Pumpkin + Chickpea “Risotto”

Pumpkin + Chickpea “Risotto”

A hearty dinner all of the family will love, with barley, pumpkin, chickpeas, broccoli and kale.

Greens are loaded with phytonutrients and fibre, low in fat and kilojoules, and packed with anti-aging antioxidants. A daily dose of green leafy vegetables is believed to lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and impaired cognitive function, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Barley has a glycaemic index (GI) score of 25 while white rice is a high 83!  This means your blood glucose levels will spike less and you will feel fuller and more energetic for longer.


Ingredients (for 4 big serves!)

1/2 cup raw cashews
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
4-5 cloves garlic (peeled)
1 1/2 Tbsp white miso paste
1 large brown onion (diced)
350 g butternut pumpkin (peeled and diced into 1cm cubes)
1 small bunch Tuscan kale (chopped)
1 small head broccoli (cut into small florets)
200 g cooked chickpeas
400 g cooked barley (or cooked brown rice)
2 c filtered water
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 Tbsp each fresh sage and rosemary (or 1 tsp each dried)
black pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place the diced pumpkin on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake for 20 – 25 minutes (until beginning to brown). Remove from oven and put aside.

Soak cashews and 1 Tbsp hemp seeds in 1 1/2 cups filtered water for at least 30 minutes, then add the miso paste and half of the garlic. Blend until smooth. Put aside.

Saute the onion, broccoli and the rest of the garlic (chopped) in the remaining half cup of water until softened. Add the cashew mix, barley, chickpeas, nutmeg, herbs, kale and pumpkin and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer until greens are just tender.

Serve and sprinkle with remaining hemp seeds.

Note: if you are gluten sensitive, sub the barley for cooked brown rice