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  • Writer's pictureNava

Stuffed Baby Jack Pumpkins

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

Happy early Halloween beautiful people!

I know people have mixed feelings about Halloween and I appreciate the concerns people have regarding their children taking lollies from strangers.

But I am a community person. I love belonging to a community. I love sharing and giving.  For me, the Halloween experience can be turned into a positive exercise in giving and receiving for children. It’s an opportunity to get to know your neighbours and talk to your children about giving back.  You can pick two neighbours that were really friendly and suggest that seeing how nice and generous the neighbours were, it might be nice to return their generosity by making them a cake, or if you don’t bake, maybe buy them a packet of biscuits and next time you are with the children in the supermarket and let them pick which ones. 

Yes, I know not all neighbours are neighbourly. I got to experience this first hand more than enough times, but this story sticks in my mind like no other. I was at the corner shop with my little boys picking a couple of things for dinner on a Friday night which was at my mum’s house. My four boys were running around like headless chooks, and trying to get them out of the shop I said, “Come on we're going to be late for Shabbat dinner.”

This little old lady came up to me and asked me if I was Jewish and if I was attending a Shabbat dinner, to which I replied yes, why?  She said, “I’m Jewish too, but have nowhere to go.“ I told her she could come with me, waited for her to pick up her coat, and off we went. From the moment she sat down she DID NOT STOP COMPLAINING.

“The chair is uncomfortable. The food is too spicy. Too hot. Too cold. Your mother is so rude and you’re all way too NOISY!”

That was something I’d never heard before. The Barels, noisy? 

We had to pin my mum down to the kitchen floor before she let our guest have it…

I dropped her home and gave her my phone number, telling her that she was welcome to come to dinner Friday night, or any night of the week. But I wasn’t too heartbroken that she never took up the offer…

These pumpkins have hardly any flesh in them and they are full of seeds, which are both ideal for stuffing if you can be bothered roasting the seeds.

This recipe is strong in flavour and the quantity is substantial. If it’s too much for you in flavour and quantity, just halve the ingredients. The recipe is G/F and If you omit the dairy it’s vegan.



Makes 8


· 8 baby pumpkins

· 1 cup rice

· 2 cups water

· 3 tablespoons oil

· ½ an onion, diced

· 1 garlic, crushed

· 1 teaspoon mixed spice

· 1 teaspoon cumin

· 1 teaspoon all spice

· ½ teaspoon cinnamon


· 2 tablespoon oil

· ½ an onion

· 1 small carrot

· ½ cup frozen peas

· ½ cup frozen corn kernels

· ½ cup broccoli, no stalks, top only, chopped into small pieces

· ¾ cup mushrooms, diced

· 2 cups fresh spinach leaves

· 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

· 1 teaspoon coriander

· Salt and pepper to taste

· ½ cup cream (optional)

· 2 cups grated mozzarella

· ¼ cup roasted pine nuts




1. Pre-heat the oven to 200c. If your oven is hot, lower the heat.

2. Wash and dry the pumpkins and coat with one tablespoon of oil. Place in a baking dish lined with baking paper and bake for 40-50 min or until cooked through.

3. The pumpkins are done when you can pierce them easily with a knife.

While the pumpkins are in the oven you can prepare the rice and veggies.


1. Heat up two tablespoons of oil in a pot, sauté the onion and garlic.  Stir in rice, add spices and stir until rice is coated with them  Pour two cups of water and bring to a boil.  Adjust heat right down until rice is cooked through.

2. Once cooked, take out of the oven, and once they have cooled down, with a sharp knife, cut the top of the pumpkin off and scoop the seeds out.


1. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan.  Add the onions and carrots, when onions are golden, add one vegetable at a time. Add the spinach last.

2. Stir for a minute before adding the next vegetable.

3. Once all the vegetables have been added to the pan, add coriander and fresh parsley.

4. Stir in cream and 1 cup grated mozzarella.

5. Add the vegetables to the rice and mix until well combined.

6. Stuff the pumpkin with rice and vegetables.

7. Use the second cup of mozzarella to put a dollop of melted cheese on top of each stuffed pumpkin.

8. Garnish with roasted pine nuts



PS - I love hearing from you! Let me know how it went and feel free to spread the word/passion/love, the more the merrier!

#pumpkin #halloween #recipeideas #vegetarian #vegan #fallrecipes #halloweenrecipes #glutenfree #rice

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