When I went on my OE (a fair, few years back now), one of my favourite places was Pier 39 in San Francisco. I just loved walking around, taking in the delights and local food. One of which being the ever-famous Bread Bowl Clam Chowder.

Since we’ve removed bread from our diet, I thought I would re-construct the novelty of this dish by using a small pumpkin as the natural carbohydrate bowl. Turning it into a share plate for the whole family too.


  • 1 small Pumpkin / Squash.
  • 1 can Coconut Cream, or you can use full cream milk.
  • Handful of Fresh Coriander.
  • 2 Parsnips.
  • 1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped.
  • 500g Fresh Locally Sourced White Fish (or Clams if you’re lucky!).
  • 2 cups Chicken Bone Broth (see my recipe here Bone Broth).
  • 1 cup of grated Tasty Cheese.
  • Half cup of Baby Spinach.
  • Dash of Salt.

We’ve been subscribing to Oceanz Direct each week (www.oceanzdirect.co.nz) and we have been receiving fresh, local fish delivered to our house every Wednesday. So it’s quite good fun receiving our surprise catch of the day and experimenting in the kitchen with what I have on hand, Nigel Slater style!

First of all I put the whole pumpkin / squash into the oven for 45mins on 190 degrees (1 hour for larger squash). You just chuck it in and it roasts itself within the skin, no oils, no prep required. Hooray! This is a genius idea I obtained from Mikki Williden’s Facebook Page. You’ll find some great tips like this and nutritional insights / advice, if you’re not following already. (Mikki Williden’s Facebook Page).

For the chowder, I made up a parsnip puree by peeling and finely chopping the parsnips, then gently heating them in a saucepan on the stove top with 1 can of coconut cream, a handful of fresh coriander and a little water to top up. Keep it on a low heat otherwise the cream will split. Once the parsnips were soft, I blended them in my mini food-processor until it made a thick creamy sauce. It is up to you, how much puree you add to the chowder as it is quite rich and sweet. I ended up only using half for this dish and used the rest in another dinner.

In a large saucepan I fried off the garlic (using coconut oil), added 2 cups of bone broth, then the parsnip puree (your own desired amount). I roughly chopped the uncooked fish into chunks before adding to the saucepan and I let everything cook through on a low heat.

Last of all I added one cup of grated tasty cheese when it was nearly cooked through and half a cup of roughly chopped baby spinach to wilt. I then added salt to taste.

Take the pumpkin / squash out of the oven and slice the top off. Scoop out the inside seeds and add the chowder into the centre. Serve on a board in the middle of the table for the whole family to access and tuck in!