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A Collection of Kabocha Squash Recipes

A Collection of Kabocha Squash Recipes | mjskitchen.com

Kabocha Squash, also referred to as Japanese squash, is my favorite winter squash.  It is a touch sweeter than most winter squash, and to me, has a creamier texture, making it the perfect squash for a creamy winter soup.  It roasts beautifully, using the same method as you would a pumpkin or butternut squash, but it does have a couple of differences. First of all, it’s one hard squash to cut open.  You need a big knife and a strong arm.  Secondly, the peel is edible which, for some recipes, is a good thing since this a very difficult squash to peel.

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A Review of Three Heirloom Tomatoes – Growing to Eating

Basket of heirloom tomatoes. mjskitchen.com

 

I can’t believe I’m actually writing about my garden.  Up until 10 years ago I had always had a very prolific garden, but then whoops – life got in the way.  Well, now my garden is back – thanks to Bobby.  Last year he built me two 4′ x 10′ raised beds and spent last fall and winter making the soil for one of the beds.  By April it was ready to plant.

As you can see below, I may have gotten a little carried away in my plantings. In this one bed, I have four heirloom tomatoes, four bell peppers, one cherry bomb pepper, two eggplants and four “bush” cucumbers plants which, I have discovered, that there is no such thing as “bush” cucumbers.  The peppers plants aren’t producing yet, because I had to replace them when the neighborhood racoons found my garden and used it as a playpen.  Several plants got broken, and even though I tried desperately to save them – the attempt was a no go.  But in spite of the racoons, the June heat, and the heavy thunderstorms, my little garden has survived and to date, has provided us with several tomatoes and cucumbers.  Eggplant and peppers are well on there way.

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Herbaceous Mushrooms

Mushrooms stewed in olive oil and butter with a variety of fresh herbs. mjskitchen.com

 

Herbaceous Mushrooms is a simple dish that celebrates the umami of mushrooms and complements it with the combined flavors of fresh herbs.  The fun part of making this dish is walking out to the herb garden and sniffing and clipping the herbs that you want in the dish.  You can choose two or three different herbs or as many as six or seven.  For this particular batch, I used a sprig of sage, tarragon, Thai basil, oregano, a few sprigs of thyme and lemon balm.  Some groceries sell little packets of  a mix of fresh herbs which are great for this dish. With all of the herbs and the fact that umami is also a flavor enhancer (due to the presence of glutamate), the amount of salt needed for this dish is minimal.  I add just a touch of salt before baking, and that’s usually all I need.

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Bok Choy with Pecans and Lemongrass

An easy side of bok choy, pecans and Asian spices. mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen

The primary inspiration for this Bok Choy with Lemongrass recipe came from some spices that I Assortment of Asian spices from Season with Spice mjskitchen.combought a while back from one of my favorite online small businesses – Season with Spice (SwS), an Asian Spice Shop.  Being a lover of a variety of herbs and spices, I purchased quite a few new spices, some of which I had never heard of before. One of those spices was galangal powder, which comes from the fibrous rhizome galangal plant.  The flavor (to me) is earthy and peppery with a hint of ginger. I found it was a nice complementary spice with another of my favorites from SwS – lemongrass powder.

The following recipe uses SwS’s lemongrass powder, galangal powder and Sweet Ginger Sea Salt to make a very simple side dish of bok choy and pecans.  The idea of combining bok choy with pecans comes from a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks – Great Greens by Georgeanne Brennan.

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Green Chile and Lime Zest Relish

New Mexico green chile seasoned with lime zest for a refreshing relish. mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen

 

This Green Chile and Lime Zest Relish was HUGELY inspired by a recipe from my spicy Switzerland counterpart – Sissi @ With a Glass.  Earlier this year Sissi posted a Chilli and Lime Zest Paste (Raimu Kosho), a simple paste made with fresh chilli (chile) peppers, lime zest and salt.  The moment I saw it I thought – “this would be great with some of my roasted green chile” – and I was right!  What a refreshing and deliciously simplistic way to serve green chile!

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Beans, Bacon and Chipotle – What’s not to love?

A sweet and spicy side dish with white beans, bacon, chipotle, and a few more secret ingredients. mjskitchen.com @MJsKitchen

 

If you like baked beans, then you’re going to love these Beans, Bacon, and Chipotle!  They are somewhat similar in flavor to baked bean, but not near as sweet and with a smoky, spicy kick in every bite.  And if you already have some cooked navy beans or any white beans, this recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make.

Today I’m sharing these beans with my friend, Judy, over at Savoring Today, a tasty blog filled with healthy and delicious food.  I love browsing through Judy’s recipes and drooling over her pictures and ingredients. Like Judy, I love making healthy food that tastes good and, even though this recipe has a little bit of bacon which is good for the soul, and a secret ingredient that feeds the spirit, it’s packed with all of the healthy nutrients found in a great pot of beans.  So please head on over the Savoring Today and check out my recipe for Beans, Bacon, and Chipotle.
 
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Aloo Paratha/Aloo ka Paratha: Potato stuffed flat bread

Indian flatbread stuffed with a spicy potato mixture by Zesty South Indian Kitchen mjskitchen.com

 

Bet some of you are probably thinking – Is MJ taking on Indian Cuisine?.  NO!  I’m going to leave that to the experts, and the expert that made these beautiful parathas (Indian flatbreads) is the lovely Swathi of the Zesty South Indian Kitchen.  I first introduced Swathi to you about a year ago when she asked me to share my Southwestern Pileup on her site.  Now she is doing me the great favor of sharing one of her authentic Indian recipes on my site.  Swathi is from Trivandrum Kerala, India, and currently living in Texas. Her Ph.D. studies in Microbiology allowed her to work in Japan, Sweden and the United States.  As a result of this worldwide exposure, she has a love of ALL foods and her site is full of delicious recipes from all around the world.  For this post I asked her to share a traditional Indian recipe and I was so thrilled when I saw these gorgeous pictures of paratha!!!  I love paratha and am thrilled that she is sharing this recipe you.  I hope you enjoy.

It’s all yours Swathi!
 
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Spicy Orange Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes roasted in ghee and tossed with orange juice and chile powder mjskitchen.com

 

Who doesn’t like roasted sweet potatoes?  There are probably a few people that don’t, but I’d bet the majority of you do.  We certainly love them and have them quite often.   During the colder months, I roast them in the oven, and during the warmer months, on the stovetop.  My usual preparation is pretty much the same as what I use for Roasted Fingerling Potatoes – an infused oil, salt and pepper, and some type of chile powder. However, I changed it up a bit with this Spicy Orange Sweet Potato dish.  Ghee (a type of clarified butter) is used in place of olive oil, and after roasting, the potatoes are tossed with orange juice and then sprinkled with chile powder.  For this batch I used a new chile pepper from my friends at Ford’s Fiery Foods and Plants – murupi amerela.  This is a completely different pepper than the urfa biber I introduced in the Fiery Chocolate Shots – quite a bit hotter and more of a citrus flavor than that of dates. To learn more about murupi amerela or to see alternative chile powders you could use, be sure read my Kitchen Notes.

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Apple, Carrot, and Pecan Slaw with Curry Dressing

Slaw with apples, cabbage, carrots, toasted pecans seasoned with masala spice. mjskitchen.com

 

Whenever I buy a head a cabbage, I can usually get 2 to 3 meals from it, making a head of cabbage a very economical little vegetable.  Last week’s cabbage was used for my Sausage with Cabbage and Onion and two different side salads, one of the salads being this Apple, Carrot, and Pecan Slaw with a light dressing seasoned with a curry spice blend.  It’s a nice side for a pork or chicken entree or alone as a light lunch.  It has just a few ingredients and comes together in less than 20 minutes.

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