Fall/winter is my favorite time of the year. Colors change on the trees. Cold crisp breezes in the morning. It just makes me feel good. Not to mention the clothes are so cute (scarves, boots, sweaters… YES PLEASE!). I also love the food that’s seasonal right now. Believe me when I say I can survive solely on kabocha if I wanted to.
Kabocha? Oh, it’s just a super delicious Asian squash. It’s exterior resembles a pumpkin, but green. Kabocha tastes like a cross between butternut squash and sweet potato, but sweeter. Kabocha is super hearty and filling; not to mention they’re loaded with health benefits.
I’m TRYING to eat healthier. It’s hard though. I love certain foods that are deemed “bad for me”. Lasagna being one of them. Have you read nutrition facts for lasagna? Don’t, if you haven’t. I had to confess my lasagna sins to the gym after finding out. The sauce in lasagna (or any pasta dish really) is where all those sneaky calories are hiding. This is why there’s a kabocha sauce lasagna I make when we try to be healthy.
Kabocha Spinach Mushroom and Chicken Lasagna Rolls
- 3 pound kabocha squash
- 1 cup chopped spinach, cooked and drained
- 1 cup mushrooms, rough chopped, cooked and drained
- 15 ounce ricotta cheese (fat free preferred)
- 1 large egg
- ½ box lasagna pasta
- 1 pound chicken breast, skinless and boneless, small cubes
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese
- ¼ onion, minced, cooked
- Olive oil
- Ground mustard
Preheat oven to 375℉
- Carefully cut the kabocha in half. Remove seeds with a spoon.
- Cut kabocha into quarters and place into a large pot. Fill with water until just covering kaboca.
- Bring the water to a boil and keep at a gentle boil for 20 minutes.
- Reserve 1 cup of water and remove kabocha from pot.
- Using a spoon, scrape out the squash from the skin.
- With the back of the spoon, mash the kabocha. Add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Slowly add reserved water to create a smooth texture. Set aside.
- In a small pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil and saute onions until transparent over medium low heat. Set aside to cool.
- In a large skillet, heat up 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat and cook chicken. Season with salt and pepper and cook until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, spinach, mushrooms, chicken, eggs, dash of oregano and ground mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- In a larger pot, boil water and cook lasagna per instructions on the box. Drain pasta and set aside.
- On a flat working surface, lay out lasagna pasta. Place ricotta mixture on pasta leaving about 1 inch uncovered on one end. Roll lasagna from covered end to the other.
- Put a small amount of kabocha mixture on the bottom of an oven safe pan.
- Place lasagna rolls into pan and top with remaining kabocha. Top with mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
It’s super easy to turn this dish into a veggie dish too. Just simply omit the chicken and it’s a vegetarian conscience dish! I particularly like serving lasagna rolls because they’re so easy. Unlike a traditional lasagna, there’s nothing to cut when trying to serve a single serving. It’s already wrapped up nicely and all you have to do is scoop it up and put it on a plate!
For those of you two prefer a creamier sauce, cream or milk can be added to the kabocha instead of the reserved water. This’ll help thicken up and smooth out the mixture further. I would even recommend putting the kabocha through a blender as well to give it an even silkier texture. I prefer to mash my squash so that there are chunks to bite into. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to kabocha. So kabocha away my friends.