I have this love for stuffed vegetables that can’t be explained. Something about them being wholesome, comforting, filling & completely delicious.
As luck would have it for me, now is the perfect season for pumpkins. You know, that same amazing vegetable that we carve into faces. Stuff into pies. Bake into cookies. Puree into soups. Mince into a casserole. The possibilities are endless. Recently I’ve even been pondering making pumpkin & cream cheese muffins. Maybe even a pumpkin cheese cake.
So, these amazing, delicious, round & wonderfully orange vegetables have now been turned into a container for the most incredible stuffing. I’m telling you, I love what Mel does with food. Every single time.
Any way, these baked stuff pumpkins have all sorts of amazing things in them. I ate a whole bowl of stuffing prior to them being ready, and then still managed to eat an entire pumpkin on my own. Scooping out that incredible orange flesh with every bite.
Ingredients: serves 4 – 5
– 4 or 5 small pumpkins / butternut squash
– 2 tbs butter
– 6 tbs olive oil
– 250g ground beef
– 250g ground pork (request that the two be ground together)
– 1 cup carrots, diced finely
– 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
– 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
– 200g wild rice
– 200g fresh spinach
– 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
– 1/2 cup red wine
– 1 cup chicken stock
– 1 cup dried cranberries
– 1/2 cup orange juice
– 2 tsp ground coriander
– 2 bay leaf
– 1 tsp all spice
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– 3 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
– salt & pepper to taste
– 1 large skillet
– 1 pot large enough to hold all ingredients
1. slice the top off of the pumpkin & use a spoon to hollow out the inside of the pumpkin making sure to remove all seeds & stringy flesh from the centre. Set aside.
2. boil the rice according to the package instructions, minus a few minutes. The rice should be just barely undercooked. Drain & set aside.
3. put 1 tbs of butter & 3 tbs of olive oil in the skillet & bring to medium heat. Saute the carrots, onion & celery together until soft translucent. Approx. 10 to 15 minutes.
4. turn the heat to high & continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the wine& cook for an additional minute or two until the liquid has evaporated.
5. transfer the vegetables into the pot.
6. add a tbs of butter & 2 tbs of oil to the skillet & turn the heat to high.
7. once the skillet has reached the correct temperature, add the minced meat & bay leaves & stir regularly. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until nicely browned.
8. add the stock & orange juice to the mixture & continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes & then transfer into the pot with the vegetables.
9. turn the heat down to medium for the skillet & add the remaining tbs of oil, add the spinach & cook until wilted. Transfer the spinach to the pot being careful to not add the excess liquid.
10. add the rice, pine nuts, cranberries, parsley, spices, salt & pepper to the pot. Bring the pot to medium heat & cook for 5 minutes stirring regularly.
11. remove from the heat & season with salt & pepper. Spoon the mixture into the hollowed pumpkins & pack it in. Make sure to remove the bay leaves prior.
12. in a lightly greased oven safe dish, bake the pumpkins on 200°C for 30-45 minutes or until the pumpkin flesh is tender.
13. serve & enjoy.
…for more recipes from us, check out our archives.
P.s. we’ll be trying to make more seasonal dishes so keep your eyes pealed, this is going to be exciting!