Grumpy Cat via Ffffound
This is a simple, light tasting bake that is great for a weeknight winter dinner huddled around the heater. We’ve been doing a lot of that lately, up in the Wellington hills!
As well as being delicious, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds add an extra punch of protein, vitamins and minerals; pumpkin itself is a great source of Vitamin A.
Rice bakes are perfect for using up leftover rice as well as any vegetables that are getting past their prime. Add a few spices and some chopped tomatoes, and you’re well on your way to a delicious dinner. Try adding sliced capsicum, small broccoli or cauliflower florets, grated carrot, mushrooms or spinach. Mix it up! In my case, I had a couple of courgettes that needed cooking, so that’s what got thrown in. Happy baking :)
Roasted Pumpkin-Topped Rice Bake
What you need:
3/4 cup cooked brown rice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 brown onion, chopped finely
1/2 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp fresh ginger, crushed
1 large courgette, sliced
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp sea salt
2-3 cups chopped pumpkin, tossed in a little olive oil
1 piece of whole grain bread, toasted and ripped into small pieces
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
olive oil, for drizzling
What to do:
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Lightly oil a baking tray and cook pumpkin in oven for 15 minutes or until soft. Set aside when done.
In a small bowl, mix together bread pieces, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.
Gently heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add courgettes and cook, stirring regularly, until courgettes begin to soften and onions are translucent. Add fennel, cumin and ginger. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato paste and sea salt. Mix well. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 15-20 minutes, until liquid has thickened and reduced, stirring occasionally. Add brown rice and stir through.
Pour mixture into a lightly oiled, small baking dish. Top with the roasted pumpkin chunks. Sprinkle bread and seed mixture over pumpkin. Drizzle with olive oil. Add a few cracks of fresh black pepper too, if you like.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until top is golden brown.