This is a creamy, comforting vegan bake that happens to be gluten-free as well (ultimate bodylove, baby!). It is also easy as hell to make. Lightly spiced without being bland, fresh vegetables and jasmine rice are drawn together with a sweet, simple pumpkin-coconut sauce.
This is the sort of food that makes you stretch out on the couch and rub your belly in contentment afterwards; great for a potluck or a casual dinner with friends. If you are making food for two or three, there will be leftovers and they will be fabulous. As we all know, leftovers = fuck yes.
Creamy Pumpkin Coconut Rice Bake
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into half moons
1/2 head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
1-2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped just before using
3 cups roughly chopped pumpkin
1 x 400g can coconut milk
1 cup jasmine rice
2 tbsp tamari soy*
Breadcrumbs from 2 pieces of wholegrain toast
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
What to do:
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Add the breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds to a small bowl. Season with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Set aside.
Cook pumpkin in boiling water until tender. Mash well, cover and set aside.
Cook rice your preferred way. Drain and set aside when done.
While rice is cooking, heat oil briefly in a large saucepan. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add curry powder, cumin, cumin seeds, ground coriander and turmeric.
Stir for 30 seconds to let the spices begin to work their delicious magic, then add the zucchini, broccoli, capsicum and shrooms. Cook 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring regularly.
Meanwhile, blend pumpkin, coconut milk and soy sauce until very smooth. Pour over the vegetable mixture and stir constantly for 1 minute to wake up the spices and get ’em infusing the sauce with their goodness (it will look like way, way too much sauce, but trust me!). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked rice and fresh coriander. Mix well. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh black pepper.
Pour into a medium sized baking dish, and top it off with the breadcrumb mixture and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake 30 – 40 minutes, until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
* I used tamari here because it is gluten-free; totally substitute your favourite soy sauce instead if you prefer