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.
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.
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?!
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 …
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] …
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.
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.
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.
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?