Autumn brings the maturing of pumpkins and squashes.
As we turn our collars a little the autumnal weather finds me seeking richer colours, sweeter tastes, herby infusions in addition to more weighty meals.
This recipe is sweet and warm using lots of nice grains and pulses. Toss in some cashews and raisins made each mouthful of this warm meal sumptuous explosion. Perfect for any autumn day.
Honeyed Cashew, Pumpkin, Black Quinoa with Spinach and Raisins
- 1/4 small Jamaican pumpkin (firm fleshed pumpkin, blue skins are perfect)
- Sprig of Rosemary
- Handful of cashew nuts (these can be soaked prior if preferred for easier digestion)
- 3 x scallion (or spring onions)
- 3/4 cup black quinoa (any quinoa will do but black or red will give the dish a great colour)
- 3-4 springs of Thyme
- 2 cloves Garlic
- Raw Honey (substitute with Maple syrup if preferred)
- A pinch of sea salt
- Black pepper
- Handful of raisins
- Bunch of Spinach
- 2 Tbps x coconut oil
- 1 x tsp Tamari
Chop pumpkin, put into a tray in the oven with 1 Tbps coconut oil, salt, black pepper, sprinkle with rosemary. Roast for 25 – 30 mins until soft.
Put quinoa, scallion (don’t chop as I remove this later), 1 clove of chopped garlic, some salt, black pepper, tsp of coconut oil, 1 1/2 cups of water into a pot (or slow cooker) and gently let the quinoa cook until fluffy.
In a pan, put cashews, remaining coconut oil, tamari, 1 clove of chopped garlic, paprika, raisins and warm the cashews until heated throughout and garlic is cooked. Add a tsp of honey (or honey replacement) and toss until cashews are covered. Add spinach and let heat gently wilt.
Remove scallions and pour quinoa onto plate. Add pumpkin then cashews and spinach. Toss together.
Start pumpkin seeds indoors late May as they can’t go out until all frosts have gone and ideally the weather has turned much warmer. They need a little heat to get going so once sown place them in a warm room. You can also direct sow them in situ in early June under a jar which has the same warming effect as indoors or a greenhouse.
You need space for pumpkins as they are big, majestic, rambling plants. Plant them somewhere they can wonder happily or in a limited space somewhere they can scramble up onto a framework. You’ll also need a really sunny spot with good fertile soil. These are warm weather plants that come from hotter climates so give them as much sun as possible.
I have planted mine in a raised which I am happy to let them trail over. It also has the benefit of being able to put lots of good well rotted organic matter into the bed to feed the plant.
A good tip is to mark the place where the plant originally started so that you will know where to water it. Once they get going it can be hard to figure out where the roots are with all the huge leaves and sprawling stems.