Tasty, filling, simple to make and easy on the wallet. This is a great mid week meal that is light and refreshing but packed full of nutrients and fibre. Cinnamon and chilli are both great for your metabolism, cinnamon in particular being good for keeping blood sugar levels balanced.
- 1/3 Butternut pumpkin
- 1/2 cup Red kidney beans (you can use other types of beans if you wish!) I like to cook up a bigger batch to have some left to use in other meals that week, or you can freeze them in some of the cooking water.
- 1 bunch english spinach, thoroughly washed to remove dirt and cut into chunks.
- 1 red (spanish) onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1 pinch dried chilli flakes
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon powder
- salt and pepper
To cook the beans:
Scan the beans thoroughly for any bits of grit, then rinse. Cover with cold water and allow to soak overnight.
Drain the beans and put into a pan and cover with fresh cold water, then bring to the boil for 10 minutes then reduce to a simmer and cook for 45-60 minutes or until the beans are tender. Drain and put to the side.
It may be tempting to just use canned beans, and if that’s the only option you have then go for it, but soaking your beans overnight and cooking them yourself will mean you are able to break down a lot of the properties that cause digestive symptoms such as bloating and reduce the absorbption of nutrients. The beans will also have a better taste and mouth feel when you prepare them yourself.
To cook the pumpkin:
Preheat the oven to 190C.
Start this after you’ve put the beans on to boil, or if you’re using beans you’ve already cooked then allow 60-90 minutes (including prep time).
Cut a 1/3 off the pumpkin, then cut that into halves so it’s easy to work with, and then cut that into 1 cm slices. I like to leave the skin on, it goes nice and crispy when you bake it. Cut those slices into wedges or thirds, then arrange on a flat baking tray.
Sprinkle with the dried chilli, salt and pepper and the cinnamon powder, then drizzle with olive oil or some melted coconut oil. Pop into the hot oven. If you’ve got the pumpkin crammed together in a smaller tray you will want to move them around a couple of times to maximise the crispy areas. Otherwise you’ll probably just need to turn the slices once.
Cooking the rest:
When the beans and pumpkin are done, heat a pan on the stove top to medium.
Slice the onion into wedges, and put into the pan with some olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee. Stir around a few times, and when it is softened to a consistency you would like, crush in the garlic clove and stir through.
Add the stalks of the spinach and cook for a minute, then add in the beans and the spinach leaves. Stir through, and add the tamari (you can add more or less to your taste), cooking until the greens are wilted.
Serve alongside the pumpkin.
Optional – sprinkle with some sesame seeds or toasted pine nuts. (If you’re a vegan or vegetarian I’d recommend adding this, as it helps to complete the amino acid profile).
Did you like this recipe? Let me know what you think.