Chilled tofu with kabocha squash

Chilled tofu with kabocha squash
Chilled tofu with kabocha squash

This chilled tofu with kabocha squash is a great, easy Japanese recipe. It can be either a lighter meal on its own (served with rice and miso soup) or served as a side (I like to pair it with sushi). Either way, it’s simple but delicious.

Kabocha squash is a Japanese winter squash that is unique in that you can eat the skin — don’t be afraid, it adds a lot of flavor. This mild, orange squash is one of our favorites.

The chilled tofu (hiyayakko) is topped with bonito flakes, green onions, and soy sauce. Pressing the block of tofu before serving allows it to absorb more of the flavor of the soy sauce. Give it a try — it’s delicious!

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Autumn kabocha and root vegetable stew

Autumn kabocha and root vegetable stew

The chilly weather last weekend in the Twin Cities inspired Michael and I to create this easy and delicious recipe for a fall vegetable stew. The base to the recipe is a kabocha squash, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth. We then added carrots and parsnips, which gave the stew a complex, hearty flavor. Our stew was vegetarian, but it would also be vegan with a substitution for chicken broth. It’s a perfect weekend meal, but we also found that the leftovers reheat well for a quick weekday lunch.

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Fall-spiced roasted butternut squash

Fall-spiced roasted butternut squash

Tonight, Michael emailed me before leaving work and suggested that we make butternut squash for dinner tonight. I thought it was a good idea, but had never cooked it before, so I promptly googled “how to cook butternut squash.” After putting the squash in the oven, I then had to figure out what to do with them after they were baked.

I decided to make a simple filling of mushrooms, herbs, and butter for the squash, which I added just before the squash were done baking. The squash was delicious — Michael said he wants me to make them again, and was only disappointed that I hadn’t baked two squash instead of one.

Updated 09/17/12: This recipe can also be used to make a delicious, sweet side dish! Just top the roasted squash with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg instead of the listed filling ingredients.

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Kabocha squash curry

Kabocha squash curry

This simple vegan curry was a hit with both Michael and myself. It’s full of Indian spices, and was delicious when served over rice. Though the recipe originally called for zucchini as the main ingredient, we chose to use a kabocha squash instead, which is a Japanese pumpkin. One unique feature of kabocha squash is that the skin is edible — you can simply wash it and then it’s ready to cook and eat. We think it was the perfect substitution for this recipe, but feel free to use zucchini, cauliflower, or another vegetable if you prefer.

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