Main Dish

Roasted Stuffed Papaya

This is an adaptation of a hearty Caribbean dish, chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, color, and a pungent curried flavor. Perfect for those who want to reduce meat intake but who are not yet ready to go all the way.

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 lb ripe Mexican papaya
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons corn oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground multicolored peppercorns
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons butter chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a nonstick cooking sheet (if unavailable, spray a cooking sheet with vegetable oil spray or grease lightly with corn oil).

Cut the papaya in half. Scoop out and discard seeds. Wash then pat papaya dry with towel; set it on the pan and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of the corn oil in a cast iron skillet on medium (vegetable spray is fine). Add garlic to the skillet. Wash mushrooms thoroughly. Chop coarsely. Add to the garlic; saute the two ingredients. Add a pinch of sea salt and finely ground pepper.

Put mushroom/garlic blend, broth, coconut milk, spices the remaining teaspoon of corn oil, and the rice into a rice cooker. Turn on “cook.”

If you don’t have a cooker, add the ingredients (mushroom, garlic, broth, milk, spices, oil, rice) and cook as you would normally cook rice.

When the rice is done, pour into a mixing bowl. Add half of the cheeses. Stir. Stuff the flavored rice into the papaya shells. Top with remaining cheese and dot with the butter. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and the top browns. Serve hot with salad.

From: Four Seasons of Mojo

A Kitchari Fast

In Ayurveda, the ancient wisdom of India dating back 5,000 years, this mix of rice and mung beans is considered extremely easy to digest and is said to purify the digestion and cleanse the body of toxins. Ayurvedic physicians often prescribe a kitchari diet before, during, and after panchakarma, a rejuvenative treatment that cleanses toxins stored in bodily tissues as it restores systemic balance.

Kitchari provides solid nourishment while allowing the body to devote energy to healing. You can safely subsist on kitchari anytime in order to build vitality and strength as it helps balance all three doshas. For restless vata, the warm soup is grounding; for fiery pitta, its spices are calming; and for chilly kapha, it provides healing warmth.

According to Vasant Lad, in his book, The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies, “A five-day kitchari fast, using plain kitchari with just some chopped cilantro leaves added, will cleanse the system and help to strengthen memory.”

Kitchari fasting is actually a mono-diet, which means the body receives a limited diversity of foodstuffs and therefore needs to produce a limited number of digestive enzymes. The work of the digestive system is lessened, allowing for greater healing and cleansing to occur. A kitchari cleanse can be calming, soothing and warming.

Kitchari tastes like a cross between a creamy rice cereal and a light dal, or lentil soup. If it is a cold, blustery day or you are feeling under the weather, a steaming bowl of this classic Indian comfort food can both warm up your bones and restore sagging energy. Everyone has his or her own special method of making kitchari. Ayurvedic Cooking for Self Healing offers a half-dozen kitchari recipes, including this one found on Yoga Journal:

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup split yellow mung beans
  • 1 tbsp peeled, chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
  • handful chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp each of cardamom, pepper, clove powder, turmeric, salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 1 cup raw basmati rice
  • 6 cups water
Directions:

First, rinse the mung beans and soak for several hours. Set aside. In a blender, liquefy the peeled, chopped ginger, shredded coconut, chopped cilantro with one-half cup of water. In a large saucepan, lightly brown the spices, salt; and bay leaves (remove before serving) in the ghee, or butter.

Drain the beans and then stir them into the spice mixture in the saucepan. Next, add the basmati rice. Stir in the blended spice and coconut mixture, followed by six cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook on low heat for approximately 25 to 30 minutes until soft.

Campfire Roasted Pumpkin Rice


Ingredients:

  • 9 inch sugar pumpkin (with a nice big stem)
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 – 4 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup dried barberries (see note below)

Tools needed:

  • Campfire
  • Foil
  • Medium pot
  • 10 inch / 4 quart Dutch Oven
  • 10 inch Cast Iron Skillet
  • Lid lifter

Do At Home:

Make sure the pumpkin fits in your dutch oven! It should sit comfortably inside the dutch oven diameter-wise. Soak barberries in warm water for 10 minutes and then drain.

Melt butter in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the dried apricots, walnuts and barberries. Cook until the fruit is softened, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a pot, bring 4 cups of broth to a boil and add the arborio rice with ½ teaspoon of salt. Simmer with lid slightly ajar until rice is cooked, approximately 20 minutes. Check rice after about 10 minutes and make sure there is still some liquid. Add ¼ to ½ cup of water or broth if necessary.

Add nut and fruit mixture to rice and mix well. Add salt to taste if mixture still needs seasoning. Pack in water tight container or gallon sized zip top bag and store in cooler.

Do at campsite:

Get a nice campfire going to build a bed of hot coals.

Wash and dry pumpkin. Cut a lid around the stem and set aside. Scrape out insides of pumpkin leaving only the firm flesh.

Set the pumpkin in the dutch oven and scoop the rice filling into it. Don’t over fill the pumpkin – the pumpkin lid should still close tightly.
To cover the pumpkin and create an oven-like condition, use a 10 inch cast iron skillet as an improvised lid by turning it upside down and placing over the dutch oven. If the pumpkin is too tall, get creative and build a foil cover that will be easy to open/remove and put back on (you’ll need to check in on the pumpkin during the process).

Set the dutch oven directly in the fire pit with coals using your lid lifter. Place hot coals on top of the cast iron lid. Rotate ¼ turn every 15 minutes until pumpkin outside is slightly soft to the touch and the inside flesh is soft.

Remove from the campfire and set on heat-proof surface. Using a big spoon, scoop up rice, scraping up bits of pumpkin at the same time. Serve immediately.

  • Note: Barberries have a unique tart-like flavor and are commonly found at Middle Eastern grocers. If you can’t find them, substitute currants soaked in lemon juice.

Makes: 8 servings

From: The Dirty Gourmet

Brazilian Shrimp Stuffed Pumpkin

Camarao na Moranga

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium pumpkin
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound wild caught large shrimp (prawn), cleaned and deveined
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C.

Wash the pumpkin and cut off the top. Scoop out the flesh and remove all seeds. Wrap it in aluminum foil and place it onto a baking tray, cut-off side down. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, until it is nearly soft. Remove it from the oven and unwrap from aluminium foil. Set aside.

In a large pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes, until golden. Add garlic, chopped jalapeño and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add shrimp to the pan and continue cooking for another minute. Add chopped fresh tomatoes, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft, for approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add fresh cilantro. Set aside.

Using a spoon, spread the cream cheese inside the pumpkin, trying to coat all the inside area. Pour shrimp stew into the pumpkin and return to the oven. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until cheese melts and pumpkin becomes really soft inside. Remove from oven, sprinkle some more fresh cilantro on top. Serve warm with white rice on the side.

Makes: 4 servings

Source: Adore Foods

All Saints’ Day Pumpkin

Calabaza de Todos Los Santos

In the Basque countries, Spanish and French, the pumpkin is also associated with the supernatural feeling of the Halloween season. This dish is traditionally found on November the 1st in many peasant homes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pumpkin
  • 1 lb rice, uncooked
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 2 lbs medium shrimps, sautéed in butter
  • 1 tbsp grated onion
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Clean and de-vein shrimps, chop green pepper and garlic. Sauté in 1 tablespoon butter and add onion. Cut the top from pumpkin, remove all the seeds.

  • Note: Save the top to use as a lid.

Place rice in pumpkin, put the rest of the ingredients on top of the rice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Attach the lid with toothpicks. Place pumpkin on baking tray and bake in a 325 oven for 1 – 2 1/2 hours. To serve, remove the lid and scoop out the pumpkin / rice / shrimp mixture. Serves 6 to 8.

From: Authentic Spanish Cooking

 

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