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  1. Pre-heat the oven at 200C/ 180C fan/ gas mark 6 for 10m

  2. Wash, deseed and cut the pumpkin in equal parts. Lay them on a tray with skin on, season with some salt, pepper, and sage, and put in the oven for about 20m.

  3. Put each chestnut flat-side down on a chopping board. Hold the chestnut carefully and, using a sharp knife, cut a long slit or across in the top. Make sure you cut through the shell but not the nut inside. The shell is tough and flexible like skin rather than rock hard like other nut shells, so a small kitchen knife works well. Tip the nuts onto a baking sheet or into a roasting tin and arrange them cut-side up. Roast for 30 mins.

  4. Whilst the pumpkin and chestnuts are in the oven prepare the leeks and mushrooms. Cut the leek halfway, wash it and chop in half-moons. Wash the shiitake, dry them really well using a tea towel and cut out the end of the stalks, you can cut them in half or leave them whole.

  5. Wash your kale and dry it well with a tea towel, chop it, and set aside.

  6. Remove the pumpkin from the oven, check with a fork if it is cooked through, and let it cool for 5 minutes.

  7. Remove the chestnuts from the oven, leave them in the tin to cool down to warm. Put a board on top of the tin while they cool to trap the steam and make them easier to peel. Let them cool for about 10m

  8. Heat a small frying pan on low heat and toast your pine nuts until they are golden

  9. Using a pestle and mortar or a food processor combine all the ingredients for the pesto. You can store it in a jar and top it up with olive oil to seal it so that it will remain fresh to store in the fridge.

  10. Remove the pumpkin from the skin with the aid of a spoon and combine it with some coconut oil and parmesan cheese if used. Blend it for 5 minutes until smooth.

  11. Remove the skins from the chestnuts

  12. Heat 1tsp of coconut oil in a skillet and when it’s really hot fry your leeks for about 3m making sure to stir them often. Add the shiitake mushrooms and keep stirring them, add your chestnuts or other nuts if using and cook them together for a further 2m. Season with salt and pepper

  13. On another skillet heat 1tsp of coconut oil add the kale, salt, and pepper. Toss it for 2 - 4m until it has wilted down, remove from the heat and use a few drops of lemon to add some zest.

  14. Combine it all together on your plate and enjoy!


  • 1 butternut squash or small pumpkin deseeded, cut in equal parts with skin on

  • Sage

  • Coconut oil

  • Parmesan cheese or vegan alternative

  • 10 Fresh chestnuts (you can also use frozen. Can be substituted by other seasonal nuts like brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts)

  • 10 shiitake mushrooms washed and dried with a tea towel (this is the main protein in this dish, can be substituted for tofu or tempeh)

  • 1 leek cut lengthways, washed and chopped

  • A good bunch kale leaves (can use other dark seasonal greens like cavolo nero, chard, spinach) washed and pat dry with a tea towel

For the pesto (makes 1 small jar)

  • 80g of basil leaves

  • 50g Pine nuts

  • 150g Olive Oil

  • 50g Grated parmesan cheese or vegan alternative