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Funch Recipe: Roast Pumpkin, Quinoa and Ricotta Bake

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We are almost there…through the depths of Winter and only weeks away from Spring.  Evenings are staying lighter just that little bit longer (OK maybe only 5 minutes, but we'll take it).  A good time to start thinking about dishes that are a little lighter, make the most of the beautiful bright fresh ingredients in season and can be prepared quickly and easily whilst the kids start to stay outside that little bit longer and that can easily be served Al Fresco as the weather gets a little warmer.

To make the Roast Pumpkin, Quinoa and Ricotta Bake we used:
  • 500g Kent Pumpkin (cubed)
  • approx 15 Brussel Sprouts (halved)
  • handful of spinach leaves
  • ½ cup uncooked Quinoa (approx 1 cup cooked)
  • 90g Broccoli (chopped in to small florets)
  • ½ Spanish (red) onion, diced
  • 300g ricotta (I use low fat)
  • 6 x eggs
  • Sprinkle Fetta Cheese or parmesan (or both)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil


Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 180C (fan forced)
  • Grease and line a baking tray and spray (with olive oil or non-stick spray) a 27cm diameter ceramic pie dish 
  • Melt coconut oil and toss the cubed pumpkin and brussel sprouts in it then place on baking tray, pop in oven for about 15mins (you know by now how much we LOVE coconut oil).
  • Whilst veges are roasting cook your Quinoa according to packet instruction (you need to rinse Quinoa before cooking, then bring quinoa and about 1½ cups water to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15mins, seeds will become translucent, then rinse and strain).
  • Once veges are soft and just starting to brown take out and toss them with the strained Quinoa, throw in the spinach leaves, broccoli and spanish onion and combine.
  • With a stick blender whizz up the eggs and ricotta.
  • Pour vegetable mix in to pie dish and sprinkle with a little sea salt and cracked pepper.
  • Pour over ricotta and eggs mixture and sprinkle with fetta or parmesan.
  • Pop the pie dish in to the oven for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Prepare a nice fresh green salad to go with this dish. It's kind of a Friday night special for us.  A nice glass of wine and a gorgeous evening and everyone is happy.

 

This is one of my favourites as I am not a big meat eater, but absolutely love eggs and fresh vegetables, always have. You can of course leave out any of the ingredients that the kids have issues with (but try them, they might surprise you!!), and you can add anything you like, but with loads of vegetables and lots of colour you know they are getting everything they need.

In this recipe we have used ingredients with loads of nutritional value:

Kent Pumpkin: pumpkins are an antioxidant, and an anti-inflammatory food (helping with joint health, organ health and stress relief). They have high levels of Vitamin C and are a great source of fibre to help wash out toxins and keep your body running smoothly.  They are considered a 'low carbohydrate' food.

Broccoli: is a good source of dietary fibre, is rich in vitamins and a good source of multiple minerals; especially phosphorus (aids in forming strong bones), potassium (helps to lower blood pressure) and manganese (assist your body in processing protein, carbohydrates and cholesterol).

Brussels Sprouts: offer a unique composition of antioxidants that promotes good health.  They also offer protein, vitamins and minerals to support a healthy body.

Spinach leaves:  have an extremely high nutritional value and are rich in antioxidants.  Also good source of multiple vitamins and minerals.  Spinach has been shown to combat many cancers, increases muscle efficiency and  also boosts eye health and has strong anti-ageing properties.

Quinoa: Ok I confess I use Quinoa in just about everything, flakes for breakfast, tossed through salads, cooked in to my bolognese sauces, and in the mix of my quiches…because; Quinoa is an energising 'super-food', it is technically a seed and is gluten-free.  Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat (containing all 9 essential amino acids), is high in fibre and contains more vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants than any other grain. Quinoa helps to lower cholesterol and glucose levels, because it is rich in healthy carbohydrates that slowly digest and keep you fuller for longer. Contains iron which helps keep our red blood cells healthy.  Quinoa is also rich in magnesium, riboflavin (improves energy metabolism) and high in manganese. 

Ricotta Cheese: is a good source of protein, and will also provide you with a good dose of calcium along with phosphorus, riboflavin and zinc. 

Eggs: rich in protein (needed to make cells, tissues and enzymes), rich in long chain omega-3s which are important for growth and development of children, behaviour, attention and learning in children. Eggs are also rich in Vitamins and Minerals that are essential for building and developing muscle and for immune function.  

Enjoy!! 

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