Vegan Kabocha Indian Cornmeal Pudding

by Sarah on September 23, 2013 · 11 comments

I may not know where I’ll be on Thanksgiving this year, but I do know what I’ll be making to share.IMG_4183 (1024x683)

Imagine my surprise--after my lengthy lamentation about the lack of true kabocha at the farmer’s market–to stumble upon the real thing at Winn Dixie.IMG_20130920_145038_887 (1024x574)

Of course, it was mislabeled.*

*For a song and dance about actual buttercup squash–and to see the ‘cup’ or ‘cap’ that distinguishes it from kabocha–please investigate my Winter Squash Riso-faux.

IMG_3966 (1024x683)

But enough squash snobbery (for now).IMG_3971 (1024x683)

I took this miraculous find as a sign to completely abandon the recipe I was going to show you for the second week of K is for Kabocha in Heather‘s Meatless Mondays A-Z challenge, and instead make something MUCH more delicious. MMAZkabochaHeather’s self-proclaimed fail reminded me in appearance (somewhat) of the time I made a very lovely Baked Garam Kabocha Pudding, in honor of learning about National Indian Pudding Day (November 13th).

Except, I didn’t actually research what Indian pudding was.

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I was probably too busy devouring kabocha skin.IMG_4010 (1024x683)

See, I was thinking Indian…like India…like the country…NOT like the misnamed group of indigenous people who populated our continent before Colombus arrived and decided he had reached the land of savory (and profitable) spices.IMG_4015 (1024x683)

Turns out Indian Pudding is a sweet (rather ugly until you put ice cream on it) dessert made from eggs and cornmeal, and traditionally flavored with molasses and spices.indianpudding

While I did put in the cornmeal flour* and the molasses

*Thank you, Lindsey, for this very expensive masa harina.IMG_4056 (1024x646)

…but nothing about the rest of it could be considered traditional.

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I made it vegan by using silken tofu…IMG_4028 (1024x683)

…and my new favorite mixing agent: soaked raw cashews.IMG_4019 (1024x684)

Desserts are all well and good, of course–especially when ice cream is potentially involved–but as I have mentioned, I hate to mask the flavor of really good winter squash with anything…even sugar.IMG_4041 (1024x683)

So I took a savory turn, just by adding a wee bit of salt and some onion that I’d sliced and quickly softened in the microwave.IMG_4000 (1024x683)

The result?IMG_4046 (1024x683)

As addictive as if it WERE infused with sugar and spice (and everything nice).IMG_4083 (1024x683)

I managed not to eat it all just like that, and even decorated the top with some sliced local apples and more softened onion.IMG_4104 (1024x683)

I let it cook at 300 degrees for about 45 or so minutesIMG_4111 (1024x651)

…just until I couldn’t wait any longer to eat it.IMG_4156 (1024x683)

[Or the top was crackling. Whichever comes first for you.]IMG_4123 (1024x683)

Turns out that when I went to link back to the first week of K is for Kabocha, I discovered Serena and Sandy both made custards/puddings, so I actually kind of sort of finally followed the Meatless Monday A-Z rules for once!IMG_4200 (1024x683)

Now the only question that remains is:

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Who’s inviting me to Thanksgiving?IMG_4196 (1024x683)

Kabocha Indian Cornmeal Pudding (Vegan)

  • 3 cups roasted kabocha
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked at least 1 hour, then drained
  • 1/2 block silken tofu [6 oz.]
  • 3/4 cup sliced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup masa harina [or finely ground cornmeal]
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses
  • salt (to taste)
  • sliced apples, for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Put onions in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with water and cook one minute to soften.
  3. Combine kabocha, cashews, tofu, and onion in a food processor.
  4. Process until smooth.
  5. Add masa harina and molasses to food process. Blend.
  6. Salt to taste.
  7. Scoop squash mixture into a casserole dish.
  8. Bake pudding for 45 minutes, or until top is browned and beginning to crackle.IMG_4191 (1024x683)
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Kaila @healthyhelperblog! September 23, 2013 at 7:36 am

OH MY this looks delicious! I can even tell by the pictures that the texture must be luxurious! I am imagining amazingly creamy and smooth? YUM. Definitely adding this to my 1000 page long ‘to make’ list!

Liz @ I Heart Vegetables September 23, 2013 at 7:47 am

Hahaha I don’t even know where to begin! How do you come up with these things?! I need to be more adventurous, especially with my winter squashes!

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) September 23, 2013 at 9:56 am

I am so with you on masking the flavor of my squashes! My husband kept telling me I needed to add more sugar to my kabocha custard. I asked if he was eating it…he said no, so I told him I was good. This looks amazing! Definitely trying this one out! Also, this week was the first time I really followed the rules for MMAZ. I feel on top of things today! Happy Monday!

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table September 23, 2013 at 11:34 am

I am fascinated… and I love the tofu protein. I want it to be savory too though. Hmmm…

Melissa @ Treats With a Twist September 23, 2013 at 11:49 am

Brilliance. Your family will love you for it :)

Heather @ Better With Veggies September 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I love this!! I tried hard to find more kabocha this week, but gave up and got acorn squash for additional recipes this week. Oh well. :)

Brittany @ Delights and Delectables September 23, 2013 at 6:22 pm

You never cease to amaze me friend!

Eating 4 Balance September 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Really! People just don’t know how to properly label squashes. The first time I had “kabocha” it wasn’t really kabocha. It took some comments on my blog to convince me that the flavorless squash that I had tried wasn’t the real deal… Thank goodness I believed them and took another shot at it. At meijer they label Kabocha “buttercup” and “acorn” all of the time. Sometimes with just the wrong signs, and sometimes actual sticker mislabeling!

Even Whole Foods people can’t always appreciate their squash. I’ve had the cashiers ask me before: “What are you going to do with that?” when ringing up a funny looking, extremely LARGE tan, squash/pumpkin. Um. Eat it? Why else would I pay an arm and a leg for the thing? No way am I going to let it rot away as a decoration! That’s what dollar pumpkins at Walmart are for!! 😀

Miss Polkadot September 23, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Consider yourself invited for Thanksgiving over at my family’s! We actually never celebrated it before but if it means getting to eat this amazing dish and – more importantly! – meeting you I’d be totally up for it.
I appreciate you for not masking kabocha’s awesome flavour with a huge amount of spices or sugar and for eating the skin. It breaks my heart a little [or a little more] to see people discard the peel.
What else breaks my heart is the current kabocha shortage around here – hopefully not marking the end of the season for us yet.
So, back to the beginning: when can we expect you over here for the celebrations ;)?

Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli September 29, 2013 at 12:25 am

Ahhhhh! My mom and I were JUST talking about Thanksgiving plans tonight….you are SO invited! And don’t worry, my family probably wouldn’t touch this stuff with a ten foot pole! More for me…er, I mean US!! 😉

I picked up my first kabocha last weekend at the international market…but haven’t cracked (axed?) into it yet since I’ve been busy stuffing the last of this summer’s berries in my face, but when it DOES meet it’s final day, this is what I have to make! Keep me honest girl…you know how bad I am about saying I’m gonna make something and then forgetting! Damn ADD-heimers! 😉

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