All About Squash!

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Hi all!  Today’s version of Meal Planning Monday is brought to you by the folks at Eat Plants Live temporary house guest, Evonne.  Evidently this is the rent they charge for filling their lives with happiness and joy the last two weeks (oh, and staying at their house, eating all their food, and taking up space, but whatever).

Much of my cooking is Japanese inspired, and one staple in my diet is kabocha squash.  Since it is national kabocha day in Japan, I figured it needed to be the focus of todays post!  It’s low in calories and carbs, high in fiber and vitamins, and a superfood you should probably be eating more of.  So I’ll share some of my favorite easy and healthy ways to enjoy it.

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First of all, you may be surprised to know that the peel is edible, just make sure that you wash it well before cooking.  And if you can’t find kabocha squash, butternut or acorn squash is a close substitute.

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The easiest way to enjoy kabocha is to cut it into inch cubes, and steam it by microwaving it for 2-3 minutes.  Then dip it in your favorite vegan mayonnaise or Yumm sauce (because seriously, what isn’t delicious with a little bit of Yumm sauce…or a lot, whatever!).

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Simmered Kabocha Squash

Simmered Kabocha Squash

Simmered kabocha is by far one of my favorite dishes!  I find it easiest and most delicious to cook in my rice cooker.

Ingredients:

– 1/2 kabocha squash cut into 1 inch squares

– 1/2 Cup water or dashi

– 2 tablespoons soy sauce

– 2 tablespoons sugar

–  2 tablespoons mirin

– 2 tablespoons cooking sake

– Sliced Almonds (optional)

(If you don’t have mirin or sake, leave it out and increase sugar and soy sauce to 3 tablespoons each)

Start your rice cooker and cook until squash is soft but steamed inside, about 30-45 minutes.

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Kabocha & Kale Stir Fry

Kabocha & Kale Stir Fry

– 1/2 Kabocha Squash

– 1/2 Onion sliced

– 2-3 Cups chopped kale

– Tempeh or Tofu

– Sliced Almonds (optional)

– 2 tablespoons soy sauce

– 2 tablespoons sugar

– Oil for cooking

Stir fry the squash, onion, and tempeh or tofu in oil until the squash is almost thoroughly cooked.  Add the kale, soy sauce, and sugar and simmer on medium low heat for 5-10 minutes.  Add sliced almonds and enjoy!

Japanese Curry

Japanese Curry Sauce Powder

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Japanese Curry

And finally, if you need another easy and delicious meal, give Japanese curry a try.  It has a taste of it’s own, being a little bit sweeter than Indian curry.

Ingredients:

– 1/2 squash

– 2 carrots

– 1/2 onion

– 1/2 red and green pepper

– 2 cups chopped kale

– Tempeh

– Small can coconut milk

– 1 Cup water

– 4 blocks powdered curry

– Oil for cooking

Stir fry chopped vegetables and tempeh in oil on high heat for 5-10 minutes.  Turn down to medium heat and add coconut milk and water.  Cover and let cook for 5-10 minutes.  Add curry seasoning, reduce to low heat and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes.  Serve with brown rice or add more water to make a curry soup.

**Disclaimer: It isn’t actually national kabocha day, but it could happen.  Write your senators today!

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