In autumn, my granny always has baked pumpkin with honey and walnuts for breakfast with a nice cup of tea. When I was younger, I used to frown at the thought of having pumpkin and her comforting seasonal breakfast didn’t excite me until recently when I called her on the phone and she was having her usual autumn special. Ever since that day I have had pumpkins every second day at least. I first started off with walnuts and molasses but then my recipe evolved into more of a savoury dish with feta plant-based cheese, nuts, seeds, garlic and herbs. I never thought Neil would be excited by pumpkin so I let him try it having a backup meal in case he hates it but he was all for it and came home with another butternut squash the next day.
Having grown up in Bulgaria my most favourite ingredient in the meal is the feta cheese. I never realised it until Neil pointed it out that at home we add Feta to everything: fries, pizza, pasta, salads, cheese pastries. When it comes to this recipe there are two options. Option No. 1 Making your own Feta with the following recipe taken from This Cheese is Nuts by Julie Piatt. I have modified the recipe a little bit as I use a different tofu and I also don’t use lactic acid that she recommends as I couldn’t find it anywhere. With Regards to the tofu, I usually use the ClearSpot Organic one but that is not always the case. On occasion, I also use Silken Tofu for the same recipe and instead of a cheese, it makes a really delicious sauce.
Tofu Feta Cheese
1 cup Tofu
2 tbsp Odourless Coconut Oil
3 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Himalayan Salt
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Blend of Thyme, Oregano and Marjoram.
All the ingredients listed above go in the blender. Once mixed well I spread them in a shallow dish and leave overnight or sometimes I have it straight away when I am impatient.
Option No.2 is to buy a ready-made Feta. It is not a product that is very easy to find. I got the Sheese Greek Style cheese in Evergreen in Galway. It tastes really good, Even my dad liked who is a huge feta lover. The downside is that it is full of fat and slightly addictive.
Lastly, I love soaking the walnuts overnight as besides the health benefits of soaking them they also taste so much better. Once soaked they taste young as if they were just picked from the tree, without any of the bitter taste older walnuts have. This is due to the fact that soaking them reduces the tannins in walnuts.
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 cup soaked walnuts
- 1/2 cup feta (recipe above) or 1/2 a block of Sheese Greek Style
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1tsp chilli flakes
- A small bunch of rocket leaves
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- a bunch of young garlic
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Place squash, cut in half, in a baking dish. Pour a little bit of water at the bottom of the dish.
- Bake in the preheated oven until tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 50-60 min.
- Sprinkle all the rest of the ingredients on top.
- Devour it:)
If you have a little pooch make sure to use them as a compost bin and give them the leftovers. Roa loves pumpkin.