Dill Kabocha Salad with Red Pepper and Greek Yogurt

Dill kabocha salad with red pepper and Greek yogurt
The dill kabocha salad is on the right. It’s a beautifully balanced salad with sweet, creamy kabocha, green dill and crunchy red pepper. Swapping half the mayo with Greek yogurt lowers the fat content for DASH diet followers.

Kabocha is a Japanese green-skinned, flattened-looking squash/pumpkin with an intensely sweet flavor and a pleasantly dry texture. It doesn’t turn into watery mush like some pumpkin varieties do, even when cooked in liquid, and the earthy sweet flavor is wonderfully intense.  It’s a pretty unique combination of flavor and texture. If you can’t tell, I really love it. It makes me happy to see them turn up in regular grocery stores here in the U.S.!

I found a great kabocha at the grocery store recently and have been enjoying it in a varieties of ways–simply roasted, simmered in soy sauce and a bit of maple syrup, and this dill-spiked creamy kabocha salad. It’s sweet without any sugar, thanks to the super-sweet kabocha. In DASH diet, daily limits for sugar is pretty low, so this is a boon to people with sweet tooth (like me!). The (differently) sweet yet green aroma of the dill adds a nice complexity to the kabocha salad. Additionally, the red pepper gives just the right amount of refreshing crunch and peppery bitterness to balance out the creamy base and sweetness.

Dill Kabocha Salad with Red Pepper & Greek Yogurt
Dill kabocha salad with red pepper and onion, dressed in Greek yogurt and mayo, a tasty DISH diet side dish. It’s a wonderfully sweet salad without additional sugar and lower fat content than a typical potato or pumpkin salad. It’s a visual feast with a bunch of bright colors, too!

It’s an easy salad that packs a surprisingly sophisticated harmony of flavors. (I also love the bright colors: Deep orange kabocha, red pepper and green dill make any dull plate pop.) I’d recommend using a Japanese kabocha if you can find it, but if not, other pumpkin and squash varieties may work, though the texture will be wetter. You may need to reduce the amount of yogurt-mayo mixture.

Print Recipe
Dill Kabocha Salad with Red Pepper and Greek Yogurt
DASH considerations: This dill kabocha salad is wonderfully sweet without any added sugar, thanks to the natural sweetness of the Japanese pumpkin variety. Another plus from the DASH diet perspective is the lower fat content achieved by using half mayo and half Greek yogurt. Swapping out some of the mayo also gives you more control over how much sodium goes in.

DASH servings:
2 vegetables & fruits
½ fat & oil
Dairy serving is negligible.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
cups (4 generous servings)
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
cups (4 generous servings)
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil on high heat. Add the kabocha pumpkin chunks and boil for 10 minutes or so, until a skewer inserted in the kabocha goes through the flesh without resistance.
  2. While the kabocha cooks, cut up the other vegetables.
  3. In a bowl large enough to toss everything comfortably in, mix the mayonnaise and Greek yogurt.
  4. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Mix the kabocha with the rest of the ingredients, breaking up the kaboha chunks to your desired consistency. I like to leave a lot of big chunks, but it’s up to you.
  6. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or so before serving so the hot kabocha chunks cool down to at least room temperature.

Crunchy Thai cabbage salad with smoked tofu and peanut dressing

Crunchy Thai Salad with Smoked Tofu & Peanut Dressing Prep
Making of the crunchy Thai salad with smoked tofu, with a creamy peanut dressing. This was a good, filling and DASH diet-compatible lunch the day after a heavy dinner.

How’s your new year’s healthy eating resolution going–if you made one? Mid-January might be when a lot of people start feeling the January doldrums, whether they have a resolution or not. (I’m in the latter camp, but totally feeling the doldrums!) This salad might be just the booster you need if you are in a DASH diet rut.

I made this salad for lunch the day after we had a pretty indulgent dinner of Korean fried chicken and kimchi fried rice, which followed a fun weekend of lots of good (but not-so-DASH-compliant) food with my SIL. My DASH diet radar graph pretty clearly showed that I needed a meal that’s high on veggies and low on meats, fat and sugar to balance out the feasts, but I also wanted something that’d satisfy me and keep me going till I got back home to cook dinner. Otherwise I’d end up being either hangry or snacky–or both, lol.

This crunchy salad of cabbage, cucumber and other flavor-packed vegetables was just the thing I needed. The salad gets a “Thai” boost from a creamy peanut dressing spiked with ginger, garlic and lime juice. Smoked tofu adds a layer of savoriness and the much-needed protein without adding to the meat servings. Crushed peanuts are fun, and the fiber and fat in the peanuts helped me stay full.

Print Recipe
Crunchy Thai cabbage salad with smoked tofu and peanut dressing
DASH considerations: Crunchy vegetables and savory smoked tofu make this salad quite satisfying, despite the lack of meat, chicken or egg. The peanut dressing, similar to the peanut sauce served with Thai-style chicken satay, is creamy and aromatic, tying all the salad ingredients together. Go easy on the dressing, and this salad is a good “reset” lunch after meat- and/or fat-heavy dinner.

DASH servings:
4 vegetables & fruits
1 fat & oil
2 beans & nuts
¼ sweets
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
serving
Ingredients
For the salad
For tne peanut dressing (this will make about 3 servings)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
serving
Ingredients
For the salad
For tne peanut dressing (this will make about 3 servings)
Instructions
  1. Mix all the dressing ingredients except for the water in a small bowl.
  2. Add and mix in water thoroughly, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dressing is at a desired consistency. (You want the dressing to be pourable enough to coat the salad easily.)
  3. Mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl large enough to toss the salad.
  4. Spoon about 1/3 of the peanut dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Add more dressing gradually if needed.

I brought the salad to work for lunch. To prevent the vegetables from getting soggy if you aren’t eating it right away, it’s a good idea to keep the dressing in a separate container and toss the salad just before eating.