Roasted Pumpkin and Avocado Hummus

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I had half a roasted pumpkin left over from the Roasted Pumpkin and Walnut Salad. I also had an avocado that needed eating up. They are both quite rich foods so I was not sure about combining them. I was wowed by the results. The dip is rich and creamy but light and sweet too.

I blend the pumpkin with the skin left on but you can remove it if you prefer.

Makes a medium sized bowl
10 minutes total time not including roasting the pumpkin

Ingredients
Half a large baby pumpkin, roasted with the skin on and left to cool
A whole avocado
A tablespoon of tahini
A quarter clove garlic
A tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
A little water
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a little water if necessary to get things moving. Serve with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and paprika to red chilli powder.

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Roasted Pumpkin and Walnut Salad

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I am really inspired by the colourful dishes featured on other vegan websites. There is nothing more colourful than a pumpkin which stays bright orange even after roasting. To be a complete meal, a salad needs to have a good protein source. I remember eating blue cheese and walnut salad in France before, I was vegan. The walnuts are totally transformed by toasting in the oven for 10 minutes. I used walnut oil in the dressing to give a complete walnut experience. Next time I will add rocket which I think will work really well.

Serves 2 as a main course or 4 smaller portions
15 minutes preparation and 40 minutes cooking time

Ingredients
Half a large baby pumpkin
A handful of fresh thyme sprigs
Half a tablespoon of olive oil
1 large, ripe tomato
A handful of walnuts toasted for 10 minutes
10 inner leaves of romaine lettuce or a little gem
A tablespoon of walnut oil
Juice of half a large lemon
A teaspoon of grain mustard
Half a teaspoon of agave syrup
Salt and black pepper to taste

Cut the pumpkin into wedges with the skin left on and cover with the olive oil and thyme sprigs. Roast in the oven at 150 degrees centigrade for 30- 40 minutes until just soft. Leave to cool.
To make the dressing combine the walnut oil, lemon juice, mustard and syrup and season with a little salt and pepper.
Cut the Pumpkin into cubes. Cut the tomatoes into chunks. Place both on a bed of lettuce. Break up the walnuts into quarters and sprinkle over. Pour over the dressing.

Tempeh and Pumpkin Penang

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I found fresh tempeh in the Asian supermarket yesterday for just over a euro. Tempeh is fermented soya bean curd and they use it a lot in Indonesian cooking. It makes a nice change from tofu as it has more texture and really crisps up when fried. It also takes on the flavour of the sauce it is cooked in really well.

This curry is influenced by Thailand, Burma and Indonesia. It is made with a homemade paste but you could buy a Thai yellow curry paste and add some fresh spices in the cooking to liven it up. Bought curry paste is very salty and needs sugar to be added to the curry to get the right flavour.

The finished dish should be thick with the sauce coating the tempeh and pumpkin. It is quite rich so I made a Thai inspired salad to go with it.

Ingredients

The curry paste

Two sticks of lemon grass

Four cloves of garlic

Two thumbnails of ginger

A handful of fresh coriander- if you can get a bunch with the roots on then use only the roots and stems, save the leaves for later

Five small Thai chillis

A teaspoon each of whole cumin and coriander seeds

The curry

Half a small pumpkin chopped into small chunks with the skin left on

A small packet of tempeh but you can use tofu

250ml of coconut milk

A handful of toasted peanuts ground to a fine powder in the coffee grinder

2 big chunks of galangal, a whole black cardamom pod and a star anise

Salt to taste

Oil

A small handful of fresh coriander and fresh Thai basil plus 2 fresh kaffir lime leaves to garnish

Make a paste with the first set of ingredients. I do this by first using the food processor and then transferring it to a coffee grinder to get it smoother. Add a few drops of water to get it moving.

Cut the tempeh into small cubes or slices and fry in a tablespoon of oil on a low heat for about ten minutes, turning it until it is brown on all sides. Remove from the pan. Fry about half of the curry paste for a few seconds and then add all of the coconut milk and the pumpkin. stir through before adding back the tempeh. Add the galangal, cardamom and star anise. Simmer with a lid on for about 20 minutes until the pumpkin is just soft. Add salt to taste and then stir through the ground peanuts. You may need to let it down with a little water at this point if it is too thick. Stir through some finely chopped coriander and, if you can get it, Thai basil leaves and very finely shredded kaffir lime leaves.
I served this with red rice.