Marvelous and meatless [Oriental-spiced Fig & Kabocha Casserole]

Hi there! Did you start the week well refreshed from your mini vacation [aka weekend]?

Being with friends, taking walks and enjoying nature are some of my favourite pastimes. All of these were part of my weekend so it’s safe to say it truly was a marvelous one.

MiMM_new

When a good friend of mine texted me suggesting a coffee date on Saturday I was all in. He just moved to another city so meeting up this soon again was a wonderful surprise. Despite the finicky weather we’ve had over here the past days we ignored the premise of rain and headed out for a nice long walk prior to having coffee. As we share the ‘addiction’ to being outside and moving we didn’t mind – and as my mum would say: we’re not made from sugar ;). Just as a random aside: has anybody else ever noticed that most of the time when you’re packing an umbrella you don’t end up needing it? It’s like a reverse magic spell.

Saturday walk

We had a great time catching up on the happenings since we last met and talking about almost everything. Even blogging – yes. He has a blog himself though isn’t posting regularly. Still, it was fun to have somebody understand the excitement.

As you noticed in the title I’m dancing on two partys at once today. Not only Katie’s Marvelous in my Monday but Meatless Mondays from A-Z, too. Technically, every Monday is meatless in this vegan household but this one is especially so because it’s my first time joining Heather’s link-up. How could I not with the next two weeks being dedicated to kabocha?!

Meatless Mondays

It’s not secret I’ve already gone kabocha-crazy these past weeks. Only now I was meant to come up with a new recipe to share. Even though my go-to kabocha dish would be a hearty stew I opted against this as my submission for MMAZ. It just seemed too … easy … uninspired … boring. However much I enjoy these savory bowls it’s good to break from the routine and go for a totally different idea once in a while. Letting myself be inspired by the ingredients on hand …

Fresh figs

Fresh figs

That’s what I really appreciate about blogging and these link-ups: they force me to get creative. Try something new. Maybe even tackle a fear [food] …

adding coconut oil

Coconut oil. So good.

Brainstorming ideas I quickly decided I wanted to go for something seasonal. Thinking of Fall. Thinking of my mum’s apple crumble …  But why let the apples have all the fun? Why not put a different spin on it? How about some oriental flavours? [Granted, though, this is totally inauthentic. I just associate different spices with certain cuisines .]Once I started I quickly added a pinch of this, pinch of that and: chickpeas.

Casserole

Pre-topping.

Yes, it might seem just a little strange [but good]. Trust me, though: the chickpeas add a great creamy texture, slight saltiness and complement the dish well overall. And hey, there’s dessert hummus so sweet chickpeas aren’t all that weird. If you’re still not convinced subbing some flaked or chopped almonds would be awesome, too.

pre-baking

I think I’m a little obsessed with my new baking dish.

Oriental-spiced Fig & Kabocha Casserole

  • 1 1/2 cups kabocha, cubed [140 g] – steamed to cut down the overall baking time
  • 1 medium to large fig [75 g], chopped but reserving some slices for the top
  • 2 tsps maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp [a pinch] each cardamom and ginger
  • 1 heaped tsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsps chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp [or more, really] puffed amaranth
  • banana flakes [as much as you like]
  • 1-2 tsps coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease a single-serving baking dish with coconut oil.

In a bowl combine the kabocha, chopped figs, chickpeas, coconut and spices. Add the maple syrup and stir well to coat every piece.

Transfer to the baking dish and sprinkle with puffed amaranth and banana flakes. Top with flakes of coconut oil and arrange the reserved slices of fig. Dust with some more cinnamon and bake for about 20 minutes.

Serve and don’t forget the obligatory almond butter.

Kabocha drizzled

Sweet, creamy, crunchy … a little Fall treat, snack, dessert – whenever you feel like eating it.

I hope you’re all having an awesome start to the week and don’t forget to hop over to both Katie’s and Heather’s link-ups for more marvelous- and deliciousness. Happy Monday!

Happiness inducing today: Being outside a lot enjoying a lovely Fall day.

What was your favourite part of the weekend?

Do you talk about blogging with your ‘real life’ friends?

Which dishes make you think of Fall?

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29 thoughts on “Marvelous and meatless [Oriental-spiced Fig & Kabocha Casserole]

  1. Emily says:

    Aw…your coffee date sounds perfect. It’s always such a treat to have friends that understand the blogging world. I have a few that blog/make youtube videos and I love sharing stories with them.
    I’m obsessed with all of your casseroles. Seriously. Please come cook for me. I haven’t had time to whip up a good meal in quite a while (take-out has been happening far too often!) and I never know how to use up my figs when I have them!

    The best part of my weekend was going out for dinner/drinks with my friends on Friday night! It was a much needed break from the ‘real world’. (:

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      I’d be more than happy to come over and cook for you. Just let me know of job opportunities over there and I’ll pack my suitcase :).
      Adding figs probably wouldn’t have crossed my mind, either, if it hadn’t been for them sitting in the fridge still. I’m still undecided if they’ll become a regular around here or not.
      Your weekend out sounds like a fantastic break from daily life!

  2. Arman @ thebigmansworld says:

    Your recipes are getting more and more strange….and I love it! Seriously, this sounds so strange and quirky, it is impossible for it NOT to taste good. And the bonus? You’re tackling foods you may have once deemed off limits or fearful. Great job, friend.

    I haven’t told any of my friends about my blog… I don’t know how!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Well, actually I didn’t even think this was all that strange aside from the chickpeas – and even those seem to be a standard dessert ingredient in the blog world already :). Still, I’m glad you approve of the – strange or not – idea. And yes, coconut oil is just awesome so it’s ridiculous to have feared it.
      Some of my close friends actually know I blog but haven’t asked for the address yet.

  3. swissfitchick says:

    I absolutely love long walks outside – especially with friends. I do speak about my blog with real friends, since I am the only one blogging around here, it’s a little sensation 🙂
    That casserole sounds SO good. i absolutely love the combo! My Kabocha obsession is getting out of hand, but that’s ok, right? Have a happy Monday girl!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      A little sensation – that’d probably be the right word to describe my family and friends’ reactions to me having a blog, too. Sometimes a bit of curiosity, too, but more often than not there isn’t any real interest. Funny to think how usual blogging seems to be in the US while it’s still a fairly new topic over here :).
      Oh, well, is it really possible to overdo on kabocha ;)?
      Happy Monday!

  4. Carli says:

    Wow, what an interesting recipe! It sounds (and looks) delicious, though. I sure did miss your blog and photography while I was away from blogs for a couple months! Hmmm, dishes that remind me of fall? I’d have to say soup, chili, sweet potatoes…the list goes on and on! Fall is such a wonderful season.

    Hope you are well.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      It’s so nice to ‘see’ you again, Carli! I hope things have been going well for you during your blogging break. Did you get my last mail?
      Fall can really be awesome so I’m trying to embrace it instead of mourning the end of summer.

  5. Davida @The Healthy Maven says:

    I think you successfully blew my mind with this dish! WOW. Now to find some kabocha (I had to mission to find my last one and the market is kind of far away!).

    I don’t talk about blogging much with my “real” friends. Most of them don’t get it and I’m okay with that. Some are incredibly supportive and I am truly grateful. I love my blog friends too 🙂

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      It’s a mix for me, too. Some people are genuinely interested in blog talk and others are mostly indifferent but that’s okay.
      Finding kabocha can be difficult around here, too, but from reading other blogs I’d assumed it to be easy in the US and Canada. Keeping my fingers crossed for you to happen upon one soon!

  6. Amy says:

    Figs and kabocha?! Does it get much better than that?! I don’t think so. Looks fabulous. And the umbrella situation happens always. Without fail.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      The fig component was once more inspired by you suggesting me to get figs. I’m still working my way through them :).
      Today was once more proof of the umbrella theory. Well, if that’s all it takes to keep the rain away …

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Yes, it felt so awesome to finally ‘blog talk’ [that should be a verb :)] and not feel like I was boring my friend. Keeping all excitement back the whole time when with others can be hard.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      It’s really amazing how much blogging has helped me. Once I stopped comparing too much it was truly inspiring for the better.
      Is there anything almond butter doesn’t go well with :)?! Another blog-inspired find.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      So true. It’s my little world and outlet, too, and in a way I’m actually quite happy my family isn’t interested in reading it. Though I still talk about it at times – even if just to explain why I absolutely need to take a million pictures of everything.

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