Chunky Kabocha Soup with Appeal

chunky-kabocha-soup-with-appeal

Kabocha squash has a delicious green peel.  My friend Randi turned me on to kabocha soup with chunks of squash with the peel. We cut it up and roasted it with the peel immersed in a 1/2 inch water bath until it was tender. This recipe can be made vegan with vegetable stock.

Makes about 1 gallon.

Ingredients:

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1 medium kabocha squash

1 small piece of ginger root, grated to make 2 tsp (more if you really like it gingery)

2 teaspoons coconut oil, divided

14 oz. can coconut milk

1 quart (4 cups) broth (chicken or vegetable stock)

a few grinds black pepper

1 tsp salt to taste

about 1/4 cup of roasted green pumpkin seeds (pepitas) for garnish

Preheat oven to 350′

cutting-stem-off-kabochaRinse off Kabocha and dry with paper towel. Cut off the stem.

Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Cut squash into about 16 pieces. cut-kabocha-in-water-bathPlace in 8″ x 11″ x 2″ pan and fill pan with 1/2 inch water.

Sprinkle with 1 tsp melted coconut oil.

Roast for 45 minutes until squash is tender.

Let cool, then cut into bite-sized pieces.

While squash is cooling, grate ginger, discarding fibrous part. Saute it in 1 tsp coconut oil in a gallon size heavy pot.

After a minute, add broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil.

bite-sized-pieces-of-squashAdd the small pieces of squash to the broth. Stir in pepper.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the softened squash into the broth. Add salt to taste.

Serve topped with roasted pepitas.

Coconut Pancakes

coconut pancakes
These tender, delicious pancakes are made with coconut milk, shredded coconut and coconut oil. If you can find coconut sugar, you can use it to sweeten them.
Coconut oil is all the rage, and my son Francisco talked me into buying some. Now he says “Sounds like you’re going kookoo for coco!” While I wouldn’t fry eggs it in, (I tried – weird), it’s excellent in pancakes. Because it has a high smoke point, you can fry your pancakes in coconut oil without it burning the way butter does. To retain the coconut flavor and have the pancakes golden brown, cook them on medium heat.

Makes approximately 10 medium pancakes

coconut pancake ingredients

Ingredients:
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup canned coconut milk (use low fat coconut milk to cut calories)
¾ cup finely ground whole wheat flour (aka white whole wheat flour)
1 Tb baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar or coconut sugar
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tb coconut oil

Beat coconut milk with eggs. Sift in flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix with wooden spoon just until dry ingredients are incorporated. Stir in shredded coconut.
Heat coconut oil in heavy skillet over medium heat, just until melted. Stir oil into the batter. Pour large spoonfuls of batter onto skillet. Turn when bubbles begin to form and edges begin to dry. Add a little bit of coconut oil before frying each batch.

Serve with fresh fruit, a tad of maple syrup and a bit of coconut oil if you like.

Chicken Adobo with Coconut Milk

Years ago, some Filipino friends gave me the recipe for their succulent Chicken Adobo. I’ve lost the recipe but remember the basic measurements: ¼ cup vinegar, 1/2  cup soy sauce, 1 cup water, add garlic and ginger. I added coconut milk, hot oil and sesame oil. If you want more heat, add a few of those dried small red chilies. Once the marinade is made and the chicken is cut up, it is an easy heat and eat on a night you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. I use the leftover skin, back and rib bones to make Roz’s Jewish Chicken Soup . I made rice with the broth. Ingredients: 1 large cut-up chicken. Remove skin, excess fat, wing tips, back and rib bones. You can also save time and trouble and make this with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Marinade:

1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
½ cup coconut milk (I use low-fat )
1/2 cup soy sauce
¼ cup white vinegar
1 tsp hot chili oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp paprika

Combine marinade ingredients and pour over chicken pieces. Marinate for several hours in a plastic container. Pour chicken and marinade into a large pot. Add 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to medium. Cook for ½ hour. Serve over rice, spooning cooking liquid and onions over chicken and rice. for a pan-Asian dinner, add cooked sliced chicken to towards the end of cooking the vegetables.

Did you ever seen a (Mango) Lassi?

This thick and sweet Indian smoothie is a refreshing treat on a hot summer’s day. It’s low in fat and sugar. The yogurt and lime juice give it a nice tang. I sprinkle a little Tajín, (chili powder with dried lime and salt), on top for zing and added complexity. (I buy Tajín at Mexican grocery stores). For a special treat, take a bite of dark chocolate and hold it in your mouth while sipping the lassi.

Right now there are ripe mangoes at a good price at the corner markets and produce stores. When I can’t find them I use frozen mangoes from Trader Joe’s. You can substitute sugar for the agave if you prefer.

I prefer the lassi made with dairy products, but since I’m lactose intolerant, I have to use lactose-free milk. I couldn’t find that at work the other day, so made it from coconut water and coconut milk. It was pretty good. Here are both recipes:

Use 2 ripe, soft (but not mushy) mangoes. Refrigerate ingredients before using, or add ice to cool down the drink.

Dairy Lassi:
2 cups fresh or frozen mango (2 medium or one large mango)
¼ banana (¼ cup)
½ cup 1 % milk
½ cup nonfat plain Greek or Mediterranean yogurt (I buy Karoun brand at Middle Eastern markets)
½ tsp lime juice
2 tsp agave nectar

 Combine ingredients in blender. Pulse until fruit breaks up, and then liquefy Lassi. If using fresh mango, add some ice until desired coldness is reached. If it is too thick, add more milk. Sprinkle a bit of Tajín on top.

Because the coconut water I buy has sugar in it, I don’t add any more sugar to this lassi. Drink the rest of the can for a refreshing treat!

Coconut Mango Lassi (vegan)

2 cups fresh or frozen mango (2 medium or one large mango)
¼ banana (¼ cup)
½ cup coconut water (I use canned coconut water with added pulp)
½ cup coconut milk (use low-fat for fewer calories)
½ tsp lime juice

 Combine ingredients in blender. Pulse until fruit breaks up, and then liquefy lassi. If using fresh mango, add some ice until it reaches desired coldness. If it is too thick, add more coconut water. Sprinkle a bit of Tajín on top.

Sticky Rice with Mango

This is one of my family’s favorite desserts. It’s actually quite easy to make. My friend Jenny uses a traditional Lao rice steamer basket to make her sticky rice. Since I don’t have that, I used my rice cooker. I played around with her recipe, and used coconut water to cook the rice in.  I used the water that had little pieces of pulp in it. It has a little sugar in it, but it’s not too sweet. (It’s also delicious to drink.) You could even get a fresh coconut and use the water from that. You can get glutinous rice from Southeast Asian grocery stores and from Berkeley Bowl.

This is best served warm.

Serves 6

1 1/2 cups sticky rice (glutinous rice)

One 10.5 oz can coconut water (with pulp is nice)

13.6 oz can coconut milk

2 Tb  sugar

Add sticky rice to coconut water and cook the mixture in a rice cooker until done.

Warm the coconut milk (low-fat has fewer calories, regular is much richer) and stir in sugar. Bring to a simmer but do not boil.

Peel a mango with a sharp knife. Cut into pieces.

Spoon out about 1/3 cup of rice in a bowl. Pour the milk mixture over it. Top with a few slices of mango. Enjoy!