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Tamari Roasted Kabocha Squash with Ginger and Chili

Serves 6


    In Japan, it’s a custom to eat kabocha squash on the day of the winter solstice as a symbol of good health. In fact, kabocha squash contains cancer-fighting antioxidants such as beta carotene and lutein. It’s also full of fibre and vitamins A and C. We’ve made a roasted version dressed in a sweet and tangy marinade that’s sprinkled with sesame seeds before roasting in the oven. The remaining marinade, full of ginger, tamari, and red pepper flakes, is used as a dressing to further flavour the squash.


    Know your squash

    You’ll recognize kabocha squash by its dark green rind and round shape. Its yellowish-orange flesh is sweeter than other types and has been likened to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. The rind is quite hard but is edible when cooked. Wash squash well and take care while cutting. You can microwave the whole squash for 4 to 5 minutes prior to cutting to help soften the rind and make things a bit easier.


    Tamari Roasted Kabocha Squash with Ginger and Chili


      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) sesame oil
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup
      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
      • 2 tsp (10 mL) grated fresh gingerroot
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) crushed red pepper flakes
      • 1 kabocha squash, about 2 1/2 lbs (1.13 kg)
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) toasted sesame seeds


      Per serving:

      • calories197
      • protein3 g
      • total fat10 g
        • sat. fat1 g
      • total carbohydrates26 g
        • sugars15 g
        • fibre3 g
      • sodium337 mg



      Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Prepare 2 baking sheets with a silicone liner or parchment paper.


      In large bowl, whisk together sesame oil, maple syrup, tamari, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and set aside.


      Wash squash thoroughly. Using large knife, split squash in half and then into quarters. Cut each quarter into 1 in (2.5 cm) slices. Dip a slice of squash into marinade, turn to coat both sides, and lay it on lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining slices, and reserve remaining marinade. Sprinkle squash with half the sesame seeds. Roast squash in preheated oven for 15 minutes; remove from oven and turn pieces to the other side. Sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds and return to oven for another 15 minutes.


      Remove squash to serving platter and drizzle remaining marinade overtop, being sure to include all the ginger and red pepper flakes.



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      Going Pro

      Going Pro

      You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.