Kabocha Squash Bowl with Carrot Miso Ginger Dressing.
This kabocha squash bowl is one of my top rated recipes for a reason. It’s packed with delicious and diverse flavors, but is so popular because of the health benefits. If you’re looking to improve your gut health or fight digestive issues such as IBS, SIBO, or leaky gut, start by adding this bowl to your recipe arsenal.
Gut Healthy Ingredients
This kabocha squash bowl is completely low FODMAP meaning it is extremely gentle on your gut. If you have nasty symptoms of IBS such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or heartburn, a low FODMAP elimination diet is required to reset your gut and learn which foods are causing you trouble. High FODMAP foods such as cashews, beans, avocados, and lentils offer amazing benefits but can disrupt the gut if eaten frequently in large portions.
This kabocha squash bowl contains no high FODMAP ingredients making it totally safe to consume for those struggling with digestive issues. Even if you’re not struggling with your gut, it’s important to take preventative measures and be aware of how to keep your gut in check.
Here are the top ways to achieve and maintain a healthy gut:
- Don’t eat the same foods everyday. This will lead to intolerances! It’s so easy to fall into a routine of eating the same meals everyday, but in order for your gut to thrive it needs diversity.
- Don’t eat high FODMAP foods frequently in large portions. Eating foods like beans, cashews, and bananas daily and in high volume is what caused my battle with IBS. Again, diversifying your diet and eating as much of a variety as possible is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy gut.
- Avoid stress. Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid stress due to work or your home environment. Prioritize a work life balance and consistent morning and evening routine.
- Cut processed foods from your diet. Once in awhile it’s okay to indulge, but processed foods (especially in the US) will destroy your gut. Stick to simple whole foods
- Stay hydrated. Water strengthens the lining of our intestines which, if weak, can lead to leaky gut. Water also helps to balance the “good” bacteria in the gut.
Carrot Miso Ginger Dressing – Kabocha Squash Bowl
This dressing was inspired by the dressing in a traditional house salad you’d find in Japanese restaurants. I chose to add miso paste which adds so much flavor and is another gut healthy ingredient as miso is fermented. Fermented foods = gut healthy! Inside this dressing are carrots, miso paste, raw ginger, sesame oil, and sea salt. Here are a few healthy brands I trust and use often:
For this dressing you will need a high speed blender. Here are my top picks:
Perfect for Meal Prep
When making this bowl you will inevitably be left with extras unless you are cooking for a bigger group. I make bowls like this on Sunday’s (my meal prep day) that way I can repurpose the ingredients throughout the week. Here’s my process:
- Bake the kabocha squash. Chop into cubes and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Chop a few heads of kale. Any kale works, but I like to do a mix of dinosaur kale and curly kale. Add to a large mixing bowl with the juice of a lemon and couple tbsp of sesame oil. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Eat as is or sauté a cup or 2 at a time.
- Cook 2 cups of brown rice. While you’re at it, cook 2 cups of quinoa which you can use in salads, bowls, or as a side to protein and veggies. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Thinly slice your lotus root. I prefer my lotus root air fried so they’re nice and crispy, but you can store them raw and just sautee them when you’re ready to eat. Keep in mind if you’re on a low FODMAP diet, don’t eat more than 4 slices in one sitting or it can bring on IBS symptoms.
Kabocha Squash Bowl Toppings
Aside from the health benefits, my favorite part of this kabocha squash bowl are the wide array of flavors. The raw ginger, seaweed snacks, green onions, sesame seeds, and carrot miso ginger dressing add flavor and texture to what could otherwise be a pretty boring bowl. Here are a few of the ingredients I used:
Kabocha Squash Bowl with Carrot Miso Ginger Dressing
- 1 cup chopped kabocha squash
- 1/2 lotus root, thinly sliced no more than 4 slices per serving
- 1 tbsp soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos for the lotus root
- 1 tbsp sesame oil for the lotus root
- 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1 tsp rice vinegar for the brown rice, optional
- 1 cup raw chopped kale
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 lemon, juice from
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 1 stalks green onion, thinly chopped
- 2 sheets seaweed snacks
- 1/4 cup water chesnuts I purchased mine canned
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil for the water chesnuts
- 1/2 tbsp tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos for the water chesnuts
- 2 small cucumbers, peeled and diced
- raw sushi ginger topping
- sesame seeds topping
Carrot Miso Ginger Dressing
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 tbsp miso paste
- 1.5 tbsp minced ginger
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- Preheat your oven or airfryer to 400 degrees. While it’s heating, chop your kale and add to a mixing bowl. Massage with lemon juice and sesame oil.
- Chop a kabocha squash and arrange on a parchment lined baked tray face down. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Once cool, chop into cubes and serve as is or pop in the oven or air fryer for 10 minutes if you want a crispier consistency. Add 1/2 cup to each bowl and save the rest in an airtight container in the fridge. You will have a lot of extras, these will come in handy for weeknight dinners when you don’t feel like cooking!
- Chop your lotus root into thin strips. Air fry or bake half the batch and sautee the other half in tamari (or soy sauce or coconut aminos) and sesame oil. Alternatively, you can choose one method over the other.
- Cook brown rice according to package instructions. As soon as it’s done, mix in rice vinegar then cover the rice to keep the steam inside the pot.
- Lightly your kale in the marinade or just enjoy it as is. If you decide to sautee it, only do so for 3-5 minutes on a medium heat. You want to preserve as many nutrients as possible, so make sure not to overcook it. Sprinkle the final product with red pepper flakes for a little kick.
- Sautee your sliced water chesnuts in tamari (or soy sauce or coconut aminos) and sesame oil. I purchased my water chesnuts canned so they were already presliced, I find this to be the easiest option. Upon opening the can, make sure to rinse the water chesnuts well to remove all traces of the brine.
- Prep the remaining ingredients – peel and dice your cucumbers, peel and shred your carrots, thinly chop your green onion, and chop your seaweed snacks into strips.
- Arrange your bowl with the kabocha squash, spicy kale, brown rice, shredded carrots, diced cucumber, water chesnuts, and lotus root. Top with seaweed strips, chopped green onion, raw ginger, and sesame seeds.
Carrot Ginger Miso Dressing
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add water as needed.