Sweet & Salty Mashed Kabocha

Funny story. I totally did not know how to cook this squash-thing-a-mabob, so I decided to boil it for as long as possible and when my fork could stab through it, I would consider it done. Honestly, if I was able to cut the squash into square pieces I would be happy. I filled a pot with water at a level maybe 1/6th of the kabocha squash, covered the pot, and allowed it to a boil on medium heat. About 20 minutes later, I was able to make fork marks into the squash, but what about the other side? So, I boiled the other side for another 20 minutes. Then, I took it off the heat and drained the water from the pot. Things were going well...UNTIL THE WHOLE DAMN SQUASH FELL OUT OF MY POT AND BROKE INTO MUSHY PIECES.

No lie. I acted like the world was over because I was freaking the -bleep- out. Let's just say what happened next involved a lot of cuss words and burned fingers between my helpful hero housemate Joti (Thanks bby. <3) and I. LOL. It was disappointing to know that my kabocha would never be cubes. -___-

Anywho, THINGS WORKED OUT OKAY. B/c I was innovative and decided to turn this mushy mess into MASHED POTATOES! WOOHOO! :D Kabocha has a naturally sweet and unique flavor. It's a bit different than potatoes or sweet potatoes, but just as or even more delicious! If you're bored of your typical potatoes and sweet potatoes, this is DEFINITELY a recipe you need to try! :D

Sweet & Salty Mashed Kabocha

Prep time: 1 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

1/2-3/4 cup water
*1 kabocha squash, whole
3 tbsp olive oil (or flavored dipping olive oil. which is what I had on hand)
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1 tbsp soy sauce
**1 tsp garlic powder
Lots of dashes of hot sauce to taste. (I like it hot.)
Salt and pepper to taste. (I had to continuously add salt because either this squash kept on absorbing it all or I was being stingy with mahhh NaCl...)
1 tsp cumin (optional)

1.) Put kabocha and enough water to cover the bottom 1/6th of kabocha.
2.) Cook for 20 minutes. Then flip the kabocha to the other side and cook for another 20 minutes.
3.) Drain the pot of water. (CAREFULLY. Don't be dumb like me and dump the whole squash out with the water too...hehehehe)
4.) Use a fork to scrap the seeds and the stem out. Discard seeds and stem. (or if you like seeds, maybe you can make use of them and teach me how to eat them! :P)
5.) Drizzle in olive oil. Add soy sauce and all the spices. Basically, put in all the ingredients that's left
6.) Mash up the squash with fork. Use le muscles. (This step gives you a reallllll nice arm workout. I had to take two breaks. Shows you I need to do more muscle training in the gym...T____T)

Serve as a side or a main course & enjoy! <3

Makes 4 servings.

*Side note: Don't remove the skin of the kabocha! I think it's one of the best parts of the squash! Because of the skin's firmer texture compared to its innards, it gives a nice surprise (plus color) of firm green skin bits to the relatively just plain mushy orange-yellow innards of the kabocha. :)
**Side note: You can use the olive oil of this recipe to brown some fresh garlic in another pan and put them both into the pot together. This would taste better as opposed to powder, but ya know, it's all up to you and how much time you have. :P

Look at that yummy squashy goodness with tiny green skin chunks (FIBER!!!) Ohhhhh yeahhhh~~

This tasted awesome! It's sweet & salty like a sweet & salty trail mix, without the crunch of course, but you can distinctly taste the salt and the natural sugars of the squash. I don't recommend forgoing the salt because it can taste quite bland otherwise. Plus, HELLO, the recipe is sweet & SALTY, homies! ;) Now that I think about it...next time, I think I will try adding some salty nuts into the recipe and adding less salt. Wouldn't it be fun to have some crunchiness among the mushiness? :D Well...if you can only eat mushy food and can't handle crunchy then stick with trying this awesome recipe and put that boring old mashed potatoes that you always use to the back seat! ^o^ This would've been great when I got my wisdom teeth removed and I couldn't chew or eat REAL food in like what seemed to be FOREVER. Those wisdom teeth days...were not the days.

I would make this again and again and again because it was that GOOOOOOOOOD. Even just eating this by itself can get me feeling full and bloated. Haha~~ Must be all the starchiness of the squash. But it's just so flavorful, fun, and easy to manipulate that I could see myself coming back to it and making tons of variations out of this recipe! :) I hope you like this recipe as much as I do and if you have end up making variations out it, let me know what you placed into your mashed kabocha dish so I can try it out too!

Until next time, bye bye lovelies~! <(^_______^)> *hugs hugs hugs*

Nutrition Info (per serving): Calories 198.7 Total Fat 10.1 g Saturated Fat 1.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g Monounsaturated Fat 7.5 g Cholesterol 52.8 mg Sodium 785.1 mg Potassium 0.1 mg Total Carbohydrate 24.6 g Dietary Fiber 3.3 g Sugars 11.0 g Protein 3.6 g Vitamin A 233.3%*** Vitamin C 15.0%

***Side note: I know this seems sketch...@_@ don't know whether or not to believe this website or not...TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE??? Well...it is a veggie and all veggies are bound to be good for you in some way...so just eat it. :D

Calorie counter used: http://www.sparkpeople.com/calorie-counter.asp

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