Health, Lifestyle, Seasonal, Immunity

A Nourishing Winter

A Healthy Lifestyle Solution
We all know we should be eating more vegetables on a daily basis. The reality is often very different for a lot of us. Your household may be scrunching their faces up at the thought of a meal without meat. How about starting simply with just one week night meal option.
Try this scrumptious, nourishing recipe from fellow New Zealander, Emma Galloway. See link to her website below.

Pumpkin, Lentil and Kale Bake
This recipe is a super simple, nourishing winter meal. Gluten-free, dairy-free and naturally vegan. Don’t even bother to tell your family it has no meat – I bet they won’t even miss it, and you’ll feel great serving up a healthy alternative.

Serves 4 or more as a side

You can prep this dish ahead of time by preparing the cauliflower ‘cheese’ sauce up to a few days before, as well as cooking the lentils, peeling and slicing the pumpkin and cooking the kale. Store everything in separate containers in the fridge and assemble just before baking. If you remember to, soak the lentils overnight as it improves digestibility and makes the cooking time faster.


  • 1/2 cup puy or French-style lentils, soaked overnight in cold water if you have time
  • 1 bay leaf

Cauliflower ‘cheese’ sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 medium cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2-2 cups vegetable stock (homemade or as natural as possible)
  • 1-2 teaspoons nutritional yeast, optional (adds a ‘cheesy’ flavour)
  • Fine sea salt and ground white pepper
  • 1/2 small pumpkin, seeded, peeled and sliced into 7-8mm thick pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls kale (approx 1/2 bunch), stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
  • Pumpkin seeds, to scatter


Place lentils in a small saucepan (drain if you’ve soaked overnight), then cover with plenty of fresh cold water, add bay leaf and simmer 10-15 minutes or until just tender. Add a good pinch of fine sea salt and cook for a further 2-3 minutes before draining well. Discard bay leaf.

To make the cauliflower ‘cheese’ sauce, heat oil in a large saucepan and fry onion 2-3 minutes, stirring often until tender. Add garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds. Add cauliflower, give it all a good big stir, add stock, bring to the boil, cover with a lid, reduce heat and simmer 5-8 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft. Remove from the heat and carefully transfer the entire contents of the pan to a blender. Add yeast, to taste and blend on high until super smooth, adding a touch of water to thin if necessary. You want it to be about the consistency of yoghurt. Season with salt and ground white pepper, to taste and add a little extra yeast if desired.

Prepare pumpkin and kale. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chopped kale, cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often until softened. Season to taste.

Preheat oven to 180C (350F). To assemble; spread about 1/4 of the cauliflower ‘cheese’ sauce on the bottom of a 2-3 litre capacity oven-proof dish, top with a layer of pumpkin slices, season pumpkin with a little salt and pepper, scatter with 1/4 of the lentils and 1/4 of the kale. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with a dollop of cauliflower ‘cheese’ sauce, a little kale (this gets all crispy and delicious in the oven, like kale chips!), scatter the top with some pumpkin seeds and cook for 45-55 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender (insert a skewer into it to check), the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling up the sides of the dish. Serve immediately with salad.


Some variation ideas from Emma are:

  • fold a chilli-spiked tomato sauce through the lentils to add a bit more oomph
  • use kumara (sweet potato) instead of pumpkin
  • use spinach or silverbeet instead of or alongside the kale

We hope you try out this recipe and enjoy the great feeling of being nourished and one step closer to eating healthier every day.

For more options go to one of our favourite recipe books, My Darling Lemon Thyme by Emma Galloway –

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