Maple Kabocha

Nothing beats a bitter cold Winter day like the comfort of baked squash and the scent of caramelized maple syrup. The result is warm, satisfying, and absolutely healthy. Kabocha is a lighter, less starchy squash than butternut, but it cooks and complements very much the same way in recipes. I think it’s best eaten as simple as possible – baked with butter – but when channeling Winter comfort, nothing hits the spot like the addition of maple syrup.

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Its color glows, but so too will you!

Kabocha Squash: is low in calories and carbohydrates, is a great source of beta-carotene, which can be converted to vitamin A in the body, promotes healthy white blood cells for good immunity and night vision, provides 70% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A in one cup, contributes to healthy hair and skin, is anti-inflammatory, and is packed with fiber.

Maple Kabocha

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 1 kabocha squash
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Dash of salt
  • Raisins for garnish

Instructions

Slice kabocha into even sized pieces, about 1-inch thick and several inches long. Place on a baking sheet and coat all the pieces evenly on both sides with olive oil and maple syrup. Dash with salt.

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After baking in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 25 minutes, the kabocha is ready! The scent of caramelized maple syrup is out of this world.

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Serve with a garnish of raisins.

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Enjoy! Tender, warm, and hits the spot on a cold Winter’s day.

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Kitchen Sink Soup

Mmmm. Sounds good, eh? Bear with me. In the Winter months, the body craves warmth. I like to call the soups I make “kitchen sink” soups, because they are essentially made with everything (veggies) left in my kitchen, save for the sink.

The ingredients I used will be different than those I use for this same “recipe” next week, because I’m bound to have different vegetables hanging around leftover from the work week.

This past Sunday I made a blended soup of carrots, red pepper, kabocha squash, dill, parsley, onion and garlic. The verdict: never can go wrong. Whatever the combination of vegetables is, you’re always going to end up with an earthy, warm and oh-so-comforting result.

P.S. No fat. No salt. Only goodness all around.

This week’s recipe happened to be filled with everything Winter skin could possibly crave for: Vitamin C, beta-carotene and Vitamin A. This fiber-rich soup also does wonders for digestion.

 

Blended Carrot & Kabocha Squash Soup

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Ingredients:

6 medium-sized carrots

2 red bell peppers

1 white onion

2 cups kobacha squash, chopped

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tsp pepper

4-6 cups water

handful of chopped parsley

handful of chopped dill

salt, to taste (optional)

Serves: 4

Directions:

Chop everything in even-sized pieces so they cook at the same rate. For the red pepper, make sure to remove the seeds, and for the garlic, just crush it.

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Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the temperature to medium-low so it simmers for another 20-30 minutes.

Check the tenderness of the veggies with a fork—should be soft and easy to poke through.

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While the soup is still hot, add the handful of chopped herbs (parsley and dill), and then put mixture into refrigerator to cool. Letting it set and cool allows for the flavors to marry with one another and develop a deeper taste. Also, if using a blender, nothing good every came out of blending blazin’ liquids…trust me.

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Once cool, remove a few big scoops full of the veggies so you can add it back to the blended mixture for some texture.

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Blend away, making sure to add the liquid part of the soup slowly into the cooked veggies so you can control how thick/thin the soup becomes.

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When finished blending, combine the mixture with the reserved chunks back into the cooking pot and warm up for eating.

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Guiltless and a perfect way to keep warm in the Autumn/Winter months.

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Sprinkle with a bit of salt as you see fit, but try to enjoy it in its purest form, appreciating the tastes of the veggies and herbs.

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Bon appetit!

xo Aylin

Summer Squash

A lovely, refreshing Saturday side dish.

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Ingredients:

- squash (any type)

- 3 cloves garlic, diced

- 1 inch chunk fresh garlic, dice

- juice of 1/2 lemon

- 1/4 tsp sea salt

- juice of 1 lime

- 1 medium red onion, diced

- 1 tsp salt

- 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Cut the tops off of the squash and de-seed them, carving out the inside of all the “flesh”.

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Salt the inside of each squash.

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Place the squash on aluminum foil.

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To prepare the inside, keep in mind that this isn’t meant to be a stuffing, it is only meant to accent the squash, giving it a little extra flavor and tang. Volume isn’t key here.

First finely dice the garlic cloves with some salt to help break it down to a mash.

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Take a 1 inch nob of ginger, squeeze on it half a lemon and a dash of salt, and dice to a mash.

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Next to the mix comes the lime. Squeeze the juice atop the garlic and ginger.

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Dice the onion, and toss it into the rest of the mixture.

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Next, put an even amount of the red onion mixture into each squash. Pour the remaining juice evenly into each as well.

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Drizzle evenly with olive oil.

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Close the lids and pop into the oven at 450 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until soft on the inside and the skin crispy.

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Ta da!!!

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The result is absolutely refreshing! When you cut into it, the red onion insides releases like a sauce. The soft squash melts in the mouth and the red onion gives the dish depth with a kick of lime overtone. It’s a light delight.

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Bon apetit!

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xo Aylin