Winter brings out the best in comfort foods, wouldn’t you agree? But comfort foods don’t always read healthy so let’s change the game. Focus your attention to plants first and then build from there. A delicious pumpkin and cauliflower dhal warms from the inside out while delivering balanced and pure plant-based nutrition into your life, with so little fuss.
Pumpkin cauliflower dhal
700g pumpkin, skin removed, cut into 4cm chunks
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 large brown onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
500g cauliflower florets (approx 1/2 small cauliflower)
2 teaspoons mustard seed
2 teaspoons curry spice
200g yellow split peas (mung dhal)
800ml coconut milk
2 cups baby spinach
Heat oven to 200C and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Spread pumpkin over the tray and drizzle with 2 tbsp coconut oil, toss to coat and place in oven to cook for 40 minutes. While pumpkin is cooking, heat remaining 1tbsp coconut oil in a heavy based saucepan, add onion and garlic and cook for about three minutes. Add mustard seed and curry spice and cook a further two minutes. Next, add cauliflower florets, split peas, coconut milk and 200ml water. Bring to the boil, then lower heat and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pumpkin from oven and toss through the cauliflower dhal mix with spinach and serve with basmati rice or some extra steamed vegetables.
Jacqueline Alwill is a qualified, practicing nutritionist, author of Seasons to Share and director at The Brown Paper Bag.