Christmas recipe

Recipes for eye health

My final recipe for this year is a little bit more time consuming than most, however it is definitely worth the effort. This Persian pumpkin & pistachio roast from Jamie Oliver is an amazing vegetarian dish, that can be served as a meal or as a side dish. There are so many ingredients that are beneficial to healthy eyesight that I won’t be able to mention them all, so I have included a brief list of eye health benefits below:

Pumpkin – is loaded with vitamin A and provides the eyes with Lutein and zeaxanthin, which is crucial to maintaining eye health.

Turmeric – Curcumin which is found in Turmeric is rich in antioxidants that can fight free radicals caused by oxidative stress. This is said to benefit those with eye disorders like glaucoma and macular degeneration. It also protects optic nerves from damage. Patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) suffer from deficiency in fatty acids, folic acid and other antioxidants. The benefits of turmeric as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent for this and other conditions are being investigated.

Eggs – The vitamins and nutrients in eggs, including lutein and vitamin A (which may protect against night blindness and dry eyes), promote eye health and function.

Nuts – Pistachios and almonds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E that boost your eye health.

From the team at Envision Optical we wish you a safe and happy Christmas and New Year and we will be back in 2017 with our weekly recipes and eye health facts.

Persian pumpkin & pistachio roast


  • 400 g pumpkin
  • olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 50 g dried apricots
  • 50 g cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 200 g tinned chestnuts
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 100 g shelled pistachios
  • 100 g almonds
  • 100 g cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 1 pomegranate


  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 fresh red chillies
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • ½ a bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 pinch of turmeric
  • 2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes


  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4. Grease a 24cm loose bottomed tart tin with a little olive oil.
  • Peel, deseed and chop the pumpkin into 1cm chunks, then toss onto a baking tray with a drizzle of oil and sea salt and black pepper, and roast for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic, and roughly chop the apricots and cranberries. Bash the cumin and coriander seeds, and zest the lemon. Pick and roughly chop the coriander, then roughly chop the chestnuts.
  • In a frying pan over a medium heat, cook the onion in a little oil for 10 minutes or until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, until beginning to soften, then add all the spices and a little more oil. Cook for a couple more minutes, until it’s all smelling great. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Blitz the pistachios and almonds until they’re ground to a coarse powder with a little texture. Tip into a bowl with the quinoa or rice and dried fruit, then add the lemon zest, coriander and chestnuts. Beat and stir in the eggs (or chia seed mix) and the onion.
  • Take the pumpkin out of the oven and mash half of it with the back of a fork, leaving the other half in chunks, then stir this into the mixture too.
  • Pile the lot into the prepared tin and press down to flatten. Cook in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until set.
  • While it’s cooking, make the tomato sauce. Peel and chop the garlic and onion. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat. Prick the chillies and add to the pan with a little oil, the cinnamon stick, sprigs of thyme, garlic, onion and turmeric.
  • Cook for a minute or two, then add the plum tomatoes. Fill the tin with water and pour that in too, stirring to break up the tomatoes. Season with salt, stir through the balsamic vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • If using the feta, place it in a bowl, zest over the lemon, add the coriander seeds, some black pepper and a good drizzle of oil and leave it to marinate.
  • Once the sauce is thick and glossy, pick out the chilli, cinnamon and thyme. Set aside.
  • Take the nut roast out of the oven, then carefully remove it from the tin and place it on a serving platter.
  • Scatter the loaf with the feta (if using), and the pomegranate seeds. Serve with the sauce in a side bowl.

Every Thursday, our Envision Optical blog brings you ‘Nutrition Thursday’ – news about nutrition for your eye health. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and like us to receive the reminders once they are posted. Each week we also include a delicious recipe for you to make:

When was the last time you had your eyes checked? 

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