Wild Rice and Chickpea Stuffed Mini Pumpkins (Vegan)
These wild rice and roasted chickpea stuffed mini pumpkins add a touch of color and cuteness to the dinner table. They’re full of healthy ingredients, and great as a festive vegan side dish for the holidays.
What is your favorite part about fall? My favorite part is harvesting the pomegranates from our tree. I love adding pomegranate arils to various dishes for their beautiful color and sweetness, and wide range of nutritional benefits.
Some health benefits of the following ingredients in this recipe:
- Wild rice– Optimizes digestion, vitamin C for immunity boost, protein, Vitamin B6 (folate), phosphorous, high in fiber and antioxidants.
- Pumpkin–Vitamin A, B, C, E, copper, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, antioxidants, can reduce risk of cancer, improve vision, and protect cardiovascular health.
- Chickpeas(garbanzo beans)– Vitamin K, folate, phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese, choline, selenium, iron, vitamin B6, and magnesium.
- Pomegranate– Antioxidants, vitamins B6, C, K, E, fiber, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, phosphorous, manganese, promotes heart health, soothes inflammation, boots memory.
- Spinach– High in insoluble fiber, vitamin A, B6, C, E, and K, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
- Onion– Folate, fiber, vitamin B, and antioxidants.
- Garlic– Boosts immune system, improves circulation, vitamins A, B6, C, K, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, a rare source of allicin.
Wild Rice & Chickpea Stuffed Mushrooms
- 4 small mini white or orange pumpkins
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup wild rice
- 3/4 cup apple juice
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 1/2 cup yellow or white onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
- 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 1/8 tsp salt, or more to taste
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp paprika
Lemon Tahini Sauce (optional)
- 1/4 cup hummus
- 1 tbls lemon juice
- 1 + 1/4 tsp coconut cream (full fat)
- 1 tbls water
- 1/4 tsp organic sugar or preferred sweetener
- salt to taste
Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with tin foil. Carefully carve the tops off the pumpkins and clean out the seeds and pulp. Brush the inside and outside of the pumpkins with olive oil. Salt the insides liberally. Place pumpkins on the baking sheet with their tops on and bake for 25-30 mins, they should be fork tender on the inside.
Meanwhile, prepare rice according to the package, replacing 3/4 of the water with apple juice and adding the garlic powder and 1 tbsp of butter.
When pumpkins are done, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool. Increase oven temperature to 400F.
Rinse and fully dry the chickpeas with a towel. Place them on the foil lined baking sheet and add the olive oil and the salt. Stir them around so they are fully coated. Roast them for 25-30 mins, stirring halfway through. Sprinkle on the paprika.
In a skillet, melt 1 tbls of butter. Add the onion and cook on medium heat until tender. Add the garlic and spinach and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
Combine the contents of the skillet and the chickpeas in with the cooked rice, and add salt to taste. Spoon the mixture into the pumpkins.
In a small bowl, add the hummus, lemon juice, coconut cream, sugar, and water. Stir together and add salt to taste. Adjust lemon and sweetener level if desired. Drizzle onto the stuffed pumpkins. Garnish with the pomegranate arils and chopped almonds.