Christmas Spiced Stuffed Squash
I seriously cannot believe its this time of the year again!! Where did 2018 go... I absolutely LOVE this time of the year. Last Christmas we visited NYC to have our FIRST ever winter Christmas, and I LOVED it so much. Sadly we won’t be visiting any exciting and new places this Christmas, however we do plan to spend 3 weeks back in Australia over Christmas, and I am pretty excited about this as we will be working on a big project that’s coming out in 2019, spending time with family and friends, and of course, making the most of the beautiful Aussie summer!
I wanted to create this dish that’s inspired by my last Christmas, wintery ingredients, pumpkin spice lattes, Christmas cake, Christmas light shows and ice skating.
Of course, growing up in Australia Christmas was always mid-summer, but that’s not to say we didn’t cook warm Christmas dinners. The Christmas ‘roast’ is a very popular choice in Australia. So I think this dish could definitely be enjoyed in warmer places this Christmas. After all, I did create this in a very balmy location, Bali.
I went with pumpkin/squash to go with the Fall/Christmas theme (pumpkin spiced lattes). Bursting with red from the capsicum, tomato and pomegranate. The pomegranate reminds me of rudolf and his red nose ;) Sprinkled with some green parsley and drizzled over some white sauce (a reference to a white Christmas and Christmas pine trees). The dish is also infused with warm Christmas spices like ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg and dried fruits which remind me of Christmas cake.
Since Christmas is a pretty overindulgent time of the year, I have kept this recipe super healthy, and also tried to prevent as much waste as possible by utilising ingredients that would otherwise be discarded.
A great dish to cook and share with your family! I hope this dish brings you joy this Christmas.
CHRISTMAS SPICED STUFFED SQUASH
2 Butternut Squash/Pumpkin - cut in half longways, de-seeded (keep the seeds for one dish component, but discard the gooey fleshy part of the pumpkin)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
Pinch of Salt
Seeds of the Pumpkins
1 tsp Olive Oil
2 pinch of Salt (you want these to be quite salty as they’re a tasty garnish)
Spiced Stew Filling:
1 Star Anise
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Cinnamon Powder
1/4 tsp Clove Powder - optional
1/4 tsp Nutmeg Powder
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Onion, finely diced
1/2 Red Capsicum, diced
1 can of Tomatoes
1 can of Chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 tbsp Coconut Balsamic Vinegar
2 tbsp dried fruit (cranberries or sultanas)
1/2 cup Quinoa + 3 cup Water
1/4 cup Raw Cashews
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1/4 cup Aqua Faba (liquid from chickpeas)
2 Tbsp Water
1/5 cup Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 Pomegranate (seeds)
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
How to make:
Start by roasting the pumpkin. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius, fan forced. Cut pumpkin in half, de-seed it (but keep the seeds), place on a baking tray and brush/coat with olive oil, sprinkle the cinnamon and a pinch of salt and place in the oven to bake for 50-55 minutes.
In a seperate tray, add the pumpkin seeds, oil and salt. Toss so that they’re coated in the oil and place in the oven to bake (on the bottom shelf) for 25 minutes, or until they’re super crispy! Set aside for serving.
Make the creamy sauce by blending all ingredients in a blender on high.
Start to make your filling. Place a small pot on the stove with the water and quinoa. Bring to the boil, cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is soft.
Meanwhile in a seperate pot/pan, add a tsp of olive oil, the spices, and onion. Fry for 1 minute before adding the can of tomatoes, garlic, capsicum and chickpeas.
Simmer for 5-8 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, dried fruits and salt to taste. Simmer for another 2 minutes.
Once the quinoa is cooked, place it on the base of the plates, approximately 2-3 tbsp per serve.
Remove the pumpkin from the oven and place on the serving plates. Spoon 1 tbsp of the creamy sauce into the base of the pumpkin, followed by approximately 3/4 cup of the spiced stew. Sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds, parsley, crispy pumpkin seeds, and drizzle with a generous amount of creamy sauce.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a beautiful Christmas!
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