I love fall produce and I mean the stuff other than pumpkin. There are so many other wonderful gourds and squashes to celebrate. They have the same benefits of pumpkin including:
- being an excellent source of alpha and beta-carotenes
- full of antioxidants
- are anti-inflammatory
- have insulin-regulating compounds
- excellent source of vitamin C
- and many more vitamins and minerals
- you can also eat the seeds and reap the same benefits that pumpkin seeds give you!
But the variety is more fun and all the flavors vary just enough to keep it interesting. For this recipe I chose the kabocha squash. Kabocha is a relatively mild tasting squash that I don’t really prefer roasted on its own. However, I do like including it in other dishes because it pairs well with other flavors. It adds subtle flavor and a lot of nutrition without overpowering all the flavors like butternut squash can for example.
The idea for this recipe came to me at 11 at night when I was laying in bed wishing for sleep. A little background first though. This summer I started experimenting using fresh mint. I came up with a couple good recipes, but now that fall is here I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I had this pot full of mint that needed to used and had been completely uninspired for weeks.
So here I am laying down and out of the blue I remembered mediterranean recipes use a lot of mint! That got the ball rolling: “I have all these different squashes, they are perfect for stuffing. Kabocha would be great stuffed. Oh what about lamb?!” From there out came this amazing sounding dish I hoped tasted as good as I thought it would in my head.
Needless to say, I was finally able to get some rest and made this recipe the very next night. It came out BETTER than I hoped. My almost 2 year old loved it as much as I did. She ate everything, including the kale. I’m so excited to share this simple recipe with you.
See, she loved it. 🙂
Mediterranean Stuffed Kabocha Squash
- 1 kabocha squash
- 3/4 lb ground lamb
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 4 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/3 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, rough chopped
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground mustard
- salt to taste
- 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta optional
- extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Preheat your oven to 375
- Cut your kabocha squash in half top to bottom. Scoop out seeds and strings until it's clean inside.
- Lightly mist inside of squash with EVOO and salt. Roast for 20 minutes.
- While squash is roasting, chop everything to get it ready.
- Once all the vegetables are chopped, in a large pan saute onion for 5 minutes in 1 tbsp EVOO. Add in lamb and cook completely.
- In a small pan, toast your pine nuts.
- Once lamb is completely cooked, add in garlic, cumin and mustard. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Turn off heat and fold in kale, pine nuts, basil and mint.
- Take squash out of oven and stuff with meat and veggie mixture.
- Place back in the oven and cook for 20 more minutes.
- If you are adding cheese, sprinkle on top and cook for 5 more minutes.