Sautéed Garlic Wheat Pumpkin Bowl

Hello AKIU Family! It’s been long. A lot has been going on. I moved, sold off my kitchen stuff and now I’m starting off from the ground. In the midst of all the chaos, I have lost valuable things, broke a glass or two, and sold off my plates, cups and the largely talked about toaster! Tupperware has been the order of the day months! One of the crazy things that happened was eating out of a pumpkin. It actually worked for me because for a moment I did not have to worry about washing the plates! But all jokes aside, this meal is the definition of comfort with some spice thrown in there.

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While in Fort portal about three months ago, I was gifted with this locally grown organic wheat. This wheat is so tasty. When we boiled the first batch, half of it was eaten out of the pan plain. It is that good.

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The first thing that came to my mind (after eating the plain one) was a wheat stir-fry or a sauté. And that is what I ended up doing. This power pumpkin bowl is loaded with a lot of flavour, texture and nutrients that are really good for you. I recommend trying cooking and eating out of a pumpkin.

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So here is what is going on in this massive bowl: A steamed/boiled-to-tenderness pumpkin bowl, filled with savoury garlicky sautéed organic wheat, topped with avocado slices and crowned with crunchy fried garlic chips and then sprinkled with roast pumpkin seeds and simsim (you didn’t think I would leave it out, did you?).

What you will need:

1 mature pumpkin

2 C Wheat, soaked overnight, boiled till soft and drained

1 Small Cabbage, diced

1 medium avocado, ripe

1 Large purple onion

1 chicken broth cube

Salt

Black pepper

Oil for frying

Pumpkin seeds

Roast simsim (sesame)

3 Garlic cloves, finely crushed and chopped

4 Garlic cloves for chips

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Observations:

Use a mature pumpkin that has hardened skin. It will not fall apart even after the flesh is cooked.

 

Method:

  1. Cut pumpkin in half. Remove guts and seeds. Don’t throw away the seeds. In a pan larger than the pumpkin, place water and bring to a boil. Wash the pumpkin well and gently place the half you intend to use in the boiling water. Cover the pan and let the pumpkin boil till the flesh is soft when a fork is inserted in. Remove from fore and set aside to cool
  2. In a separate frying pan, heat oil. Add the crushed garlic. And let it brown a little. Add the cabbage and let it wilt a little. Next add the boiled wheat grains and stir till well combined. Add salt, black pepper and crush the broth cube in the pan. Keep some of the water used to boil the wheat and add spoon by spoon to keep the wheat from burning. Keep stirring till the cabbage is almost cooked but still crunchy. Remove from fire.
  3. For the pumpkin seeds, remove them from the guts and then wash they well. Place in a frying pan with about a teaspoon of water, some salt and black pepper. Keep stirring till they are fully dry, golden brown and have puffed up a little. It will take about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Peel the remaining 4 garlic chips without crushing them. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice them crosswise. On medium heat, place pan and add oil. Let the oil get extremely hot. Add the chips to the oil. Let them fry till they release an aroma and turn a golden brown but not fully burnt.

 

To assemble

Get the boiled half of the pumpkin. Make sure it is still warm to the touch. Fill it up with the fried wheat. Thinly slice the avocado and arrange some slices on top of the wheat. Add the roasted pumpkin chips and the garlic chips. Finally sprinkle with roasted simsim (sesame).

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Serve hot, preferably with a group of friends or family on chilly day.

 

 

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I cannot wait for when I get my hands on another good pumpkin and equally great wheat to make this again especially now that the weather is gloomy!

Till next week!

Have you eaten out of a food shelling before?

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Creamy Pumpkin Soup

A few months ago, I found this video on YouTube about discovering Uganda. By the time the video was done, I was awestruck. Amazed by the beauty, I binge-watched all the videos that were available in two days!  It is amazing the beauty that this country has and we don’t even know. In one of the episodes, there was this lodge where all the structures were built with smooth river stones. I personally think that is a neat idea and absolutely creative not to mention environmental friendly. So, in that episode, they served dinner to the host and there was this butternut squash soup. As I watched the chef do his magic, that squash soup called out to my soul. And I was thinking: I have to make this squash/pumpkin soup ASAP. Does that happen to you? When you see a show (cooking particularly) and you just feel the need to be doing something related. It was after many trials that this soup materialized with the perfect blend of flavors and textures. Instead of butternut squash, I used a pumpkin because I am yet to find out the difference between the two.

What you will need:

1 Small pumpkin

3 Tomatoes

1 Large purple onion

4 Garlic cloves

1 Tsp. Ginger

2 ¼ C. Milk

1 C. Water

Cooking oil

Ground black pepper

Chili flakes

Salt

Observations:

  1. Use a mature firm pumpkin.
  2. Mature pumpkins have hard covers which will need to be discarded. But if they are soft and tender, they can be blended.
  3. If you don’t have a blender, use a glass to mash the pumpkin while adding milk so that you can get a smooth consistency.
  4. For better results, you will need to use full cream milk. I recommend the Jesa brand.
  5. For your desired consistency, you will need less or more milk.

Method

Wash pumpkin and cut it into squares. On high heat, put the pumpkin pieces with water in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from fire once pumpkin is tender and a fork can go right through the pieces. Drain water and let them cool. Chop the tomatoes, crushed garlic,  and onions. Using a large spoon, scrape the pumpkin out if its cover. Measure three cups of pumpkin flesh and then put them in a blender.Add the milk and blend till smooth. In a sauce pan, add two tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic, ginger and salt and stir till slightly browned. Add onions and tomatoes and keep stirring till tomatoes are soft. Add curry powder and stir well. Next add the pureed pumpkin and stir well. Keep adding a little water while stirring until you reach your desired consistency. Sprinkle in a generous amount of black pepper and chili flakes. Let the soup boil for 10 minutes. Remove from fire.

For the garnish: Thinly slice radish. Thinly chop a garlic clove. On high heat, put a teaspoon of oil in a pan. Add the radish and garlic  and let one side of the thinly sliced radish brown while the garlic darkens. Sprinkle with salt. Remove from fire and add to the soup just before serving.

I personally think that the show is amazing because it showcases beauty that we sometimes take for granted. As I add visiting these amazing places to my bucket list and day-dream, I will be enjoying this pumpkin soup.. Join me!

🙂

Sophie

 

TGIF Plus Some Great Finds

Another week is gone by! WHAT?!

And school is upon us dear friends. So all energy is channelled to making good grades this semester(or not! ha!)

I found this comedian on youtube and boy is he hilarious! Check it out

I think this post sums up all I wanted to say about growing a blog. So, whos up for an ad swap? Email me!

This post about dreaming big is beautifully written.

I stumbled upon this super huge giveaway! Be sure to check it out!

Click on the image to enter the giveaway!

And lastly, I want to leave you with one of my favorite songs

Before I say TGIF!, the good news is that Louise  is getting support already so be sure to Head over to Trevolta and support Louise! some more!

Have a great weekend guys!

🙂

Sophie