A few weeks ago I picked a pumpkin. It wasn’t a small pumpkin and it wasn’t a huge pumpkin, but it felt like it was by the end! It was too big to fit in the fridge but I didn’t want to waste any of it. I made pumpkin muffins, I roasted it in slices then ate it with a roast dinner, in soup and even as a snack cold from the fridge. I needed to do something else with it. Luckily it coincided with the new September Recipe Redux challenge – Fantastic Freezer Meals and so I really had no choice but to make freezer meals!
Unfortunately my husband and Little Miss Spice are not big fans of pumpkin but Master Spice and I love it so this meal is one that we can both eat together. I decided to make a mildly spiced pumpkin and chickpea stew as pumpkin really benefits from a few spices. By itself it can be a little bland but with a few warming spices and some fresh coriander, it really comes alive.
I used pumpkin that I’d already roasted but because the stew simmers for a while you could just use raw pumpkin and simmer it for a little longer if the pumpkin hasn’t cooked enough. One thing I forgot to do when I was making this was to weigh the pumpkin and obviously pumpkins can be quite different sizes. I used about a quarter of the one I had and it was probably about the size of 2 butternut squash.
This pumpkin and chickpea stew is essentially a dish made of leftovers so don’t feel the recipe is set in stone, feel free to adapt it and use whatever squash or root vegetables you have a glut of. You can of course increase the spices to taste too.
We ate some of the stew when it was fresh, some went in the fridge for the next day and the rest was frozen in individual containers. When you want to eat it you can either defrost it first or cook it from frozen in either the oven or the microwave. It’s a great way of having your own healthy ready meals any time you want.
- 2 onions, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 2 red peppers, sliced
- 1/4 pumpkin, cut into large cubes
- 2 400g tins of chickpeas
- 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- Black pepper
- Large handful of chopped coriander (cilantro)
- 1 lemon (optional)
- Gently cook the onions in a large saucepan until they are soft, then stir in the garlic.
- Cook for another minute then add the cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper.
- Stir well then add the red pepper, pumpkin, chickpeas, chopped tomatoes and a little black pepper. Add a little water so the pan isn't too dry.
- Bring to the boil then simmer gently for half an hour.
- Stir in most of the fresh coriander at the end but reserve a little to put on top of each plate. Serve the stew with a wedge of lemon to squeeze over the top.
As well as the Recipe Redux I am also linking these to Extra Veg, hosted by Feeding Boys this month and run by Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy. I am also linking to Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary’s No Waste Food Challenge, hosted this month by Foodie Quine.