Happy July 4th weekend! So happy with the responses to buckwheaties. They’re delicious, and I urge you to try them.

On Thursday night, I just happened to send an offhand tweet saying that squash and avocado are a match made in food heaven. Sweetness, creaminess, and an energizing combination of complex carbs and healthy fats: what’s not to love? This hearty avocado and kabocha squash sandwich shows off the combination perfectly, and it’s one of my new favorite go-to lunches.

The sandwich is inspired by the great folks at Peacefood Cafe. Their regular menu creation is described as “roasted Japanese Pumpkin mashed and seasoned with a little sea salt, ground black pepper and extra virgin olive oil, topped with caramelized onions, ground walnuts, vegan goat cheese and seasonal greens,” and it is most delicious.

I thought I would put my own spin on Peacefood’s famous sammie, subbing avocado for the vegan goat cheese, omitting the onions and adding steamed greens. My sandwich is much simpler, but no less tasty for it, and I love what avocado adds to the mix. Here’s the recipe.

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Avocado Kabocha Squash Sandwich

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


  • 1/2 small kabocha squash, seeded (save the remaining squash for soup, macro bowls, or this soba salad)
  • 4 cups curly or Tuscan kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small ripe Hass avocados, pitted
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 8 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices easy vegan multigrain bread (or another bread of choice)


  • Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the squash, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the squash is completely tender and a knife easily pierces through the skin. Allow the squash to cool, then slice into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  • As the squash roasts, bring a medium pot of water to boil and fit it with a steamer attachment. Steam the kale for 4-5 minutes, or until tender but still bright green. Set the kale aside.
  • Scoop the avocado flesh out of the skin and transfer it to a small bowl. Use a fork to mash it lightly, adding salt and pepper to season it well and to your liking.
  • To assemble 1 sandwich, toast your bread. Spread 2 teaspoons mustard on one slice. Top with one quarter of the mashed avocado, then one quarter of squash slices. Top the squash with a quarter of the steamed kale, then another slice of bread. Repeat with all remaining ingredients to make 4 sandwiches.
  • Slice the sandwiches in half and enjoy.

This is a simple combination: of course, you could make it more flavorful by seasoning the squash differently, using garlic sautéed kale, and so on. But I sort of love the understated quality of this meal. It’s hearty and plain at the same time.

It’s a holiday weekend, and I’m here in NYC while many of my neighbors have escaped. That’s just fine by me: I love having NYC to myself on long weekends. Movie theaters without lines and less crowded streets are never a bad thing. I’ve got a lot to accomplish this weekend (work, errands, writing, editing, etc.), but I also plan on spending a whole lotta time in my little kitchen, and on spending some quality time on my sofa. It’s been too long.

What are you up to this weekend?


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Categories: Recipes
Ingredients: Sweet Potato
Dietary Preferences: No Oil, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: Quick & Easy

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  1. I. LOVE. PEACEFOOD CAFE. Seriously, one of my favorite places. And I’m obsessed with their kabocha. They call me “the pumpkin girl” whenever I’m there because I order multiple servings of it every time I’m there. I’m definitely trying this recipe! THanks! 🙂

  2. This sandwich HAS changed my life and I haven’t even made it yet!! Going to my farmer’s market after work today and can’t wait to re-create for dinner tonight. Thank you for this lovely recipe!

  3. It looks and sounds magnificent!
    One thing though, kabocha, and all squashes, for that matter, are not roots!

  4. Unrelated to avocados and kabocha, because I’ve already tried the eclectic combo many a times before, and have only to congratulate you for being famous enough to widely disseminate the good news, I wanted to tell you about another awesome combination, that I thought you might appreciate because you strike me as adventurous. 🙂

    A cinnamon, apple and rhubarb chia pudding sweetened with raw honey, and topped with sliced avocado.

    You can also make rhubarb hummus. With a bit of nutritional yeast and agave, it tastes like a tangy pink cheesy tahini. Delish!

    🙂 aletheia

  5. I did escape to CT this weekend for some quality time with family, got dragged around behind the boat a bit, which is good fun. Nothing like a flimsy innertube to give you some lasting whiplash. But I’ve returned to NYC to work today, so I’m enjoying some quiet city time as well.

    Your combo sounds spectacular indeed – I believe you! In fact, I have a sweet potato and avocado at home, and you gave me an idea. 😉 ::dons mad scientist lab coat::

    Dinner’s gonna be gooooooood tonight!

  6. Gena, I almost fell off the couch looking at these pictures! I cannot wait to make this sandwich! YUM!
    I’m tweeting this right now!
    One question: What type of sprouted grain bread do you like to use?

    • Thanks Maya! I like good old fashioned Ezekiel bread. Though Manna Bread and French Meadow bakery are also great.

  7. This looks like such a deliciously wonderful combination. Damn my brother for eating everything in our kitchen while I was away, including the bread and the avocadoes!! I’m bookmarking this immediately, thank you for sharing!

  8. that sandwich looks delicious!!

    squash isn’t really a root vegetable though 😉 but i guess it sure tastes like one!

  9. Hi Gena!

    This weekend I had a moving-back-into-my-apartment-party – there has been a total renovation in my bathroom, so I have lived with my parents for 3 months. But no more, I’m finally home! =D

    And home means I got access to my own kitchen! Made your Raw Green Goddess Dressing yesterday and it’s sooo awesome, I loveed it! And I’m definitely gonna try that sandwich, seems like a good first time with sweet potatoes. 🙂

    Hope you had a great weekend! 🙂

  10. OMg. Did you say kabocha? IN a sandwich? I’ve never tried kabocha with avocado, but I can’t wait to test out that combination! 😀

  11. Wow, that sandwich looks so good! 🙂 I love sweet potato and avocado, match made in heaven!

    Enjoy your 4th! We went to the shore yesterday, it’s nice to be home without the crowds today!

  12. An ex-boyfriend of mine told me how delicious Vegenaise and kabocha squash were together. I didn’t believe him until I tried it. A match made in heaven! I’m totally going to make this sandwich, slathered with Vegenaise 🙂

  13. See, I read the title in my google reader and was put off reading the post as I wasn’t sure if I was ready for such a life-altering event. But, I am now clearly ready and willing to give the sandwich a shot; bring it on! x

  14. It never occurred to me to use squash in a sandwich. My dear Mrs. Green’s natural market always has gorgeous kabocha on hand! Enjoy your weekend — one of my favorite things about (metro) NYC, too. We stay for the holiday and take vacation when everyone returns 🙂

  15. mmmm that sandwich looks divine Gena! I love love love the avo-sweet potato combination. Kudos to you for putting it together sandwich-style. In college I used to eat avocado and tomato sandwiches with just a little bit of sea salt and pepper on them. Absolutely delicious. Why haven’t I blogged about this? Simple foods are amazing. Happy 4th!


  16. What do you mean it isn’t the season for squash? I buy winter squash year round. I love it. If you’re into beans, they pair well with the root veggie and avocado combo also.

  17. I love kabocha and avocado! What a perfect marriage, seriously. That sandwich looks heavenly. I gotta try it some time. Btw, what type of sprouted grain bread do you recommend?

    • Diana,

      I like good old fashioned Ezekiel. I love Manna bread too, and I also enjoy French Meadow Bakery’s hemp bread a LOT. But Ezekiel is my all time standard 🙂


  18. That does sound like a sandwich that would change my life! I love sweet potato and avocado together (black beans too…) but have yet to have it on a sprouted bread or a wrap…sounds delicious lady!

  19. I’ve only recently discovered my love of avocado…sweet potatoes and I have been friends for years but lately avo is my new love. I have been adding it to my salads every day and it is so good! I will definitely be trying that avo/sweet tater salad combo above…or I might try the sandwich if I could find a good gluten free bread.

  20. I don’t even have to try that sandwich to know that kabocha (which I discovered around April and could NOT stop eating until I had to because I went to Greece for school for 3 weeks…) and avocado – two of my favorite foods – would be fantastic! In fact, in my dorm I was spreading avocado on huge hunks of kabocha and eating it as a snack before bed, I don’t know why I never thought to make a sandwich out of it! Thanks for the idea, I can’t wait until kabocha are nice and in season again. 😀

  21. wow, avocado and kabocha are 2 of my favorite foods and yet i havent tried what looks to be a MARVELOUS combination! thanks for introducing this – im definitely making it SOON!

  22. Gena,
    Just looking at that sandwich changed my life. It’s been MONTHS since I’ve had any kabocha. Can you believe it?!? However, this sandwich has me wanting to get in the car and drive to my local Asian Mkt. this very second to pick one up! Yes, will definitely be trying this soon. 🙂

    Hope you enjoy your quiet movie watching, kitchen time, sofa-filled weekend. Sounds like the perfect holiday to me!

  23. yes, nyc is a great city to be on for long weekends. here in dc, the residents flee and the tourists flood. so staying here is kind of a mixed bag.

    LOVE the combo. have definitely had it in a salad before. but the sandwich looks amazing too!

  24. I’m thinking kombocha squash it like butternut pumpkin in Australian terms? Hmmm I am going to have to research this one.

  25. This definitely would change my life, and I totally wanna try it 😀 If only I could find that darn squash!

    Maybe I’ll sub in sweet p 🙂

  26. I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now, but this is the first time I’ve commented. I’ve just made that sandwich- absolutely amazing. Thanks for all your great recipes- I’ve gotten out of my “healthy food rut” due in large part to your recipes. Thanks and keep up the fantastic blogging work!

  27. I have heard about the kabocha sandwich at Peacefood. I’ve yet to travel to the UWS to try it out yet. Thanks for the reminder.

  28. I am happy to say that I have tried and love the combination of avocado and sweet potato.

    I hope you enjoy a quieter NYC this weekend…I am definitely enjoying a quiet Los Angeles! The best part of the 4th of July weekend? There is NO traffic here!

  29. I’ve still never had kabocha squash. Is that something that might come in a CSA box? Because if so I might get lucky this Fall and get some

    • Evan,

      You may! I don’t see too much kabocha at my farmer’s market — I believe it’s more common at west coast markets than east coast — but it’s definitely possible.


  30. I heart kabocha squash! I am so up for trying this, only I’d add those caramelized onions. I love those, too!

  31. Your take on Peacefood’s masterpiece looks amazing! I will have to try it.

    And I’ll admit that this New Yorker is taking a 5 day break in the “country” (hello, CT suburbia) for optimum relaxation with the famiy.

    Have a great weekend! 🙂