This is a really tasty vegetarian dish which makes for a filling main course. You could add extra protein if you like by adding a tin of chickpeas. Serve with a green salad.
For 4 hungry people:
1 large butternut, halved lengthways, seeds removed
2 red peppers
1 sweetcorn cob
1 large onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms, wiped and chopped
A cup of peas –frozen or fresh
Brown basmati rice
1 litre vegetable stock
100g sunflower seeds, dry toasted in a small pan
A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
150g low fat feta, crumbled
First roast the butternut at 200 C/ 400 F until the flesh is soft – this will take about an hour. At the same time roast 2 red peppers. These will be ready sooner. When the peppers are ready, remove them to a bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. After 5 minutes, peel off the skin, remove the seeds and chop into small pieces. When the butternut is cooked, carefully scoop out the flesh and mash lightly. Keep the skins.
Heat a pot of water and when boiling add a sweetcorn cob and cook until done. Remove, cool and cut off the kernels. Using the same hot water, cook the peas. Drain and set aside.
In a large, thick-bottomed pan, gently sauté the onion in a little water. Add the celery, carrot and the garlic, place on a lid and allow to sweat on a low heat until the vegetables are softening. Add the rice to the pan – I generally use about 1 – 2 cups. Stir well to combine the rice with the vegetables and then add the stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer, covered, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
Whlle the rice is cooking, lightly cook the chopped mushrooms and then add them to the rice and vegetable mix.
When the rice is cooked, add the sweetcorn kernels and peas. Now add the butternut flesh and mix well into the rice and vegetables.
Fill the empty butternut skins with the rice and vegetables. Scatter over the toasted sunflower seeds, the feta and the parsley.