When Life Gives You Pumpkins!

June 13, 2019

Recently I received a message from our SheSociety office after a busy day of relief teaching at school. It said that there had been a special delivery, addressed to ME. Now sometimes these surprises are small, so the SheSociety team can just pop them in my letterbox on their way home. This time they assured me it was way too big for that. I had to pick it up. My curiosity and excitement level made me forget my tiredness and I zoomed to the office.

When I arrived I was greeted by a huge box of fresh veggies, some carrot earrings and an amazing invitation to the Jericho Road Clothing Launch which was to be held on a local Queensland carrot farm. Jericho Road are a Brisbane Fashion Label known for their love of colourful prints and this season they were focusing on , you guessed it , vegetable prints.

This was such a unique invitation that I had to say, “YES“ , straight away. This launch is part of the Scenic Rim Eat Local Week which runs from 29 June -7 July 2019. A few events have been scheduled in the lead up to this regional foodie week and the ‘Carrot Couture‘ show on June 15, is just one of the completely unique events showcasing our fresh local produce.

There are food painting classes, a Wild Canary Producers’ Dinner cooked by one of my favourite local chefs – Glen Barratt and a Roaming Degustation dinner at the fabulous Spicers Hidden Vale. Tastings of olives, farm tours, high teas and wine tasting are just some of the great events planned to showcase the best that regional Queensland has to offer.

What was in my colourful, veggie box ? There were delicious orange carrots and some  shredded carrot ( perfect for carrot cake making), cute baby capsicums, green beans, brown onions, a huge Kent pumpkin and a perfectly shaped gourd, my absolute favourite, a whole butternut pumpkin. We would certainly be eating the rainbow! I cooked soups and stir fries, tagines and salads.

But what could I do with so much pumpkin? Luckily one of my family’s favourite winter dinners is a hearty pumpkin and chickpea curry based on a Jamie Oliver recipe. After looking through my goodies some more, I noticed there were recipe cards with a whole range of recipes to make with the fabulous Kalfresh veggies. I would certainly be cooking up a storm. But back to those delicious orange pumpkins, when life gives you pumpkins here’s what to do!

Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 large pumpkin peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced ( or
  • I teaspoon chilli flakes or powder to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 heaped tablespoon red curry paste ( or curry powder)
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins coconut milk
  • 2 tins chickpeas, drained

Method

Pour a good lug of oil into a large saucepan and place on a high heat. Add garlic, chilli and red onion and reduce to moderate heat. Cook until golden.

Add curry paste or powder, stirring occasionally, before adding turmeric, tomatoes and coconut milk.

Bring to the boil, then add the pumpkin and chickpeas. Reduce to a low heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 35 – 45 minutes. Check and stir occasionally.

When times up, take the lid off and cook for a further 10- 15 minutes or so until the sauce is lovely and thick. You can garnish with coriander and serve with rice, naan or roti bread, add chutneys and dips on the side.

This curry is anti – inflammatory, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, delicious and filling on a cold night. You’ll probably have enough for lunch too or it’s great for making a veggie wrap.

I’ll be heading to the ‘ Carrot Couture’ fashion parade this weekend so look out for my round up of this wearable and quirky Queensland label and their big reveal on the CARROTwalk. At the event we’ll be sampling drinks and food by Kate Raymont, who will showcase amazing Scenic Rim ingredients, with a healthy dose of veggies. For more Scenic Rim Eat Local Week Events head to eatlocalweek.com.au. There is a delicious menu of events to choose from. Bon Appetit!

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