Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stuffed Roasted Kabocha Squash

This complaining fast is going quite well. I've learned a few invaluable lessons already (thank You, Lord!), and I'm sure I'll get around to sharing some of those at one time or another :)

For now, let's talk food. I realize this isn't a 'food' designated blog per say; however, with my recently acquired skill (certified natural foods chef) and ever-increasing love and passion for health, nutrition and cooking, I've decided that I just might be writing more and more posts pertaining to this topic. A lot is currently in the works regarding this hobby and career of mine, so it's only natural for its contents to spill into this "Table For Two" blog. However, I am hoping and planning to create/design a more designated 'spot' for this niche of mine. 

With that being said, I am posting an (unintentionally) vegan dish that I made this past week. My parents and I are doing this cleanse that requires a somewhat strict and limited diet. So, I've been having oodles of fun in the kitchen, trying to create yummy, enjoyable meals that not only contain okay-to-eat (for us) ingredients, but that are bursting in flavor, texture, nutrition, and satisfaction.

Enjoy :)

*Note: I tend to be rather loose in my measurements (and by loose, I mean, I don't measure at all...ha), so think of this 'recipe' (and future recipes) as more of a general guideline that allows for lots and lots of creativity and inspiration :)

Stuffed Roasted Kabocha Squash

1 Kabocha Squash (looks like a green squat pumpkin)
coconut oil
salt and pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped mushrooms (crimini or button)
1 bag spinach, chopped
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1/2 can coconut milk
1-2 cups chicken broth
cooked brown rice - optional
toasted coconut flakes - optional

Dried spices:
(These are the spices I used to obtain more of an Indian flavor, and the coconut adds an element of Thai flare; however, I like to have fun and play with various herbs/spices to create different flavors (and I encourage my friends to do the same)..."a little of this, a pinch of that, a handful of those" is how I roll :)

cumin - a couple of dashes 
paprika - a few pinches
curry powder - lots :)
cinnamon - one tiny sprinkle
ginger - a couple of dashes
garlic powder - depends on how much you like garlic :)
cayenne - depends on how much you like heat/spice!

1.) Turn oven on - 375F convention or 325F convection (cooks faster). Rinse kabocha squash. Then, halve, deseed and slice squash (keep skin on if organic). Lay pieces flat on oiled cooking sheet. Rub in coconut oil (or evoo) and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for about 30-45 minutes (depending on setting) until golden brown and soft.

2.) Heat a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil (medium heat) in a large skillet. Saute onions until soft. Add garlic and mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add copped spinach, beans and whatever spices you choose. Stir for a minute or so. Add coconut milk and chicken stock. Cook until heated through (or until desired thickness). Taste and adjust seasonings.

3.) Take 1-2 pieces of squash and place in wide shallow bowls. Top with brown rice and bean-mushroom-spinach mixture and sauce. Sprinkle with toasted shredded coconut.

Serves 4-5

The roasted kabocha squash (loaded with vitamins, minerals and flavor) is like a cross between pumpkin and yam. It has a sweet and slightly nutty aroma and taste, with a smooth creamy texture that melts in your mouth. Pairs nicely with the mixture and sauce. Or, eat it plain or with a dash of cinnamon and coconut for a tasty dessert. 



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