Asian Baked Kabocha Squash: wedges of kabocha squash brushed with a combination of oil, honey, and five spice powder, baked until tender, and then sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro – another winning recipe from one of my latest cookbook acquisitions: the Weight Watchers PointsPlus Power Foods Cookbook.
(I’m batting a thousand from this book so far. All 3 recipes I’ve tried have been winners )
This is a milestone week for our 38 Power Foods Group. We’ve reached the end of the vegetables chapter and are closing it out with one of my favorites: winter squash (A Weight Watchers Power Food with 0 PointsPlus).
If you are just tuning in, each week a dedicated group of us is working our way through Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, by Martha Stewart and the editors of Whole Living Magazine. Other participating bloggers writing about winter squash, this week include:
- Alyce - More Time at the Table
- Ansh - Spice Roots
- Jeanette - Jeanette’s Healthy Living
- Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits
- Sarah - Everything in the Kitchen Sink
- Chaya - My Sweet & Savory
- Alanna – Kitchen Parade AVeggie Venture
- Minnie – The Lady 8 Home
(And stay tuned because next week we move on to fruit!)
What’s to Love about Winter Squash?
Well, I love them because they’re hearty, colorful, simple to prepare , delicious and low in calories/PointsPlus. All the health benefits are an added bonus.
You might be able to guess from their color that winter squash are a rich source of beta-carotene, giving them excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also great sources of Vitamin C, B6, potassium and fiber.
My two favorite winter squash choices are acorn, which I love to bake and/or stuff, and butternut, which I enjoy both roasted and mashed. I also make spaghetti squash occasionally. So, this week, I decided to branch out and try something new. I opted for Kabocha, a round, squat, thick-fleshed winter squash that comes in a variety of colors including gray, green and orange.
I chose a green one…
We had this for Weight Watchers Asian Baked Kabocha Squash for dinner last night along with miso-glazed pork tenderloin (a winner from Mark Bittman I will post soon) and a mixed green salad tossed in a light sesame ginger vinaigrette (sticking with the Asian theme). The flavors of the squash were delicious, but the texture a little drier than I expected, which was probably due to the squash and not the recipe. It’s a tasty filling 2 PointsPlus side dish I definitely plan to make again.
- 1 kabocha squash (about 2-1/2 pounds)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon five-spice powder
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat your oven to 375 F degrees. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil and coat the foil with nonstick spray.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise. (Be careful as the skin is very tough and you don’t want the knife to slip and cut yourself.) Scoop out the seeds then cut each half into 3 wedges.
- Arrange the wedges, skin side down, in your prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle the squash with salt.
- In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, honey, and five-spice powder. Brush or drizzle over the squash. (I brushed it all over to coat the flesh.)
- Bake until the squash is tender, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro.
Links to More Great Winter Squash Recipes:
- Cooking Spaghetti Squash with Step-by-Step Photo Tutorial (Start Cooking)
- Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan & Peas (Clean & Delicious)
- Favorite Winter Squash Recipes with PointsPlus Information (A Veggie Venture)
- Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom White Bean Ragout (Everyday Maven)
- Maple Butternut Squash Crisp (Weight Watchers)
- Baked Butternut Squash Fries (Hungry Girl)
- Butternut Squash Risotto (Skinny Taste)
Here’s a Video on How to Prepare and Cook Winter Squash from AllRecipes:
- Natural News
- The World’s Healthiest Foods
- Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients