Coconut Kabocha, Kale, Cauliflower Rice Bowl

IMG_20160630_133742Kabocha squash was a staple item in the household that I grew up in. So, it’s no surprise that one day kabocha would be highlighted in some of my dishes. Kabocha has a sweet taste and I personally love it cooked with coconut milk. In this dish, I slightly stew my kabocha squash with coconut milk and ginger.

INGREDIENTS (serves 5-6)
Half of a medium sized kabocha squash
1 can (8 to 10oz) coconut milk
Ginger
4 cloves of garlic
Lacinto kale
EVOO, salt and pepper

Toppings: avocado, almonds, tomatoes

Rice:
Cauliflower
Salt and pepper

Optional Protein:
Pork tenders
EVOO, garlic salt and pepper

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PROCESS:
Kabocha

  1. Kabocha squash: Wash, cut, peel and chop in cubes. If this is your first time with this squash, you will find it difficult to cut and peel. Make sure that you have a large knife to help with the chopping and with time and patience you will find a technique to peel your squash. Don’t be surprised if it takes you a good 30 minutes just to cut and peel.
  2. Coconut and ginger “stew”. In a separate small pot bring together 1 can of coconut milk, 1/2 of that same can of water, 3 “thick” slices of ginger, salt and pepper and bring it to a slow simmer.
    • Tip: Take the bottom side a spoon and press into the ginger so that you smash it slightly. Doing this allows the ginger flavor to better infuse with the coconut milk.
  3. Start to cook the kabocha. In a large pan, add EVOO, turn to medium heat, wait until slightly hot then add your 4 cloves of chopped garlic. Slightly brown garlic and then add your kabocha. Let cook for about 2 minutes until squash cubes are slightly brown.
  4. Slowly add in coconut and ginger “stew”. Then, slowly add the coconut and ginger stew into the pan of kabocha . Set on medium heat, lid on, and let all the flavors infuse. The kabocha is done when soft enough that a fork can pierce through it. See pictures below:
    • right – adding of the coconut and ginger stew
    • left – cooked kabocha, note that your coconut milk will change in colorIMG_20160629_202638   IMG_20160629_202718
  5. Add in pieces of kale and let this steam into the pan.

Rice

  1. I used my own version of cauliflower rice by just putting dry cauliflower florets into a food processor until it reaches a “rice” texture. Sautee in a pan with a little evoo, salt and pepper.

Protein

  1. My choice of protein for this dish is pork tenders. I already receive them cut into small pieces from my butcher and saute them in a hot pan with,evoo, garlic salt and pepper until brown on both sides.

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Assemble all ingredients together, add a few pieces of avocado and for an extra crunch, top it off with some roasted dry almonds!

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