Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) – both delicious and healthy low-calorie food! Also known as pumpkin for lanterns or pumpkin for animal feed – not sweet pumpkin! It contains only 13 kcal per 100 g. It is rich in Vitamin A and C, Thiamine / B1 / and Riboflavin / B2 /, Vitamin E and Pantothenic acid / B5 /. It also contains minerals – iron, magnesium, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and zinc. The rich composition of pumpkin is supplemented by the content of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, Beta-carotene and flavonoids. The most suitable ways to prepare pumpkin are steaming and roasting to preserve its useful ingredients.

I often cook with pumpkin – soups and stews, salads and pâtés, sauces and smoothies, pies and desserts. For the preparation of desserts and smoothies I use sweet pumpkins, and I cook salty foods with non-sweet pumpkins. No matter the variety of pumpkin, I always check its sweetness before cooking – wash the pumpkin and dry it, then cut it and eat a small piece of raw pumpkin. If the pumpkin is sweet enough as raw, its sweetness increases when baked and I prepare it for desserts. If the pumpkin does not have the sweetness of raw, I use it for cooking salty dishes. Sweet pumpkin does not contain less sugar than carrots, which is why I often add pumpkin pieces to rice and potato dishes instead of carrots. One of the dishes I’ve been cooking lately is baked rice with slices of pumpkin and leeks. While the rice is cooking in the oven, the whole kitchen smells like Mom’s delicious vegetable stews.

Baked rice “At mom’s”

Course: Main dishes, Recipes









Roasted rice with leeks and pumpkin


  • 480 g Greek pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo)
    can be replaced with any not sweet pumpkin

  • 200 g leeks

  • 50 g extra virgin olive oil

  • 200 g white Bulgarian rice
    can be replaced with any medium grain rice

  • 5 g garlic bulbs

  • 5 g Himalayan pink salt
    can be replaced with any other salt

  • 5 g coriander seeds ground

  • 2 g ground cumin

  • 1 g fennel seed ground

  • 1 g ground cardamom

  • 1 g dill seeds ground

  • 2 pcs. bay leaf dry

  • 1.2 liters hot filtered water


  • I wash the pumpkin and dry it. I remove the stalk and cut it, take out the seeds from the inside and set them aside – make them in vegetable milk or bake them at 100 ° C with a fan for 15 minutes. Cut the pumpkin into large pieces and carefully peel the peel with a sharp knife. Using a kitchen scale, I measure the required amount of pumpkin and cut it into 1 cm cubes, and the remaining amount I cut into cubes and put in the freezer – so I will have a pumpkin prepared for another dish.
  • I wash the cleaned leeks from the roots and dry leaves, drain it and measure the required amount. Cut the leek stalks lengthwise and cut into pieces 0.5 cm long.
  • In a metal pan with a diameter of 32 cm I put the chopped pumpkin and leeks. I add olive oil and bay leaves, salt and spices. Stir with a wooden spoon until everything is well mixed. I turn on the oven at 220°C with a fan and put the pan inside.
  • Using the kitchen scale, I measure the required amount of white rice and carefully clean it of impurities, if any. I buy extra quality rice that is well cleaned, but I usually check again for unwanted impurities. Wash the rice well under running water, drain it and set aside.
  • I periodically stir the vegetables in the oven tray with a wooden spoon until slightly simmered and softened – this takes about 10 minutes.
  • I carefully remove the pan from the oven, add the washed and drained rice. Stir well to distribute the rice evenly in the pan and add hot water. Carefully return the pan to the oven. Stir periodically with a wooden spoon until the rice is cooked and absorbs all the liquid – about 20 minutes.
  • I carefully remove the pan from the oven when the rice has absorbed all the liquid and there is a slight redness on top of the dish. I place the pan on a board to cool and turn off the oven.
  • I serve the finished dish in appropriate plates. Serve with pieces of tofu or roasted mushrooms in olive oil and fresh vegetable salad.


  • Nutritional value per 100 g. product:
  • Energy value – 84.89 kcal.
  • Protein – 1.65 g.
  • Carbohydrates – 11.46 g.
  • Fat – 3.62 g.
  • Fiber – 0.98 g.