For as long as I can remember, this is my kids favourite ‘Meatless Monday’ dish – I’m not sure whether it’s the creaminess of the rice, or just the simplicity of the dish at the end of a busy first day back at  school, after the weekend.  I usually use brown risotto (Arborio) rice, but brown rice also works just as well. Soaking the rice for a number of  hours reduces the cooking time and phytic acid levels – reducing the latter enables for better absorption of nutrients in the rice and for better digestion.


Ingredients (serves 4)

1.5 cups soaked brown risotto rice

2 tbsp butter

2 cloves garlic,  minced

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup pumpkin, finely diced

1 litre chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup sweetcorn kernels

1/2 cup long beans or peas – thawed, if using frozen

Grated parmesan

Salt & pepper



  1. Heat butter over medium heat in medium size pot
  2. Saute garlic for a minute, add onions for another minute, and diced pumpkin – sauté for 3 minutes
  3. Add dried Arborio rice 1/4 cup at a time, and stir into sautéed mixture
  4. Add 1/2 cup of stock and stir mixture gently
  5. Once stock has been absorbed, add another 1/2 cup stock  (have magazine to hand, or get kids to stir supervised..)
  6. Repeat step 5 until stock has been absorbed
  7. Stir in sweetcorn, peas and parmesan cheese
  8. Add salt & pepper to taste


Nutrition Notes

Pumpkin are part of the winter squash family, closely related to butternut, acorn and other squash. With their rich orange colour, they are high in carotenes (from vitamin A) making them an effective antioxidant supporting skin and eye health. Pumpkin are also high in vitamin C, fiber and a good source of minerals including manganese and potassium. With their natural sweet flavour, pumpkins are great in a sweet as well as savory dishes, including, cakes, sweet sauces and desserts.

Brown rice is preferred over polished white rice as it retains many of its nutrients in the bran and germ layer – it is therefore higher in fibre, some animo acids (building blocks of protein) manganese and other nutrients. It contains less carbohydrate and sugars, so is therefore recommended to help blood sugar levels under control. Soaking helps digestibility and reduces cooking times.

Garlic has many benefits due to its many sulfur containing compounds (phytonutrient) – these include protection against heart disease, infections and against some cancers. Use crushed fresh garlic in dips, marinades, and to add flavour to most savory dishes

Liza Rowan

Holistic Nutritionist

When not not busy in my favourite role as mother to my two boys,  I dedicate my time to educate, motivate and inspire us all to lead healthier, happier lives. This involves hosting Nutrition courses (in-class and online), corporate wellness talks, workshops and when I have time, private consultations.

 You can follow me on one or more of the following channels:

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