I just love entertaining during the holiday season. And as a self-proclaimed foodie, I also love pairing my creations with amazing wine. Unfortunately, I’ve found that most dinners are focused on the meat eaters. So today, I want to share a menu for a fantastic vegetarian dinner.
Spiced Pumpkin and Feta Tarts
- 2 large red chilis seeds removed and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 small red capsicum
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1 tsp of coriander seeds
- 1 tbs of olive oil
SPICED PUMPKIN TART
- 400 g of pumpkin sliced
- 1 tbs of olive oil
- 1 tbs of Harissa
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 tbs of natural yoghurt
- 2 sheets of frozen puff pastry
- 6 leaves sprigs of Thyme removed from the stalks
- 200 g of Feta cheese
To make the Harissa, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) and place the capsicum on a tray lined with baking paper and roast until the skin is black, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a plastic bag, seal and allow to cool. Once cooled you should be able to easily remove the skin. Discard the stalk and seeds.
Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a frying pan over a medium heat until fragrant. Set aside to cool. Once cooled add to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until a powder forms. Add the remaining ingredients and process until you have a smooth paste. Set aside while you make the tarts.
To make the tarts, preheat the oven to 200 celsius (390 Fahrenheit). Place the pumpkin slices in a bowl and add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and then place in a single layer on a baking tray lined with non stick paper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.
Reduce the oven to 190 celsius (375 Fahrenheit).
Cut the feta in half and cut one half into cubes and crumble the other half.
Add 1 tablespoon of the Harissa with the yoghurt, crumbled feta and egg and mix to combine.
Cut the puff pastry sheets into 4 squares and spread each square with the Harissa mixture leaving a border at the edge. Top with slices of roasted pumpkin, and feta cubes before sprinkling with Thyme leaves.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden.
Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili
This vegetarian pumpkin chili is packed full of flavor from pumpkin, black beans, and adobo chilis. Top it off with goat cheese for a gourmet Fall dinner. And it cooks up in the slow cooker!
- 30 oz pumpkin canned
- 29 oz tomatoes canned, chopped
- 30 oz black beans canned, drained and rinsed
- 3 oz chili in adobo sauce
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 yellow onion small, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- olive oil
- salt and black pepper
- 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbled, optional
Heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat, in a large pan. Add bell pepper and onion, and cook for 3-5 minutes until softened.
In the slow cooker, combine the pumpkin, tomatoes, black beans, and chili in adobo sauce.
Add the veggies to the slow cooker, and mix together.
Add the smoked paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Cook on high for 4 hours.
Serve topped with the crumbled goat cheese, if desired. Leave out the goat cheese for a totally vegan dinner!
World’s Best Banoffee Chocolate Puddings
The best banoffee-chocolate pudding you’ve ever tasted! Decadent chocolate, caramel, and bananas meld together in this sinfully sweet dessert.
- 14 oz condensed milk sweetened
- pinch sea salt
- 3 bananas just ripe, sliced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour heaped, all purpose
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups milk
- 100 g chocolate 70% cocoa, roughly chopped
To make the dulce de leche preheat the oven to 220 celsius (425 Fahrenheit) and pour the condensed milk into a casserole dish and sprinkle with sea salt and stir to combine. Covering with a tight fitting lid or foil and place the casserole dish inside a large roasting pan and fill with water so that the water level is ½ the height of the casserole dish. Bake for 90 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool completely. If your dulce de leche appears lumpy after it comes out of the oven don’t panic. Use an immersion (stick blender) to blend until smooth and glossy.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium low heat and add the butter. Once the butter has melted add the banana slices (you may have to cook the bananas in a couple of batches) and fry until softened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Take 6 small glasses and divide the dulce de leche between them. Top with the banana slices and set aside.
In a small saucepan add the flour and sugar and whisk in a small amount of milk and combine until a smooth paste forms. Add the remaining milk and whisk and place over a medium low heat. Whisk until the mixture thickens. This can take some time, you don’t need to whisk all the while, but do keep an eye on the mixture and whisk now and again to prevent lumps forming.
Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Leave the chocolate to melt for a minute before whisking into the mixture. Divide the chocolate mixture between the glasses and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve topped with a dollop of cream and grated chocolate.
If you decide to make the chocolate pudding on it’s own you may need to increase the sugar slightly to counteract the bitterness of the 70% cocoa chocolate, depending on your tastes.