table tales

pumpkin, chickpea and quinoa sage loaf

6 November, 2016

Being in the Southern hemisphere, we don’t quite have the same obsession with all things pumpkin at this time of year as our Northern hemisphere counterparts. Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, pumpkins seem to dominate food blogs, dining room tables, and even front porches. 

Whilst pumpkin is pretty much a staple in my diet all year round, and most of the recipes that are floating around are probably better suited to a colder climate, I am more than happy to jump on the bandwagon at this time of year. 

I’m working two days a week on daylight savings time at the moment. Which means having to leave home by 5.45am to get there on time. As such, having lunches prepared has been more important than usual. You have no idea how good  it is to not have to think about what I am going to eat that day at 5.30am. Successfully putting on makeup is enough of a mental challenge that has actually been called into question by people I am working with (apparently I should reconsider drawing on eyebrows before 6am).

Anyway, a few weeks ago, while reading Delicious magazine, I stumbled across an amazing “vegetarian meatloaf” recipe that looked perfect for premade lunches. They had me at pumpkin. 

pumpkin, chickpea and quinoa loaf

This pumpkin, chickpea and quinoa loaf with crispy sage is incredibly simple to make, high in protein and healthy nutrients, and makes for an extremely balanced meal in each slice. I froze the slices in individual sandwich bags, which I grab out in the morning and eat at lunch with my aunty’s homemade tomato chutney or fresh avocado. I didn’t have buckwheat flour, so I substituted it for oat flour, which worked out perfectly! 

pumpkin, chickpea, sage and quinoa loaf
Serves 10
An incredibly simple, healthy and balanced meal that is perfect for pre-made lunches.
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  1. 1/2 cup (100g) quinoa, rinsed, drained
  2. 400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  3. 21/2 cups (350g) firmly packed grated pumpkin
  4. 60g baby spinach leaves
  5. 2 cups (300g) buckwheat flour
  6. 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  7. 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  8. 4 eggs
  9. 100ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  10. 2 thyme sprigs, leaves chopped
  11. 1/2 bunch sage, leaves picked
  12. Avocado or homemade tomato chutney, to serve
  1. Place quinoa and 3/4 cup (185ml) water in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Cover with a lid, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a 22cm x 10cm loaf pan with baking paper. Place chickpeas in a bowl and roughly crush using the back of a fork. Add cooled quinoa, pumpkin, spinach, our, apple cider vinegar, bicarb, eggs, oil and thyme.
  3. Chop half the sage and add to the bowl. Season. Stir to combine, then spread into pan. Top with remaining sage and drizzle with extra oil.
  4. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean and sage is crisp. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then slice and serve immediately with a salad and tomato chutney or freeze in individual bags for lunches.
Adapted from delicious.
Adapted from delicious.
Travelling Table Tales
Does anyone else have a favourite pre-made lunch recipe? What is your favourite pumpkin recipe? I would love for you to share in the comments below!

xx Liz 

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  • Reply Lisa 7 November, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Ugh, having to leave home by 5.45am sounds horrendous, Liz! We get up at 5am but by 5.45 I am nowhere near ready…I’m usually just on the couch lazing around at that time! (fun fact: it’s currently 5.45am!!) This loaf sounds so yummy too. I am a pumpkin fanatic through and through, always have been! My favourite make-ahead lunch is definitely frittata. Oh the number of times a slice of frittata has saved me at lunchtime! Hope you have a fantastic week ahead Liz! x

    • Reply Travelling Table Tales 9 November, 2016 at 7:18 am

      My days definitely feel very productive at the moment.
      I love that really simple recipes can be such lifesavers.
      Have an incredible week yourself Lisa. xx

  • Reply Claire at My Pink & Green Life 8 November, 2016 at 12:31 am

    This is so creative–I’ve never seen anything like it but I love all of the ingredients! My favorite pre-made lunch recipes lately have been frittatas or a really great curried lentil soup recipe that I’ve made several times in the past month. Usually followed by dark chocolate. 🙂

    • Reply Travelling Table Tales 9 November, 2016 at 7:15 am

      It’s really amazing. I need to make more frittatas! I absolutely love how versatile they are.
      All good meals should be followed by dark chocolate! xx

  • Reply Kristy from Southern In Law 8 November, 2016 at 6:07 am

    This looks delicious! Pumpkin, chickpeas and quinoa are some of our favourite ingredients so using them in one recipe sounds perfect!

    My go-to premade lunch is usually falafel or quinoa bakes!

    That’s so odd that you’re working on daylight savings time! 5:30 starts would leave me looking like a zombie – you poor thing!

    • Reply Travelling Table Tales 9 November, 2016 at 7:15 am

      I adore falafels! I made a falafel slice the other day, which was amazing.
      It has been strange – I lose and gain an hour each day I have prac. Although it has not been as bad as I thought once I got into it. It’s probably not something I could do everyday though.

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