Winter comfort food doesn’t have to be heavy to be hearty. A pilaf style brown rice and chickpea salad pairs with sweet, roasted pumpkin and crispy pumpkin seeds for a winter dish that will comfort and nourish.
Nothing beats using your own fresh produce or materials around the house. If you’re missing a thing or two, tick the items you need to add to your shopping list.
Preheat your oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Slice pumpkin into half-moons and place on baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until pumpkin is cooked.
While pumpkin roasts, prepare the rice. Place rice and vegetable stock into a large microwave safe bowl. Place in microwave (uncovered) and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Remove and stir. Reduce microwave power to medium (50%) and cook for a further 20 minutes stirring halfway through. Once cooked, cover top with a tea towel and set aside until required.
In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Cook sliced onion and garlic cloves until onion becomes translucent. Add cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and black pepper. Stir until spices coat onion and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add drained chickpeas and stir to incorporate, then add rice and carefully stir until everything is mixed well. Remove from heat, place into a large bowl and stir through baby kale leaves.
Place pumpkin seeds into frying pan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or they start to crisp and brown. Remove and set aside until required.
Make the dressing by placing all ingredients into a small bowl and whisking well.
Assemble the salad. Spoon rice mixture onto a large platter and top with slices of roasted pumpkin. Pour dressing over and then top with crisped pumpkin seeds.
Leftovers will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Note: You can substitute rocket leaves if baby kale is unavailable.
Amy is a Brisbane-based blogger who is passionate about creating a healthy, nourished life with whole foods, running, reading and writing. Her blog, Thoroughly Nourished Life, provides delicious gluten-free and vegetarian recipes for meals and treats.