Lunch/ Seasonal Ingredients

Celebrate with Squash

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Because kabocha squashes have finally hit the market! All year long I wait patiently for these deliciously ugly squashes to make their autumn debut. In my opinion, they are the very best of all the winter squashes and I’m completely in love with their creamy, nutty and slightly sweet taste.

I first learned about kabocha squashes from Miss Heather a little less than a year ago. Previously, butternut always had first place in my heart and I was a little questionable about this rather ugly looking thing I sometimes saw at the health food store.

I’m sorry but it’s ugly. The thing has squash warts going on. Regardless, I still enjoy them very, very much. Too much, probably.

When all you do during the day is daydream about the taste of roasted squash on your tongue, have you gone a little too far?

Wait, don’t answer that. I’m still in denial, okay?

There are many ways to prepare kabocha squash, but perhaps my favorite is just plain roasting it in the oven at four hundred degrees for about twenty five minutes. I hack it into slices first, sprinkle with sea salt, and then roast away!

I like to throw the roasted squash pieces on salads for quick and easy fall lunches.

This particular salad also has feta, chickpeas and figs in it!

I felt so healthy after that lunch and was inspired to do thirty minutes of power yoga in my living room and walk three miles around the lake with Cindy.

However, what I’m really looking forward is storming the beer hut at Whole Foods tonight. What does that say about me?

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  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    September 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    take me to the beer hut or lose me forever (i don’t even know what that means…?)!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    September 22, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    It’s like fall’s watermelon. I’ve heard kabocha is great, but I’ve yet to buy it. This might just inspire me.

  • hippierunner
    September 22, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Funny how it resembles cantaloupe! I think Healthy Food+Excercise+Beer Hut=Balance. 🙂

  • Lisa
    September 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Any tips on spaghetti squash? We managed to cook it perfect ONCE and every time since it’s dried out and unusable!

    • jenna
      September 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm

      Spaghetti squash is great! I just slice it in half and roast it at 400 with the cut side facing down. You’ll know it’s done when it’s all tender. Let it cool then scrape the “spaghetti” out and top with your favorite sauce!

      • Carrie H
        September 22, 2010 at 3:08 pm

        I grew like, 15 big spaghetti squashes in my garden this year! They were amazing. I did what Jenna said but added about 1/4-1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the baking dish with the squash. They took about 40-50 minutes total to bake. Good luck!

    • Jacquelyn
      September 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm

      If you are pressed for time, you can always stab it with a fork a few times and microwave it in four minute increments, rotating sides, until it is tender. We like to eat ours with shrimp cooked in garlic butter and white wine.

  • Phyllis
    September 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Beer hut means OBVIOUSLY your priorities are straight. I’m jealous, the whole foods near me are nowhere near that cool. Happy Beering!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    September 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    oh that looks so wonderful 🙂

  • Amber K
    September 22, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    I really wish I liked any kind of squash. They look so festive for the season! But the texture is the worst and the taste isn’t much better.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    September 22, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    It definitely is the most wonderful time of the year. I am LOVING the eats right now!

  • OC2Seattle
    September 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    “Hack” is right! What is your preferred tool for the slicing? I have horrible luck slicing squash, is a chainsaw the only solution? Have fun storming the beer hut, there’s nothing better than happy hour (drinks wise of course).

      September 23, 2010 at 6:36 am

      You need a really really sharp knife! After nearly severing off my arm I turned to YouTube. The videos helped but I have found a sharp knife and smaller squash is the best solution. Good luck!

    • Carrie S.
      September 23, 2010 at 10:12 am

      I, too, was gunning for a severed limb when I tried to slice my first kabocha 🙂 Since my oven was on and ready for the baking, I just stuck the whole squash in for about 20 minutes and it softened up nicely for cutting and de-seeding.

  • Tina
    September 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Haha! I love it. I love that you rock the Kabocah and then the beer. I have never tried Kabocha. Can you only find it at places like Whole Foods? We don’t have one that close to us. 🙁

    • jenna
      September 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      I’ve seen it all around–even at regular grocery stores! It’s just now starting the season for it though so you might need to give it another few weeks before it’s in your area, depending on where you live..

    • ms
      September 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm

      i usually buy them from asian supermarkets

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat)
    September 22, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    A buncha stores near me sell kabocha year round for 79 cents/lb. I wasn’t really drawn to it all summer but I’m ready for some now!

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance)
    September 22, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    it says that you’re balanced! 😉

  • eatmovelove
    September 22, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Love squash. Have the acorn here now and Buttercup. The Buttercup is sweet and starchy…must be why I like it 😉

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama
    September 22, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Woot woot for beer huts!
    AND squash, of course!

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)
    September 22, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I must admit, I am so excited to see all the winter squash at the markets these days. I heart fall foods! I’m working on my b-nut squash soup… Can’t wait to post it and my creamy potato soup. Unfortunately/ fortunately it will be close to 90 this weekend and may have to wait just a bit longer.

    Your salad sounds really tasty Jenna! I never think to add roasted squash to my salads. Must try!

  • stacey-healthylife
    September 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I love squash, I haven’t had my first one of the season yet,. But very soon I will. 🙂

  • Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies
    September 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Yesss – squash season…I want to make roasted butternut soup asap.

  • Natalia - a side of simple
    September 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Sigh* I wish I liked squash! I’m very confident I would like the beer hut, however. Jenna, you’re a girl who’s clearly got her priorities straight =)

  • Michelle
    September 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Stupid question? Do you eat the rind? Or do you eat it like cantaloupe, down to the rind and then toss?

    • Jennifer
      September 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm

      You don’t eat the rind–they’re pretty bitter :(. Just the flesh!

    • ms
      September 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm

      i eat the rind!

      • Shelley
        September 23, 2010 at 4:27 am

        haha I was going to ask the same question! 🙂

  • Jennifer
    September 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I grew up eating these–they’re Filipino staples year round :). Now I know the English name for them! For the longest time, I didn’t know they were available anywhere other than Asian markets, and I didn’t know what they were called, so I didn’t know to ask for them at Whole Foods or whatnot.

    Thanks for the tip!

  • Laura (Starloz)
    September 22, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    ohhhhhh, roasted then used in a salad. yummmmmmmmmmmmm!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    September 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I FINALLY just found that squash recently.. it’s amazing!

  • Dana
    September 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    mmm I’ve been slicing and roasting them too, but I drizzle agave (honey works too) and grate cinnamon onto them. I’ve eaten them for breakfast for the past few days with greek yogurt and a sprinkling of granola. SO good. All the different textures there are so delicious and the meal is so filling after a long run and before a full day of class.

  • Amy
    September 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Ah! were you at the new store today? I thought I saw you but then was nervous to say hi in case I was wrong. I work for Whole Foods and was helping open the store! That beer hut is so very cool 🙂

  • DJ
    September 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I had an amazing butternut sqaush soup at High Cotton a couple nights ago, but I’ve never had a kabocha. Where do you think I can find those in Charleston right now?

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    September 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Yum!! That could be my fav kind of squash too! I love roasting it just the way you do! It’s so delicious, and I love the skins!!

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks
    September 22, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    This post makes me excited…my CSA box is coming tomorrow and it is going to have squash!!

  • Gree
    September 22, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Kabocha is my favorite as well, I just adore it! In fact, I really like all winter squashes for their variety in flavor and texture, it almost seems the uglier the outside, the better the inside!

  • M
    September 22, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Hi Jenna!

    Are you starting to do a “click to read more” thing too? Arrrgh!

    Hope not 😉

    Thanks for reading !

  • Sarah-Mae @ Eat, Run, Knit
    September 22, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Mmmm. Fall fruits and vegetables are SO lovely aren’t they?
    I can’t wait to be up to my elbows in apples, pumpkin, squash, potatoes, sweet carrots… oh yum yum yum!!!

  • Peggy
    September 22, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I love squash. Also way too much. Me+squash skin=Buddha belly. But a happy Buddha. 🙂

  • Cati @ crave and create
    September 22, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    OH, kabochas are soooo good, aren’t they? I haven’t had my first one of the season yet, but when I do, I am going to turn it into chips. I can’t wait!

    Enjoy the beer cabin…I’m a little jealous!

  • Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman
    September 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    I’m a big squash and pumpkin fan. I do the same thing with Acorn squash and love it:) Have a great evening!

  • Vanessa @ The Weekly Yogi
    September 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    I’ll have to pick some up when I’m at the market next time! Adding your blog to my feed and blog roll. See you around, Jenna!

    – Vanessa

  • Moni'sMeals
    September 22, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    YES! Me too Jenna, my favorite winter squash, eating some right now as a matter of fact! I am laughing because I went to the Farmers Market today and bought 2 kambocha , 2 butternut, 1 spaghetti squash, and 1 acorn. I killed my arms (traps) walking back to the car plus with all my other goodies I bought.
    LONG LIVE KABOCHA and it has only just begun…still waiting on canned Pumpkin though. 😉

  • Camille
    September 22, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Ooooh, they are sooo good 🙂

  • Susan
    September 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    How was the beer hut? The BF and I want to check it out.

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    September 22, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Ok. Ok. I am with you on the lumpy, pock-marked, roasted squash. I am TOTALLY with you on Whole Foods. Beer. Sorry. Never. But here’s something interesting (to me anyway!) Of the 10 richiest (is that a word?) real estate markets in the US–FIVE have been in California. And I have lived in all 5, which include: Santa Barbara, Palo Alto (I lived at Stanford), Newport Beach, Santa Barbara (yeah!!), San Francisco (double yeah!!) and just saying that at some point think that one of the biggest foodie bloggers ever needs to live in SF at some time! Like in Pac Heights!

    Re the autumn equinox tonight: Goodnight Moon!:

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    September 23, 2010 at 2:39 am

    I’m the only food blogger who’s never had a kabocha squash. I also dont eat anything in a jar, drink any monsters, and have a limited tolerance for chia creations 🙂 But….you have got me tempted to try the kab squash b/c if both you and Heather are down, maybe I need to get down too 🙂

    Beer. Did someone say drinking? Oh awesome! hope it was a blast!


  • cathy b. @
    September 23, 2010 at 3:40 am

    this is my all-time favorite also! I grew them in my garden this year so I currently have about 35 kabochas to my name! That makes me feel very lucky (and yes, weird 🙂 )
    Cathy B.

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet
    September 23, 2010 at 4:17 am

    i haven’t tried this one yet but did try delicata this week and loved it

    September 23, 2010 at 5:54 am

    I am a farmer and have been waiting all summer for the weather to cool down and the winter squash to be ready to harvest. My dreams have come true! Can’t get enough! You should try Delicata squash. It is my favorite winter squash!

  • rebecca lustig
    September 23, 2010 at 6:21 am

    ah your squash looks like cantaloupe! but i love ittt

    it’s almost the weekend, smile!

  • Misty
    September 23, 2010 at 6:33 am

    I LOVE SQUASH – my boyfriend called me a nerd last night because I said this after supper ( we had both spaghetti squash AND acorn squash last night with supper) – YUM! 🙂

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    September 23, 2010 at 6:40 am

    I just tried my first kabocha squash this summer and I think I kind of butchered the roasting process. Next time I’ll try it with your method of roasting!

  • Andrea
    September 23, 2010 at 6:46 am

    I’m a kabocha virgin. So, do you eat the rind, too? Just askin’ 😉

  • kate
    September 23, 2010 at 6:51 am

    I cant wait to dive full force into squash! Ive already had 3 varieties this fall. Bring on the kabocha!

  • AllieNic (Frisky Lemon)
    September 23, 2010 at 7:17 am

    I’m so excited for squash of EVERY kind! I’ve never had kabocha before, but it seems like everyone loves it! I can’t wait to try it too!

  • Kate@andwhenshesays
    September 23, 2010 at 8:02 am

    That looks AMAZING. I had my first experience preparing “spaghetti squash” the other night – this looks to be a bit less time consuming. Or perhaps I’m just a bit…special!

  • Ann K
    September 23, 2010 at 8:28 am

    I LOVE kabocha! I also love kombucha. But Kabochas are much easier to come by this time of year! I have a delightful set-up in my kitchen already that should be on my site soon! With a little cinnamon and salt they are divine! With a hand blender they make amazing soup!

  • Lindsey
    September 23, 2010 at 9:14 am

    This gives me courage to try kabocha squash! I’m trying to jump on the winter squash bandwagon–I love the summer stuff, but have always been intimidated by the (ugly, huge, __________ [insert other adjective here]) winter varieties.

    If only I could convince my husband to try it with me…

  • Exmodel
    September 23, 2010 at 9:17 am

    This squash apparently does not exist on the East coast…or in the midwest…I’ve never seen it!!! Mystery squash…

  • Stacey (The Habit of Healthy)
    September 23, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I’ve never ever seen this type of squash before but I’m going to keep an eye out for it.

  • Alina
    September 23, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I completely agree that the Kabocha squash is the tastiest of all squashes. However, when I cut into it, the knife gets stuck and I can’t get it out and I have to ask my boyfriend to slice it for me every. single. time. Do you have any squash chopping tips from chef school?

  • Dani
    September 23, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Ooooh never tried that squash before! Do you eat the skin or not?

    • jenna
      September 23, 2010 at 11:00 am

      I do eat the skin!

  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black
    September 23, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Never tried this kind, but now I might have to!

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  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    September 23, 2010 at 11:15 am

    haha I just popped one of these bad boys in the oven not twenty minutes ago!

    I did mine two ways…..sweet and savory. One has spices and brown sugar and the other just salt and pepper!

  • Jen
    September 23, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    could you use this in a soup? like butternut squash?

    • jenna
      September 23, 2010 at 12:42 pm

      yes! It would be great replacing butternut squash in a soup!

  • Teri [a foodie stays fit]
    September 23, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I still haven’t tried kabocha squash! I couldn’t find it last year 🙁 do you eat the skin?

  • Debby
    September 25, 2010 at 2:06 am

    I’m totally in love with squash ! 🙂

  • Heather Eats Almond Butter
    September 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Can you believe I have not had a kabocha squash in gosh…I think it’s been at least 8 months. Couldn’t handle them those first few months of being pregnant…too bad Kelloggs doesn’t make squash pop-tarts because that’s about all I wanted during my first trimester. However, now, especially after looking at your roasted squash, I need to get some kabocha back in my life soon! Love fall for many reasons: the leaves, sweaters, scarves, but most of all, winter squashes! 🙂

  • mariaeatsbeets
    September 26, 2010 at 4:36 am

    I have yet to find kabocha squash in Indianapolis. The farmers market yesterday only had acorn and butternus squash…booh. But I did get my hands on some homemade kombucha! yeah baby!

  • AllieNic @ Frisky Lemon
    September 28, 2010 at 7:04 am

    I made kabocha for the first time last night…DELICIOUS! I actually followed exactly what you did….sliced in the oven at 400…I added some butter and cinnamon…and I can’t believe how good it was! I’m totally squash obsessed! Thanks for the tip!

  • Marisa
    September 29, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    My 10 month old loves roasted kabocha squash! Thanks for telling us how to make it. I was so glad to find it at my Whole Foods here in Bedford, MA. It was so tough to cut, though. I was afraid the knife was going to come loose and stab me.

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