Recipe of the Week – 24th March 2014 – Rainbow Pilaf

This recipe is a variation on one that I originally included in my free E-book (it’s still available by the way!), using celery and carrot, and which I regularly do at the cafe. I thought however that a change is as good as a rest, so started mucking around with it! The butternut squash provides a nice change in texture, and the red pepper gives it a bit of bite. I can’t take credit for the name – that was my children’s doing…


4 tbs vegetable oil
3 tbs olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2 cm dice
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
3 celery sticks, including leaves, finely diced
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 fresh green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
A large handful of parsley, roughly chopped
50g flaked almonds
200g cooked red lentils
400g cooked brown basmati rice
200g light vegetable stock
Salt and pepper


1. Place the butternut squash cubes on a large baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil and season. Place in an oven preheated to 220C for 20 minutes until softened.

2. Heat 2 tbs of the vegetable oil in a large frying pan and add the onion until softened but not browned.

3. Add the red pepper, celery, spring onions, chilli and almonds and stir fry for 3 minutes. Place in a bowl and set aside.

4. Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the rice and lentils for 2 minutes until heated through. Add the stock, and season to taste. Simmer for 2 further minutes.

5. Add the vegetables back into the pan with the butternut squash cubes and combine to warm through.

6. Add the chopped parsley and stir through.

7. Serve immediately with fresh bread or a green salad.


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