Tag Archives: Kabocha

Kabocha Lentil Curry

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I’ve been back on my meal prepping kick lately – I’m working on building more muscle and leaning out a bit, so it’s nice to have a fridge full of healthy options to fuel my workouts.  I’ve been asked to blog some of my recipes, so I thought this would be a nice one to share – it’s vegan, gluten-free and packed with fiber. The flavors came together so well that you’d never guess that I came up with this on the fly and later had to backtrack to list the ingredients after throwing them together!

My original plan was to make dahl with some red lentils I picked up at Sprouts this morning, but then I noticed the kabocha squash still sitting on my counter from last week. I’m a huge fan of kabocha squash – it’s so tender and creamy and its sweetness works beautifully in curry. I grabbed a can of chickpeas from the pantry and a bunch of kale from the fridge and bam!  Curry with very little time or effort.

This made six 1-cup servings, one of which was promptly eaten as I packed away the rest.

Ingredients: 

1.5 cups vegetable broth

1 kabocha squash (also known as Japanese pumpkin), peeled and diced (if you cannot find kabocha squash, pumpkin would also work nicely in this)

1 cup red lentils, cooked and drained (I boil a big batch for 10 minutes, then drain and freeze the leftovers in a muffin tin for 1/2 cup servings to add to future recipes)

1 15.5oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

2 cups curly kale, torn into small pieces

Mochi curry powder to taste (I use a LOT so I don’t want to micromanage your spice rack, but I’d suggest a couple of teaspoons to start out)

 

Method:

Simmer squash in broth over medium heat in a covered nonstick skillet until tender (took about 10 minutes, so lentils and squash were done around the same time).** Add lentils and chickpeas and simmer for a few more minutes, then add the kale and simmer until barely wilted. Season with curry powder (I like mochi curry powder best with kabocha but any variety will do), simmer for another 2-3 minutes and serve.

** Note: for a creamier sauce, you can hit the squash with a stick blender or mash part of it with a fork to break it down a bit more, but as it simmers it’ll soften enough to add creaminess without this being a vital step.

 

Nutrition:

According to MyFitnessPal, each 1-cup serving contains 254 calories, 2.3 grams of fat, 44.9 grams of carbs, 15.1 grams of protein and 14.4 grams of fiber.

 

 

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Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup

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It’s finally soup weather! I’ve been roasting & blending pretty much any veggie I can get my hands on lately, achieving amazing depth of flavor and rich creaminess for minimal calories. Red peppers & portobello mushrooms are year-round favorites, but I’ve been craving lots of squash recently.

Roasted squash makes brilliant soup. The rich, creamy flesh caramelizes beautifully & blends thickly with no need for cream to give it body. I’m hopelessly addicted to butternut squash soup very simply seasoned with sea salt, fresh cracked pepper & a little nutmeg…I’ve been eating my most recent batch every day for the last week. I was craving something different tonight, so I turned to kabocha squash & mochi curry powder.

I first discovered kabocha in my bento box @ Tampopo, one of our weekly lunch treats. The sliver of deep orange squash was enrobed in tempura and tasted a bit like acorn squash had a tender little affair with a chestnut. I instantly fell in love. 30 minutes later, we were at Whole Foods picking up a kabocha. As much as I loved it fried, I knew I’d prefer it roasted.

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Ingredients:
1 large kabocha squash
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons mochi curry powder
Sea salt & cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash & dry squash, cut in half and scoop out the seeds (set them aside to roast for a crispy garnish for your soup). Pierce the flesh a few times with a fork, brush on melted coconut oil & season with salt & pepper.

Roast squash cut side down on a silpat-lined cookie sheet for 30-45 minutes ’til tender, flipping halves over halfway through. Your squash should be caramelized and fork-tender.

When squash is cool, scoop out flesh and place in blender. (I whipped up this recipe in my Vitamix. Any other high-speed blender will work just as well, but I get the best texture when blending vegetable soups in the Vitamix – so creamy & smooth.)

Add vegetable stock, coconut milk and curry powder & blend on High ’til completely smooth, adding small amounts of additional stock if soup is too thick. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed & garnish with toasted seeds (or pumpkin seeds if you prefer).

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I loved this so much with curry, but I’m already plotting a holiday version with thyme & pan-fried sage. I think it’ll fit nicely into the traditional flavor profiles of Thanksgiving.

Try it and let me know what you think!