What I truly adore about autumn not only are its beautiful sceneries, the reddish leaves flitting around in the cold breeze, the hot cacao cups and huge comfy and soft jumpers, but all its deliciously healthy vegetables. I suppose we are all familiar to those dark nights, heading back home in the cold, our body chilled to the bone, desperately looking forward to eating that large bowl of pumpkin soup that seems to be the only existing thing that could warm us up. I love those moments and even though the whole process before actually the warm soup might be incredibly tough, it really fits in the depiction I have of what a genuine cold day is. However, to be earnest, as much as I like all kinds of soup, I believe that we all know what a pumpkin soup looks like and am kind of getting tired of them. It would therefore be incoherent for this little autumnal short story to be followed by a soup recipe. Today, I wanted to show you another amazing way to eat that big sweet orange vegetable we sometimes do not know what to do with…except a soup!
Roasting the squash actually gives it a really tender texture, and each bite melts in your mouth like an eatable piece of heaven. And adding some cardamom, ginger and maple syrup to that roast really brings it to another level; all the flavours are mingling together in some kind of hot, spicy and yet sweet whirlwind of happiness. I am not exaggerating here. It actually was the first time I ever used wild rice (shame on me, I know…!) and that was a pretty delicious way to discover its nutty and very interesting taste; I shall test a risotto version of my Butternut Quisotto with that wild rice…or maybe with black rice…well, I will keep you updated (are good ideas coming while writing ? I’ll see haha). What I love about this dish is that it makes the perfect evening comforting meal, that takes almost no time to prepare; you can also reheat it quite easily and even eat it cold as a lunch for example (if you’re not a fan of microwaving your food!). And last but not least, squash is a very important source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and carotenoids phytonutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin that are great immune boosters and help defending the organism against free radicals…much needed in those cold times!
Before leaving you to this incredibly delicious meal I am crying not to have any leftovers of, I just wanted to say how thankful I am for all the great things that are happening to me these days. I’ve had the amazing chance to be teaching twice in the yoga studio I’ve done my teaching training in and am really excited about being able to do it again. I only had nice and constructive comments and people really seemed to enjoy themselves. I know things are not yet granted and I’ll never stop learning, from other teachers, other yogis, and from my students as well; but I am thankful for this opportunity to enrich myself, to grow and to spread the love, heath and glow I have inside to people who are willing to welcome it. The path is long but beautiful. And remember: it is your body, your life, your decisions, I am just here to inspire you and give you ideas, you can gladly take or throw away, as you wish. I cannot wait to start my own yoga lessons in my hometown and am extending my invitation to join those classes, to you, beautiful reader, who’s been following me for all this time.
PS: I know I’ve not been quite regular these past few weeks with my articles and other blog posts but since getting back to university, I’ve trying to figure out a way to fit all my projects, dreams, lectures and aspirations into my schedule. I promise I’ll try to be a little more systematic from now on!
Roasted Spicy Pumpkin with a Marinated Chives, Lime & Chilli Wild Rice
Portions: 2 – 3 servings.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes.
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
For the caramelised pumpkin:
- 1 Hubbard Squash, peeled, cored and sliced in half-moon shapes
- 2 tbsp of cold-pressed olive oil
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup
- 1 tbsp of cardamom powder
- 2 tsp of ginger
- Fine sea salt & black pepper
For the rice:
- 250g of wild or black rice, rinsed*
- 500ml of lukewarm water
- A pinch of salt
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tsp of chilli powder
- A good handful of chives, finely minced
- Pumpkin seeds, to serve
For the cashew cream:
- 100g of cashew nuts
- 3 – 4 tbsp of water
*If using wild rice, I would soak it for about 4 to 6 hours before cooking, so that it will take much less time than if it’s dry.
(1) Start by cooking the wild rice for about 25 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Preheat your oven at a 180°C.
(2) Prepare the squash as indicated above. Put all the pieces in a big mixing bowl, add the olive oil, maple syrup, cardamom, ginger, salt and pepper, mix it all together until well-covered. Place them evenly on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and cook for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
(3) Once the rice is cooked, add the lime juice, chilli powder and minced chives, mix it all together, cover and set aside.
(4) To make the cashew cream, simply blend the cashews with the water until creamy and smooth, adding a little more water if you want it to be runnier.
(5) To serve, place a few spoonful of rice in a middle of plate, three or four pumpkin slices and a good splash of cashew cream. Enjoy!