Stuffed Pumpkins are simple and nutritious

A couple of years ago, we were in the US during Thanksgiving. It is not something we celebrate in Scandinavia, so we weren’t prepared for the hype that surrounds this American holiday. We were invited to the home of a distant relative of David. They wanted to give us a proper celebration and had prepared an impressive table of sweet pies, Brussels sprout salad, potatoes, condiments and the largest turkey we had ever seen. Unfortunately, David had forgotten to tell them the small detail that he was a vegetarian. He couldn’t bear disappointing his well-meaning relatives and looked at me with panic in his eyes. Throughout that evening he carefully smuggled all his pieces of turkey on to my plate, while digging in on the side dishes. After that experience, we started to think that vegetarians need their own Thanksgiving dish, instead of always being left with the sides. The stuffed pumpkins are our version of a centrepiece. They are filled with delicious vegetables, pistachio nuts, raisins and cinnamon. Here we have used smaller Hokkaido pumpkins. Butternut pumpkins are a perfect substitute.

Serves: 4


  • 400g wholegrain rice
  • 1.2 litres water
  • 2 hokkaido or butternut pumpkins
  • 2 tablespoons cold-pressed coconut oil
  • or 2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls mushrooms of choice, coarsely chopped
  • 6 kale leaves, thick stalks removed, coarsely chopped
  • 100g shelled pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 5 sprigs mint, leaves picked and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 150g feta cheese, crumbled


Rinse and drain the rice. Place in a saucepan together with the water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Simmer gently for about 40 minutes until tender.

Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkins. Cut a lid out of the top of each one, then scoop out the seeds and discard. Rub the insides with oil and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions, mushrooms and kale over a medium-low heat until soft and cooked, but not brown. Remove from the heat, add the pistachios, mint, raisins and cinnamon, and stir well. Add the cooked rice and crumbled feta cheese and toss to combine. Spoon the stuffing into the greased pumpkins, put the ‘lids’ back on and bake in the oven for 20–30 minutes or until the skin is browned and bubbly. Check with a knife to see if the pumpkin flesh is soft. Serve hot. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3–5 days.

Recipe taken from Green Kitchen Travels by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl Andersen

David Frenkiel, Luise Vindahl and their daughter Elsa are a family who love to travel. Hungry to see and taste more of the world, they had embarked on an ambitious round-the-world trip by the time Elsa was just seven months old. They slept on a friend’s couch in Brooklyn, hunted for a vegetarian restaurant in Beijing, and were mesmerised by the street food in Vietnam. By the time they returned home, Elsa had learned to walk, and they were keen to keep their adventures alive in their Stockholm kitchen. In Green Kitchen Travels, David and Luise share their favourite recipes and anecdotes inspired by years of travelling, both near and far. Start the day with a fresh Mexican breakfast salad or an indulgent rye and chocolate croissant. Feast on moreish mushroom and tofu dumplings, a comforting vegan sweet potato and aubergine moussaka, and a nutty, crisp no-noodle pad Thai. From the wild berry tart to no-flour chocolate cake, the desserts do not disappoint, and are in keeping with David and Luise’s food philosophy: healthy and natural with bold flavours. Featuring over 90 recipes all beautifully styled, and stunning travel photography throughout, as well as personal anecdotes and snapshots from the authors’ holidays, Green Kitchen Travels shares modern and inspiring vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free recipes.

You can purchase Green Kitchen Travels at

Published by Hardie Grant Books.

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