IT’S time to squash a few of these super healthy vegetables into your diet.
Pumpkins, squash and courgettes are all part of the gourd family. They’re full of water so are low in calories and are super-healthy for your heart too.
This is the perfect time of year to tuck into them.
They’re really tasty and versatile.
Here are three recipes that are great if you’re cooking for vegetarians, too.
Butternut squash, feta and spinach pies – £1.71 per serving
Preparation: 40mins – Cooking: 1hr
One serving contains 827 calories (41% of recommended adult daily intake); 54g fat (77%); 22.6g sat fat (113%); 10g sugar (11%); 3.3g salt (55%).
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
200g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
40g pine nut
500g butternut squash, peeled and diced
200g feta cheese, crumbed
150g spinach leaves
100ml vegetable stock, made from a cube
500g rough puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
METHOD: To make the filling, heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions, garlic and mushrooms until softened.
Add the pine nuts to the pan, cook for a further 2 minutes then remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the diced butternut squash for 15 minutes until just tender.
Drain and toss into the cooked onion mixture along with the crumbled feta , spinach and stock.
Pop the lid on the pan and cook for 2 minutes so the spinach wilts.
Divide the mixture equally between 4 individual pie dishes.
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about ½cm thick.
Cut thin strips of pastry wide enough to go all the way around the lip of the pie dishes, brush the rim with beaten egg and press the pastry strip down well.
Lift lids onto each pie from the rolled-out pastry, press the edges well to seal and pinch the edges. Re-roll any trimmings and cut into shapes to decorate your pies.
Brush with beaten egg to glaze and bake for 35 minutes until pastry is golden.
TIP: SERVE with a salad of dressed mixed leaves and pomegranate seeds.
Pumpkin and Pea Risotto – £1.53 per serving
Preparation: 15 mins – Cooking: 40 mins
A serving contains 577 calories (28% of the adult daily recommended intake; 16g fat (23%); 5g sat fat (25%); 7g sugar (8%); 1.52g salt (25%).
1 small pumpkin – peeled and diced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
4 shallots, peeled and chopped
350g risotto rice
150ml white wine
800ml vegetable stock, made from one stock cube
100g frozen peas
75g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated (or vegan alternative)
METHOD: Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Toss the diced pumpkin with 2 tbsp of the oil and garlic, and place in a roasting tin.
Cook for 25 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, until tender and beginning to turn golden at the edges.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large pan and add the shallots.
Stir-fry over a medium heat.
Add the rice to the pan and cook, stirring, until all the grains are coated in the oil.
Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it has been completely absorbed by the rice.
Gradually add the stock, a little at a time, ensuring that the rice has absorbed what you have added before you add more.
Once the stock has been added, the grains of rice should be plump, just tender, but still with a little bite, and the risotto should have a creamy consistency.
If the rice is still too firm, add a little more stock or a drop of water until the desired consistency is achieved.
Once the risotto is cooked, stir through the pumpkin and the peas until cooked, then add the Parmigiano Reggiano.
Warm through until the cheese has melted, then serve.
TIP: ANY leftovers of this risotto are perfect dished up cold for lunchboxes.
Courgette & Halloumi Fritters – £1.26 per serving
Preparation: 15 mins – Cooking: 15 mins
A serving contains 564cals (28% of an adult’s recommended daily intake); 36g fat (50%); 15g sat fat (75%); 3g sugar (3%); 1.9g salt (31%).
100g low fat Greek-style yoghurt
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp lemon juice
2 courgettes, grated
250g halloumi, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 salad onions, finely chopped
Small bunch mint leaves, chopped
100g plain flour
Olive oil, for shallow frying
METHOD: Mix the yoghurt, tahini and lemon juice with a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper.
Combine the grated courgettes, halloumi, garlic, salad onions, mint, flour in a large bowl.
Beat two of the eggs and add these to the bowl, then season to taste.
Pour oil into a frying pan to 0.5cm deep.
Heat over a fairly high heat and drop a dessertspoonful of the fritter mixture into the pan.
Cook the fritters in batches of three or four for a minute or two on each side until golden and cooked through.
Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and poach four eggs.
Arrange four fritters on each plate, top with a poached egg and spoon over some of the yoghurt.
You could also garnish with a few mint leaves.
TIP: THESE work well on their own as a side dish.
some like it hot
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