Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Stuffed Pumpkin

Stuffed pumpkin was my first lunchtime dish on my attempt to practice 'cleaner eating', basically eating minimally processed foods as much as possible.

I had happened to buy a tiny pumpkin in the 'reduced for quick sale' section of my local supermarket.  I bought it because it fit in my hand, it was 25p and was unbearably cute.  That said, I like pumpkin in things but had never been that fussed with them being the star.  This recipe brings together the best of everything seasonal though; sweetness from the pumpkin, earthy flavours from the lentils and mushrooms and salty cheese.

Stuffed Pumpkin - makes 1-2 portions depending on appetite and size of pumpkin


1 small pumpkin or squash, mine weighed 220g, 8oz
1/2 onion
50g, 1.5oz green lentils
50g, 1.5oz mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil
80g, 2.5oz feta cheese
A few sprigs thyme and parsley


Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds.  Roast in an oven at 200oC, 400F, Gas Mark 6 for 30 minutes or until a knive inserted into the flesh feels soft.

While the pumpkin is cooking, cook the lentils following pack instructions (although check because the pack I had said they'd take 10 minutes boiling and 30 minutes simmering.  Actually I boiled for 10 minutes and simmered for 15 and they were done.)

Finely chop the onion and fry in the oil.  While the onion is frying, finely chop the mushrooms then add to the pan.  Gently brown then add in the chopped garlic and fry for a minute or so.  Take off the heat and add the chopped herbs.

When the lentils are cooked, drain and add to the onion mixture with the finely diced feta cheese.  When the pumpkins are softened, pour the filling into the shells, just add the rest to the baking dish if there's too much and just let it tumble artfully into the tray (just stick it all in basically, it tastes good whatever.)  Bake for another 10 minutes or until hot through and the feta cubes exposed are browning.

Serve as it is or as I did with green beans and broccoli.  This is a great dish for meat eaters and veggies alike because it feels substantial and the texture is so varied.

After my first day of clean eating, I'm craving cake.  I have to be honest.  It's surprising how much processed foods I'm realising I eat (and how much cake).

That said, at the end of the day I feel less bloated, less sluggish.  I do feel good.  I've eaten a fantastic amount of fruit and vegetables today because when you're not eating processed foods, fruits and vegetables are some of the quickest things to eat.  Pumpkin, onion, lentils, mushrooms, blackberries, grapes, lettuce, cucumber, strawberries...  I'm going to be regular!  I'd still murder a cream bun though.

I had some lovely chicken tikka for tea I'll write about tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled.

I've linked this up to fuss free living "extra veg" linky.


  1. It is inspiring to hear about someone dedicating themselves to eliminating processed foods from their diet. I hope you have great success. Thank you for sharing at the Southern Special #30.

  2. This is lovely Heidi. I love those baby pumpkins. Perfect for an individual serving.

  3. This sounds gorgeous and I am getting ready for my annual assault on the sweet little pumpkins in Zurich this week.
    Have you any more recipes that involve the versatile Kurbish?
    And do you ever use Kurbish kernel oil in soups or other cooking?

    1. I still have no idea what you're talking about Jeff but it wouldn't be the first time!


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