Hi everyone! If you're here for the yummy, autumnal and fresh vegan Roasted Red Kuri Squash with Sumac, Pomegranates and Greens recipe, please scroll down to the end of the blog post. You'll find the scrumptious vegan recipe there. If you're happy to read my musings on the state of the world and being thankful, please read on and get to the recipe later.
On September 11th, 2001 I was at my parents' house in Madrid, returning home for a brief stay whilst in my final year at university. We were in the living room watching some television when the news broke that something odd had happened in New York. We switched to a news channel and watched reporters frantically try and make sense of what was going on when suddenly, in front of my eyes, the second tower was hit by a plane. I remember feeling sick to my stomach and watching my dad move across the room in total disbelief. We'd never seen anything like it before.
On July 7th, 2005 I was working as an adoption social worker in the North of London. My usual commute took me through Kings Cross Station, though that faithful day, as luck would have it, I stayed south of the river for a visit to a client. When I arrived she noted that there had been some sort of an electrical power cut on the tube. I can't tell you for sure what she was thinking, but I just knew it was something more sinister. The rest of the day was a blur.
On November 13th, 2015 I woke feeling uneasy following a rather vivid, confusing nightmare. I am not in the least bit superstitious, but the thought of a 'Friday the 13th' made me nervous in light of my dream. So, I asked my son to walk with me to school (rather than take his scooter) so I could hold his hand and keep him safe.
My day was uneventful and I remember switching my phone off well before 9pm thinking how silly I'd been for getting worried about the number 13 unaware of what horrific scenes were unfolding across the channel.
Perhaps the type of events are the new 'normal' now but they still shake me to the core. Not just New York, London or Paris, but ever act around the world that leaves wives without their husbands, sisters without their brothers and – for me, personally the absolute worse – mothers without their children. Even if those children have done things they weren't born to do.
So let's give thanks to life and love and kindness and family and all things worth living for.
Thanks for reading everyone.
ROASTED RED KURI SQUASH WITH SUMAC, POMEGRANATES AND GREENS (V+, GF, Gr, V, P, NF)
This must be one of my favourite dishes on the blog and hence I couldn't think of a better recipe to present in the run up to Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's easy, quick, seasonal, fuss-free, packed with flavours and completely plant-based. In short, the perfect starter or main to serve during the holiday season. I promise, it will leave your guests impressed and you - the hostess with the mostess - with ample time to enjoy yourself rather than break a sweat in the kitchen ;).
You'll notice quantities for this recipe are somewhat loose (i.e. a pinch rather than 1 teaspoon). This is because this recipe is so simple and easy, I feel confident leaving the finer details up to you. So feel free to finish it off to your liking.
IMPORTANT: Please check the notes at the end of the recipe for suggestions and substitutions.
Preparation Time: 15 - 20 minutes
Baking Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 2 as a main, 3 as a starter
1 Red Kuri Squash
a generous pinch of salt
a pinch of coarsely ground black pepper
a drizzle of olive oil
about 1.5 cups of vegan yoghurt
a generous pinch of sumac
two handfuls of lamb's lettuce
seeds of 1 pomegranate
Pre-heat the oven to 400F/200C/180CFan. Line one baking tray with on-stick baking paper.
Wash the squash, de-seed and cut into slices (as shown). Then place the squash slices in a big bowl. Add the olive oil, salt and paper and mix so that seasoning evenly covers all the squash slices.
Next spread the squash evenly on the baking tray. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes at first, then turn the squah around and bake for another 15-20 minutes (or until slightly brown) so that both sides are evenly baked.
As the squash is baking away, get the rest of the ingredients ready, including the pomegranates.
Once the squash is ready, remove from the oven and let it cool.
To plate up the dish, place the squash on a plate, drizzle with a good amount of yoghurt, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, sumac and greens. Done!
Tip 1: You could probably use regular pumpkin or butternut squash, but I must say the red kuri gives this dish and extra, special twist. So in short, it's worth going the extra mile for. Though some supermarkets have this variety this time of the year, farmer's markets are probably your best bet.
Tip 2: I used vegan soya yoghurt as I find some of the other vegan yoghurt a tiny bit sweet and not quite right for this occasion, but it is of course up to you.
You can use regular yoghurt making this a vegetarian, rather than a vegan dish.
Tip 3: Lamb's lettuce is not very seasonal but I chose it a) because I love it and b) because it looks really pretty. To make this dish a tiny bit more seasonal, you can use some kale instead.
Looking for more recipes using squash or pumpkin? Why not try my vegan mini pumpkin and orange layer cake, my sweet potato pie smoothie or my curried root veg soup.