Pumpkinitas

Had leftover pumpkin from Operation Risotto. Had two avocados verging on overripe in the fridge. Had pretty much everything I need for some damn fine veggie fajitas.

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Roasted Pumpkin and Black Bean Fajitas (will feed 2-3 people)

  • 1 pumpkin, peeled and diced + roasted
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 285g cooked black beans
  • fresh coriander, chopped
  • a squeeze of lime
  • black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • special spice mix (see below)

+ tortillas, guacamole (see my recipe under dips, in another post), crème fraîche with a squeeze of lime and store-bought salsa, some crumbled mature cheddar

And here’s the special ingredient added to the mix: my own faux-Mexican spice mix. I use a blend of ground and whole spices and a mortar and pestle to grind them together. If you have any aggression you’d like to channel constructively, this is the task for you!

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I’d been reading up on different Mexican style spice mixes I could easily grind up at home. I found one version that included star anise which I though sounded interesting. What I then discovered was that star anise is used in most recipes to substitute Mexican herbs.

(An interesting link on the subject here: http://ganga108.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/anise/)

My faux-Mexican spice mix

  • 3 star anise
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp regular paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp all spice
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

I peeled and diced the pumpkin into equal-sized cubes. Covered them in oil and put them in a 200 degree oven. The same drill as with the roasted pumpkin before, basically. About 25 minutes of roasting and they were done.

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Meanwhile, I’d roughly chopped a shallot and a red onion and started frying them in a pan with some extra-virgin rapeseed oil. I then added the special spice mix, allowing to really heat up to bring out the flavours. The I added the beans, and later the roasted pumpkin cubes. Give it a quick stir and then season with black pepper, salt, a squeeze of lime and some chopped, fresh coriander.

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Heat the tortillas with a kitchen appliance of your choice (ovens and microwaves will prove practical).

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Mix your guacamole, take a couple of spoonfuls of crème fraîche and mix in some lime juice, and get your salsa and cheddar ready. Assemble your meal. Yummy.

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The spice mix really works with the roasted pumpkin. And this has got to be the healthiest, the most nutritious treat ever. Pumpkin with vitamins A, C and some B + iron etc. And avocados, blackbeans, and so on – all packed with the right proteins, fibres and fats. And it’s delicious!

My special faux-

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