I bought my Kabocha not knowing that it was the BSI ingredient this week simply because I was inspired by CoCo and Sophia’s creations. Now, I know WHY this Japanese pumpkin deserves all the hype it gets…OMY it is SO GOOD steamed and I would be happy if I ate this every day, even if I turn orange. I like mine steamed and WITH the skin still on. Yum.🙂

Unfortunately, it seems that after I’ve enjoyed this scrumptious day of eats, I’m coming down with some kind of bug. EVEN NYQUIL couldn’t save me from feeling like a piece o’ dump. Needless to say, the gym has gone to hell this week so far and all I feel like I’ve done is eat and SIT ALL DAY at work. This brings back a terrible childhood memory, one that involves a very mean little boy and the nickname “tub of lard“. OK, enough said, this is depressing.

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According to wiki: Kabocha (katakana: カボチャ) is a Japanese variety of winter squash. The word kabocha has come to mean a general type of winter squash to many English-speaking growers and buyers. In some cultures it is revered as an aphrodisiac!! I like to think of it more as a Japanese pumpkin. It is rich in iron, Vitamin C, Potassium, and beta carotene.

***Backtrack from Dinner***

Dinner is Served

Oven-roasted Fusion Kabocha

Served with spinach mushroom shirataki spaghetti in garlic tomato sauce & steamed prawns

kabocha prawns and spinach

You will need:

  • ½ a Kabocha (or whole!), sliced into ½ inch thick wedges
  • PAM/other oil spray
  • Black and Tan Gomasio (Black and White Sesame seeds)
  • Sprinkle of Garlic Powder, Onion powder
  • Sprinkle of Brown sugar enough to coat surface of Kabocha slices

All you gotta do:

  1. Steam the sliced kabocha until its soft, but not falling apart.
  2. Lay the kabocha on a baking tray, spray surface with Pam
  3. Sprinkle all seasonings, brown sugar, and sesame seeds over the top
  4. Pop in to 350 degree oven for ~20 minutes or until squash starts turning brown. DO NOT bake until crisp as if it were butternut squash fries! You want it to still be moist, but have the roasted toasted flavor.Kabocha dinner entree

Steamed Kabocha. The best way to devour this baby is steamed! Fresh, sweeter and starchier than butternut squash, Kabocha is fantastic chilled as well!

steamed kabochaI’m not gonna lie, I ate the other half of my kabocha as an appetizer. Heaven!!

As for dessert: Nature’s Path Organic Hemp Plus Raisin Granola Bar

Ingredients: Organic tapioca syrup, O rolled oats, O brown rice flour, O raisin (coated w/ organic sunflower oil), O evaporated can juice, O invert cane syrup, O flax seed, O soy oil, O hemp seed, O acacia gum, Sea salt, O molasses, Natural flavor, O rice bran extract.

Stats: 130 Calories, 3g fat, 28g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g protein

natures path granola bar

Perks: Hemp and flax gives this bar 400mg of Omega-3 fatty acids and 900mg of Omega 6 fatty acids. It is vegetarian, wheat free, made of whole grains, and has no trans fats!

Downside: Notice ALL the different types of sugars that go into making this bar…definitely ameliorates all the perks of all those wholesome organic ingredients!

Taste: This is definitely like a “healthy dessert” thanks to how sweet and delicious it is! Actually, it’s WAY too sweet to have more than one. However, for 130 calories, it is not bad at all for someone with a big sweet tooth (like me!) and the size is bigger and thicker than other granola bars with similar stats. You get teeny bursts of flax seed flavor and when the juicy raisins find their way into your mouth, which is absolutely tasty.

Texture: Super-sticky, almost as if it were coated with a layer of honey. This bar was soft enough to peel apart with your fingers and actually is quite fun to eat.

Overall: Despite all the naughty sweeteners that make up this bar, I would eat this ANY DAY for a dessert or after meal treat. It’s a little too sweet for breakfast, but for now it’s good enough for me!

***

Lunchy-Munchy Non-Cheesy Ravioli!

Everyone who knows me well knows…I pretty much hate anything that TASTES like cheese. Meaning, I can do ricotta in lasagna but keep those cheddars, swiss, blue, and goat AWAY from me!!!! Sadly…I have no idea what Cottage cheese tastes like…

ravioli with fried eggs

Simply frozen cheeseless ravioli topped with tomato sauce and spinach with a fried egg!

Afternoon Snack ’em!

Jay Robb’s Cashew Coconut Protein Bar

Ingredients: Organic raw cashew butter, organic agave syrup, whey protein isolate, unsweetened coconut, whey protein crisps (whey protein isolate whey protein concentrate, tapioca starch, calcium carbonate), hydrolyzed whey protein isolate, xylitol, gum arabic, rice bran, natural flavors, water, sea salt.

Stats: 230 cals, 11g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 24g carbs, 5g fiber, 9g sugars, 14g protein

Cashew coconut jay barTaste: Not too sweet and not over-powered by the coconut flavor, this protein bar was actually much better than I expected! The cashew aftertaste is faint but apparent, and the coconut aromas are present and dominant though not overwhelming.

Texture: Reminds me of a Purebar. This is a moist, and sticky bar that has tiny little crispy pieces of protein crisps that I enjoyed crunching on. It’s chewy and malleable, kinda like a super thick fruit roll-up or thick slab of caramel, but I got tired/nauseous of ripping through the dense bar toward the last couple bites.

Verdict: 7/10. It was an OK bar that tastes much better than I expected. The ingredients are definitely natural and healthy-sounding. The best part was the 14g of protein that kept me full and satisfied for several hours. I’m definitely curious as to how Jay’s other bars taste!

***

Breakfast Whey Yogurt Mess

You’re lookin’ at: half a honey dew (yes, half), half a banana, half a mango, 1 container plain better whey, sprinkle of kashi honey sunshine & sprinkle of Zoe’s granola.

fruit and yogurt cereal mess

Not long ago, I got a few coupons to test out Better Whey of Life yogurts and I haven’t used ’em since I’d just bought a 24 cup crate of yogurt from Costco, but since I’m almost out of my stash, I went to pick up a plain Better Whey of Life.

Plain Better Whey

Ingredients: Cultured Pasteurized Grade A nonfat milk, Whey protein concentrate, Inulin, Natural Corn Starch, Kosher Gelatin, Pectin, 4 live active cultures

I’ve put together a handy dandy table to compare plain greek yogurt with plain Better Whey Yogurt. Take note of the higher fiber count in Whey yogurt, but it’s still 1g less of protein, 30 calories extra and 10g  more of carbs than Greek.

Better Whey Plain Chobani Plain
Size per Container 170g 170g
Calories 130 100
Fat 0.5g 0g
Carbohydrate 17g 7g
Dietary Fiber 3g 0g
Sugar 7g 7g
Protein 17g 18g

yogurt mess close up

Taste: Whey yogurt has a strangely fermented sour flavor that isn’t like your average plain yogurts. It is definitely not sweet, which is a good thing I suppose, but honestly if it wasn’t for the fruit and the add-ins, I couldn’t finish this yogurt plain. I’m not a fan of the fermented flavor and will definitely buy a flavored cup next time!

Texture: I hear whey protein can be grainy, but definitely not this yogurt! It was smooth and creamy but not liquidy or watery. It actually came out as a glop when I dumped it on the fruit, but it did mesh well with the cereal!

Overall: 6/10. I can’t stand the flavor…I don’t know what it is, can’t put my finger on it, but it’s probably because I’m not used to the way whey tastes. I DO like the added fiber in it along with the high protein count. It was a satisfying breakfast and very filling for sure!

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Anyways, hope everyone’s having a fabulous week so far and no one is getting sick or feeling like a tub ‘o lard like me. Do you have any childhood HAPPY memories to share and brighten up my mood?🙂