good fast food – the slow and planned version – stuffed roasted squash and other things delicious!

A while ago I found a recipe in a vegetarian cookbook called “fat freddy’s pumpkin.” It requires a big old pumpkin, cutting the top off like a lid, taking the seeds out, roasting it, scooping out and mashing the insides – then mixing it with cheeses, breadcrumbs, yeast extract, and nutmeg.

For some reason or another, a pumpkin at the supermarket costs $10 right now…

This is bloody ridiculous. Apart from the price, there is no point us buying a massive pumpkin, as only 2/3 of us in the house even like pumpkin.

So, alternative? A wee cute squash!

I have not had too much of a chance to put effort in to dinner this week for one reason or another, so tonight was the night. Here is the recipe for it, as well as some accompaniments, pizza bread and a green salad with crispy chickpeas (all recipes will be 2 generous servings).

Stuffed Roast Squash

turn up the heat, 180 degree styles

cut the top off the squash and scoop out the seeds. Roast for 30 minutes or so, until insides are soft. Today, i’m cutting the squash in 1/2, so I can serve it on the plate (cover it with tin foil if you want to do this, too)

Scoop out the insides  into a bowl and mash it.

get some oil in a pan, fry up some onion (i’m using spring onions), pine nuts, basil, rosemary. Add the mix to the squash with sea salt, ground pepper, an egg and cottage cheese.

stir all that up and chuck it back in to the pumpkin shell. Put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so.

Pizza Bread

1 cup wholemeal flour

1 tsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1 tbsp olive oil

pinch salt

put yeast in to a cup with warm water and sugar. let sit til foamy.

put the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the yeast mix and oil and stir through. knead the dough til forms a ball.


Place in a greased bowl, cover, and place somewhere warm for about 45 minutes.

punch the dough down and let sit for 5 minutes. On a floured surface, press out the dough til round. put a little oil, herbs, and sea salt on the top. Cook for 20 minutes on 180.

Crispy Chickpea salad

1/2 can (200g) Chickpeas in brine (drain the brine though unless you like farting)

1 potato

2 cups baby spinach or salad greens

1/2 capsicum

1 carrot, grated

1 stick spring onion

1 boiled egg

dressing of your choice

drain the chickpeas and coat in a little olive oil. roast in the oven until crispy

chop up the potatoes in to cubes, also roast in oven (some cajun seasoning would be yummy on it!)

Boil the egg, drain, and cool. Chop in to quarters.

Throw the spinach, chopped capsicum, carrot and spring onion in to a bowl. When all other elements are cooked and cooled (warm is fine), add to the greens. Mix through before serving with your dressing, and top with the egg.

Dinner. Is. Served!

(pictures slightly differ from my methods, as I made mine just a little healthier by not having egg, and the hubby’s a little less healthy by putting breadcrumbs on the squash)


xx Em.


Good Fast Food – Pumpkin Risotto

So many times I have said to hubby “lets get takeaways for dinner”. Around an hour later I say “sorry hun, i’ve changed my mind.” The guilt of getting takeaways usually takes over, and the realization that afterwards I will feel sick, bloated, and not satisfied at all.

So, what to do? The desire for takeaways usually stems from not wanting to make dinner – I am the only cook in the house (I know, I know, it’s something I have been trying to fix for 4 years now). Oh, and yeah, I am a control freak.

The fact that I usually want to opt for something much healthier than burger and fries or nasty pizza is a great thing. Sure, I have my issues with eating healthy, but I am so glad that I have finally said NO to the takeaways. If I have to get takeaways (usually while travelling), I will try to pick the healthiest options I can.

So, anyway this post is for those moments that I want something delicious and easy. Any here is what I made the last time I had the desire for burgers..

Pumpkin Risotto (serves 2)

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup aborio rice

1 tbsp pine nuts (or walnuts. and you can add more nuts if you want!)

1/4 pumpkin, roasted

2 cups chicken stock

sprinkle feta cheese

1/2 onion

1 tsp garlic

1 cup broccoli

2 cups baby spinach

sea salt

1 tsp italian herbs (fresh is best, though, so to taste)

mozzerella and sour cream to garnish


in a frying pan, heat oil. cut onions and garlic and throw in to the pan. Add rice and pine nuts and coat in the oil and onions.

begin to pour the chicken stock, just enough for the rice to absorb.

when you get to 1 cup in, add the chopped roasted pumpkin. Keep going with the stock absorption.

once you are finished adding all the stock, chop up ya broccoli and chuck it in, too.  Get your feta ready, and your plates for that matter.

Just before serving, toss the spinach, feta, sea salt, and pepper through the dish.

scoop on to a plate, and top with a little mozzarella and sour cream. NOW NOM!!!

I love cooking this dish. The smell is incredible. It is much more a sensory dish than joining the queue at the fast food joint! Nic and love eating this too, and when I make it for all us three, I change the pumpkin to chicken, and add lots of mushrooms. you can also make this dish with 1 cup white wine, 1 cup stock. It will give you a richer, fuller risotto.

Enjoy! I hope to follow this entry up with more recipes regularly.

xx Em.