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12th Dec 2019

Need some dinner inspo? Try this tasty veggie recipe that will give you a folic acid boost

Did you know that chestnuts are high in folic acid? Neither did we. If you don’t fancy your chance of roasting them over an open fire this Christmas, try this nutritious recipe from plant-based chef Gemma Ogston’s new book instead…

Roasted golden quinoa pilaf

A beautiful fruity pilaf made with protein-rich quinoa instead of rice. Chestnuts are high in folic acid and are packed with B-vitamins, which support our brain function. The dried nuts and fruit add so much flavour and wonderful, jewel-like colours, as well as boosting vitamins and protein levels. It’s lovely served with a spoonful of plant-based natural yoghurt.

SERVES 4 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes


a glug of olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
150g butternut squash, peeled and cut into small chunks
150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
200g vacuum-packed chestnuts, chopped
100g quinoa
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp tamari
500ml veggie stock
sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper
zest and juice of 1 lemon
a bunch of parsley, finely chopped
100g dried cranberries
100g dried apricots, chopped
150g mixed nuts (e.g. walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts and brazil nuts), chopped


Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan set over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and squash and fry for 5–10 minutes, until the onion is soft and the squash has a little bit of colour.

Add the mushrooms and fry for a couple of minutes, then add the chestnuts, quinoa, paprika, oregano, tamari and stock. Season well with salt and pepper, and simmer for 15 minutes, until the veggies and quinoa are soft.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the lemon zest and juice, the parsley and dried fruit and nuts.

Extracted from The Self-Care Cookbook by Gemma Ogston, published by Vermillion at £14.99. Photography by Gemma Ogston.