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Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad With Balsamic & Citrus Dressing

Salad, Dinner, LunchLina LiwagComment

Happy Fall!  I know I'm a few weeks late in getting into the  Autumn spirit...let's just say this tropical girl at heart was stuck in a summer frame of mind as usual.  Then as I walk out everyday lately, the colourful leaves just kept reminding me that it's time to move on and embrace the new season.

So here we go...October calls for squash dishes.  My son is a big lover of this yellow vegetable and if it was up to him, he would have squash soup everyday. I bought a few organic ones from The Big Carrot two days ago and today, I cut up a whole kabocha squash for 2 dishes, one for his soup and another for a roasted squash salad.  We will post the salad recipe now and the soup next week.

In the Philippines, we call "winter squash" "kalabasa" and we didn't really have all the different North American varieties.  It's mostly just kabocha and maybe his cousins autumn cup or buttercup. And so growing up, I was so accustomed to their sweet, creamy and nutty qualities that even now, I'm still more inclined to buy these varieties than maybe a butternut or a delicata.   At any rate, winter squash is a great source of beta-carotene...that yellow/orange pigment in foods.  Beta-carotene is converted by the body into Vitamin A which is an antioxidant. We need this vitamin for good eye health, protection against cancer and heart disease and for healthy skin. You can check this link for a good read about winter squash.




Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad With Balsamic and Citrus Dressing
Ingredients (Preferably Organic)


1/2 of kabocha squash, peeled and cut into 1" cubes, about 2 1/2 cups
2 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
2 tsp. olive oil
pinch of black pepper

6-7 oz. greens ( I used baby spinach and baby romaine leaves)
1/4 c. thinly sliced red onions
1/4 c. toasted  coconut flakes
3 T. dried Goji berries

1 Tbsp. cold pressed olive oil
2 Tbsp. sulphite-free balsamic vinegar
juice of 1/2 mandarin
pinch of black pepper
optional salt to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut the squash into half, peel and scoop the seeds out then cut them into 1" cubes.  Place them in a baking dish.  Add the  olive oil, garlic and black pepper then toss to combine.  Roast until tender but not too mushy approximately 25-30 minutes .  When cooked, cool it down and set aside.
2. While the squash is roasting, dry toast the coconut flakes in a skillet on medium heat until they turn lightly brown and crunchy, about 5 minutes. Prep the greens and slice the onions.
3. Combine the dressing in a small bowl.
4. Assemble the salad by mixing the roasted squash with the greens, the red onions then pour the dressing. Top with toasted coconut flakes and goji berries. Enjoy!

1. You can use a different variety of winter squash that's available in your market.
2. Other greens like arugula or lettuce are also great options.
3. Instead of goji berries, pomegranates will also give the dish that bursting red colour. I was planning on using pomegranates but found out on the last minute that the one I had in my kitchen was rotten.
4. And incase coconuts are not your thing, substitute them with either walnuts or pecans. 
5.  You may also like these older recipes for squash here or here.



Enjoy the colours of Fall!  To my friends and relatives  in the Southern Hemisphere, enjoy your Spring!




Austin's "Tex-Mex" Inspired Salad

Salad, Lunch, DinnerLina Liwag2 Comments

Every week,  Austin has at least one or two meatless meals...he has several favourites and this salad happens to be one of those.  It would be paired with a pasta dish with hemp pesto sauce which he also loves (will hopefully post this one next week).  For me and my husband, the salad is already a perfect one-dish meal, no sides necessary.



Guacamole is popularly used as a dip...but on this recipe,  I made it as a dressing.  It has very similar ingredients but a little thinner in consistency.  We have a very active teenager and  the creamy guacamole makes for a hearty, satisfying and nutritious dressing for him .  



Austin's "Tex-Mex" Inspired Salad
Ingredients (Preferably Organic): 
For the salad:
1 bunch Romaine lettuce, washed, shredded and spin-dried
3 plum tomatoes, washed and cut into small cubes
1 1/5 c.  cooked black beans
1/2 to 1 piece jalapeno pepper, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
1/4 - 1/2 c. red onions, finely chopped 
1/4 c. coriander leaves finely chopped 

For the dressing: 
1 avocado, cut and  seed removed
juice of 1 1/2 limes
2 tsp. red onions, finely chopped
 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, finely chopped
pinch of salt (or to taste) 
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 tsp.maple syrup
4 Tbsp. filtered water
1 tsp. jalapeno pepper (optional) 


1. Prepare all the salad ingredients and set aside. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients into a blender and process until it becomes creamy.  Adjust the taste or add more water if you prefer a thinner consistency.

2. Assemble the salad then add the dressing.  If you happen to have a mustard or ketchup dispenser bottle, use one to dispense the dressing.  It looks pretty expecially if you are having friends over.

Other options to add to  the salad:
 non-GMO corn 



Last Sunday,  we had our church service at the park and then enjoyed a picnic afterwards.  It was awesome to praise God seeing all his wonderful creations.  It was also a great time to share a meal, play and share stories with friends.


It's almost the end of May and we've had a little cold spell this week.   However, summer will soon  be upon us. Have a wonderful week!