Kabocha friendly recipes


I troll Pinterest every day. I look in three sections and three sections only. Geek (because I am one), food and drink (no explanation needed) and women’s fashion (for research purposes as I have no sense of style but feel I should look respectable). Now that it is colder in North America, there is a plethora of pumpkin recipes. Sadly, it is still t-shirt and shorts weather here so I can’t quite start making something kabocha-y every dinner. But I’m going to torture myself, and possibly you, by posting some promising recipes I have discovered in the last little bit. If you are on Pinterest please check out my board “Also could be made with kabocha”. Please note that I have not tested these recipes but by looking at them, I’m pretty sure they would taste great.

Kabocha Squash Friendly Recipes and Suggested Changes to Make Them Japan-Friendly

Pumpkin, Barley and Sage Soup at Better Homes and Gardens

  • use dried sage which is easier to find (try upscale supermarkets or import shops)
  • use kabocha puree that has been watered down to canned pumpkin consistency
  • quick cooking barley is called oshimugi 押麦in Japanese and is located in the rice section
  • The Meat Guy sells andouille sausages but I would probably just get any smoked sausage I could find

Pumpkin Pesto at Better Homes and Gardens

  • use kabocha puree that has been watered down to canned pumpkin consistency

Pumpkin Spice Latte Popsicles at Purple House Cafe

Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip at Recipe Critic

If you are looking for other kabocha ideas check out some of my recipes:

Do you have any pumpkin recipes that work well with kabocha squash? Please share them below in the comments section.

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quinoa bread

Quinoa Flat Bread (Gluten Free)

quinoa bread

I came across this recipe on Pinterest a week or so ago and thought one of my gluten-free friends would like it. I didn’t actually intend to make it myself but she happened to come over later that week so we tried it out. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. We didn’t follow the suggestion of putting the pan in the oven and subsequently it wasn’t crispy on the bottom.  The top was delightfully crispy and the Parmesan cheese I sprinkled over the top was great. I wanted to try it again pan fried. I made it twice because I wanted to try a couple of tweaks. I am teaching a hummus class at a local cafe in June and am making pan fried flat bread at the same time. I thought could be a great addition to the lineup as it would taste superb with hummus. Sadly, it didn’t turn out that well panfried. So baked it will remain.

I made a couple small changes to the original recipe.

  • used rice flour instead of quinoa flour (you can make your own by grinding quinoa in a food processor or coffee grinder)
  • baked it for 30 minutes (mine was about twice the thickness of the picture in the original recipe)
  • added a bit of salt, pepper and garlic powder to the dough before baking
  • used olive oil

Where to get quinoa キヌア kinua in Japan

  • supermarkets – some supermarkets carry small bags of quinoa in the rice section. This quinoa is meant to be added a tablespoon at a time to rice as an add-in. The brand I most often see is this one (be careful as they also sell millet in bags that look exactly the same) and it is a perfect size for a couple of batches of quinoa bread. 
  • import shops – you will likely find bigger bags here but still possibly only 400g or so. I often see this bag. You sometimes also find Alishan Organics quinoa in import shops.
  • Health food stores will have medium sized bags.
  • Amazon – here is a link to a search for キヌア
  • Rakuten – here is a link to a search for キヌア
  • Yoyo Market – they carry Alishan Organics quinoa

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Christmas recipes

Christmas Recipes Round Up

Christmas recipes

It’s December first so now I can officially talk about Christmas. I have a rule not to think about Christmas until December (Christmas presents for family in Canada aside). I did kind of break my rule two days ago when I suddenly remembered that I wanted to download a copy of the Huron Tale from Itunes. I kept forgetting to download it when my account was charged and had to settle with the youtube version. If you were wondering, I downloaded this one by Heather Dale. I’ve been perusing pinterest for some good looking Christmas recipes. I’m planning on having two Christmas parties at my house and will probably need a few more recipies than usual. All of the ingredients are relatively easy to source in Japan.

My goto recipes

I make this gingerbread (cake) recipe every Christmas dinner and at least a couple of times before that. While I make pumpkin pie the night before this baby goes in the oven just as we sit down to eat so the house smells amazing right when you are finishing up the turkey. Top with custard. You can sometimes find molasses and corn syrup at Kaldi Coffee or import stores. The one I buy is here on Amazon.

I make this pumpkin pie (with kabocha) every Christmas and Thanksgiving. It makes a great breakfast the next day. I always make two to ensure there is enough for breakfast. I kid you not.


Strawberry tree brownie bites from Erica’s Sweet Tooth – these are sure to impress and I will be making them as soon as strawberries return to stores.

Holiday Spruce Cookies from Taste of Home – this would be great for kids and you could use vanilla extract and rice flakes if you can’t find corn flakes and almond extract.

Fill strawberries with cheesecake filling for a great snack (link is picture only) I would use this recipe for the filling.

These poinsettia cookies are a cute idea. Use that recipe or your favorite rolled white cookies.

These Christmas sugar cookies are a nice colorful addition to a cookie plate.


This stuffed Italian loaf looks amazing. Have it at home or assemble and bake right at a party you are attending. Poppy seeds can be found in stores with big spice selections (in a little spice bottle). You could easily skip them for this recipe.

This avocado humus looks divine. Serve with cherry tomatoes and you have a healthy Christmas party stack.

This snowman pizza would be great for a kids party.

These mini frittatas would be great on Christmas morning or at a party. I often make them with soy milk instead of cream.

Crispy edamame look like a great snack for Christmas movie night.

If you are on pinterest follow me, I pin a lot of Japan-friendly recipes there and my Christmas collection will continue to grow.

If you are having problems sourcing ingredients please let me know by leaving a comment here or my Facebook page. I’ll do my best to find a way to get what you are looking for.

food inspiration pins

Food inspiration from pinterest

food inspiration pins

I have been enjoying pinterest a lot lately. I actually spend most of my time torturing myself looking at fall outfits while it is still over thirty degrees in the daytime here. I haven’t worn long sleeves in months… The rest of my time on pinterest is spent finding inspiration and good ideas for the kitchen. I have been pinning a lot of yummy looking Japan-friendly recipes in the last while and I thought you might want to check them out. You can find me here on pinterest.

See that pumpkin shaped cake above? As soon as my dad arrives next month with bundt cake pans I will make it with my go to kabocha bread recipe (please excuse the terrible picture – the bread is amazing).