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5 Recipes With Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a great vegetable for your healthy eating and weight loss campaign that can be roasted, boiled or sautéed and used in many savoury dishes – and it can also be used as a fat substitute in all sorts of baking recipes.

Pumpkin is low in fat and pretty low in calories, but is also an excellent source of beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant which can help to protect you from certain types of cancers.

Pumpkin seeds are also an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients. Don’t just buy pumpkins over Halloween – use them year round. Here’s 5 weight loss recipes with pumpkins.

Pumpkin & Chickpea Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1kg pumpkin
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 3 tbsp. curry paste of your choice – try green Thai, red Thai, balti, korma etc.
  • 1 x 400g tin light coconut milk
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 2 onions
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 1 tbsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. sunflower oil
  • Small handful mint leaves, chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • Extra lime, cut into wedges to serve

Method of Preparation:

  1. Chop the pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds and stringy bits then chop into smallish chunks, removing the skin as you go. Slice the onions thickly and bash the lemongrass stalks with the back of your knife.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and cook over a low heat until browned, sweet and soft, around 10-15 minutes. Add the mustard seeds and cumin and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the lemongrass and curry paste and cook until the lemongrass is fragrant.
  3. Add the pumpkin, coconut milk, chickpeas and vegetable stock. Stir to combine and simmer for 10-20 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.
  4. Stir in the lime juice and chopped mint. Serve with extra lime wedges on the side.

Recipe serves 4. Calories per serving: 292. Add coriander instead of mint and a fresh whole chilli for a different take on this curry.

Thai Curried Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1.5kg pumpkin
  • 4 tbsp. red Thai curry paste
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp. minced lemongrass from a jar or 1 lemongrass stalk, bashed
  • 1 x 400g tin coconut milk
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 red chilli

Method of Preparation:

  1. Slice the onion. Cube the pumpkin, removing the seeds and stringy bits and remove the skin. Toss the pumpkin in ½ the oil in a roasting tin. Bake for half an hour in a 180C oven until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil in a large saucepan. Fry the onion until browned and softened. Add the curry paste and fry for a couple of minutes, then add the ginger and lemongrass.
  3. Add the cooked pumpkin, coconut milk and vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove the lemongrass stalk if using. Place into a blender and whiz until smooth.
  4. To serve, pour into a clean saucepan and heat through. Garnish with chopped red chilli.

Recipe serves 6. Calories per serving: 192. Use green curry paste and a green chilli in place of red if desired.

Pumpkin, Spinach and Bacon Stew

Ingredients:

  • 400g smoked lean ham
  • 1 medium pumpkin
  • 200g spinach
  • 3 onions
  • 300ml chicken stock (or more)
  • Small handful freshly chopped parsley
  • Pepper, to taste

Method of Preparation:

  1. Dice the onions. Thinly slice the ham. Halve the pumpkin and remove the seeds and any stringy bits, then chop into chunks and remove the skin.
  2. Dry fry the bacon in a non-stick frying pan until it starts to brown and release some oils. Add the onions and fry until browned and softened and then add the pumpkin and fry until the edges begin to brown.
  3. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the pumpkin is tender, then add the spinach and simmer until wilted.
  4. Stir the parsley and black pepper through the stew before serving.

Recipe serves 4. Calories per serving: 225. Add garlic or herbs such as dried thyme or oregano for extra flavour.

Spiced Chicken & Pumpkin with Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 500g pumpkin
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp. each ground cinnamon and ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. harissa paste
  • Pinch each salt, sugar and pepper
  • Small handful freshly chopped coriander
  • 75ml vegetable stock or water

Method of Preparation:

  1. Chop the chicken breasts into chunks. Peel the pumpkin and remove the seeds and any stringy bits and then chop into bite-sized chunks. Thinly slice the onion.
  2. Heat the oil and fry the onion for 10 minutes until golden and browned. Add the cinnamon, ginger and chicken and cook until the chicken is browned on all sides, around 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the pumpkin, tomatoes, water, salt, sugar, pepper, chickpeas and harissa. Stir well.
  4. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the pumpkin and chicken are tender and cooked through. Stir in the coriander.

Recipe serves 4. Calories per serving: 256. If you cannot find harissa paste, just add chilli powder to taste.

Italian-Inspired Pickled Pumpkin

Ingredients:

  • 1kg pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 125ml white wine vinegar
  • Handful fresh mint leaves, ripped
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 whole garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp. runny honey

Method of Preparation:

  1. Peel the pumpkin and remove the seeds and stringy bits. Slice into half-moons as you would a melon.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan with the garlic clove. Fry the pumpkin for 2-3 minutes on either side until golden brown.
  3. Drain on kitchen paper, then place into a clean saucepan with the honey, cinnamon, mint leaves and white wine vinegar.
  4. Cover with a lid and leave to infuse for at least 15 minutes or up to two hours before serving hot or cold.

Recipe serves 4. Calories per serving: 175. For extra bite, omit the cinnamon and add a chopped red chilli.

For more recipes and weight loss advice see our 28 Day Diet & Exercise Plan here



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