of oil for 3 days.

Happy cooking,

Sinéad

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Roasted Winter Veg & Coriander Soup

Lunch, Soup

Food waste is a massive issue all over the world; on average 30% of your weekly food shop is thrown away! My rule is once the food isn’t offensively smelling or completely decayed it can be used, no matter what the best-by date reads. This soup is a great way to use up any root vegetables rattling around in the bottom of your fridge; roasting the vegetables takes a little longer but adds a really smooth velvety texture to the soup. Perfect with some of my Oat & Seed Loaf as a starter to any meal, or my favourite as a post-training or lunchtime meal.

  • coconut oil
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 medium sweet potato
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 medium parsnips
  • 1/2 medium turnip
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1.5 litre hot vegetable stock
  • fresh coriander to serve
  1. Heat an oven to 180°C. Peel and roughly cube the root vegetables. Stir 1 tbsp melted coconut oil, spices and fresh rosemary through the vegetables and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. 
  2. Melt 2 tsp coconut oil in a large pan over a low heat.
  3. Peel and finely chop the garlic, onion & celery. Add to the coconut oil and lightly saute until the onions are translucent.IMG_1761
  4. Stir through the roasted root vegetables. 
  5. Add the stock, bring to a boil and return to a gentle simmer for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through.
  6. Use a handheld blender to blend the soup to your preferred consistency.
  7. Garnish with some fresh coriander.