January 23, 2010

Isn’t my massage place cute!? I discovered Zen Massage a few years ago – it’s only $40 for an hour Swedish massage! No strings or tricks – just a cute house without frills. Deep tissues are $10 more and worth it every time.


I discovered my massage hero, Narval, a few years ago. He is awesome and knows exactly where every muscle and trouble spot is. I’ve never had a bad minute with him! So any Charlotteans looking for a masseuse, ask for Narval!

I told him about the neck pain that I’d had before, during and after Christmas, which I was pretty sure was connected to a knot under my shoulder blade [ which, thankfully, is almost all gone now.] As soon as he got to work he said it felt like I had injured it because there was so much inflammation and a "birds nest" in there. YIKES! Inflammation is bad!! I wonder if I did something in yoga one night? I just remember waking up one morning with what I thought was just a crick in my neck. And I had a really bad headache one night a few weeks later. So glad it’s feeling much better though, and I can turn my neck all the way back with no pain these days. My massage felt amazing, and the before and after was such a difference!

I drove to EarthFare in serenity and picked up a few groceries for the week.

First on the list was some turmeric! Known as one of the kings of anti-inflammation in the spice world, I thought it would be fun to get some to help my back. I love curry powder (which has turmeric) but I don’t think I’ve ever had it plain. More details below!

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I also found…..the elusive kabocha!! It says it’s kabocha. HEAB, what do you think?

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I was so excited about this find that it moved to top priority on the dinner menu! [For more info on kabocha, this post by HEAB! I don’t know anything about it!]

I cut him open, which I thought would be impossible, but it was really pretty easy because he was so hollow! I removed the seeds with a grapefruit spoon and then sliced into pieces.

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Then poured myself a mocktail while I prepped the rest of dinner

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I rubbed the squash in olive oil and salt and put it in the oven at 400* for 20 minutes. After 20 I was surprised to find it sizzling and nearly burned! Good thing I like char. I gave it another 10 minutes after flipping and pulled it back out. Guess I have a hot oven!

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The other components of dinner included brown rice cooked with a tsp of turmeric, roasted broccoli and tofu in some tamari. Thought I got photos of those but I guess I didn’t!

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I wanted this dinner to be like the Harmony Bowls they have at the Laughing Seed in Asheville, so I decided to make a sauce to bind it all together.

It was simple: about 2 tbsp of Futters Pumpkin Seed butter and 1 tbsp each of tamari and warm water.

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Kabocha: It was nothing less than fabulous! Sweet like butternut but thick like acorn (which is still plenty sweet too!). Honestly, I think acorn is 99% as good and much more widely available, but I’ll definitely be looking for kabocha some more! What I liked most was that the skin was much thinner than acorn so I didn’t feel like I was about to scrape out my intestines by eating it skin and all!

Turmeric: WOW. Nothing like curry powder! It was spicy like cinnamon but almost had a MINTY aroma to it. Will definitely be cooking with it more!

Broccoli: Roasted in tamari (which is just fancy soy sauce) for 15 minutes was awesome. Roasting is my favorite broccoli delivery method.

Tofu: I used the Nasoya pre-cubed cubes. I think they are too small! I prefer to cut my own cubes so they don’t get quite so crunchy.

Pumpkin Seed Sauce: Amazing! I’m sure you could do the same with any kind of nut butter. It was rich. Umami!

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I was on my own for dinner tonight, so after its photo shoot, I moved over to the couch and watched 3/4 of the movie Iron Jawed Angels all about women’s suffrage! GREAT movie!! I am not the biggest Hilary Swank fan and I loved her in this. (Going to finish it the AM ’cause I’m tired and had to blog!) GO WOMEN!

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Stopped into Harris Teeter for some more of these:

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I think a hot bath would be a fun way to end the night 😉 Narval says I need to relax my back. He wanted me to ICE it but in this weather, I don’t know if I can….

Newest obsession –> Blame It On The Pop


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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Paris Food Blague January 23, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Kabocha IS fabulous, that’s for sure. Squash, in all forms, is my newest obsession. It looks delicious charred like that. And aren’t the colors beautiful too?

I hear all kinds of great things about turmeric but never cook with it. I look forward to hearing more about your spice adventures!

Glad you enjoyed the massage… must be so exhausted! The best massage I ever had was in Hungary and the equivalent of 10 U.S dollars. I originally read that your masseur was named Nerval, which I thought was funny. But it’s not.

A bientot!
-The Paris Food Blague


2 Estela @ Weekly Bite January 23, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Nothing feels better than a good massage! I had one yesterday… it’s sooo worth the splurge!

Delicious looking dinner! Love the sauce you made :)


3 [email protected] January 23, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Ohhh lucky you. The massage sounds wonderful and won’t drain the bank account! Enjoy your Saturday night :)


4 lynn (The Actors Diet) January 23, 2010 at 10:03 pm

kabocha is the greatest! call me crazy but i think the skins kinda taste like roasted chestnuts…


5 Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle January 23, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Woo hoo, glad that your neck feels relaxed!

Thank you for this music link, it is awesome. I want to add it to my workout mix asap!!


6 Karla January 23, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Wow your dinner looks AMAZING!
I’m going to give Kabocha another try :)


7 Amanda @ Cakes and Ale January 23, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Narval would actually be a “masseur”, rather than a masseuse! Nothing like a good, cheap massage though. We have a massage school here in Chicago where they do $40 ones too. You just have to fill out a survey afterwards, but otherwise its exactly as good as it would be at a fancy spa!


8 Lindsay January 23, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Your dinner looks amazing and I am really glad that you were able to continue relaxing after your massage today!! I wish that I could find a place that has 40$ massages… all the massages that I have gotten in the past were upwards of 70$… ugggh!! So I noticed in your earlier post you are putting your house on the market in February, have you started looking for new homes yet??


9 Kath January 24, 2010 at 8:56 am

We are likely moving in with Karen if we sell our house quickly. We’re moving to Cville in August and will rent when we get there for about a year or so.


10 Ameena January 23, 2010 at 10:21 pm

I use tumeric in everything to try to help the inflammation in my knee…it’s an old Indian cure!


11 Megan January 23, 2010 at 10:22 pm

There is nothing better than a massage to relieve sore, achy, muscles. I wish there was a place where I live that would give that kind of a killer deal. The places like that in my hometown give you on for $40 and then jack the price up unless you sign up for the membership. It totally puts a damper on getting regular massages.


12 Jessica @ The Process of Healing January 23, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I haven’t found Kabocha yet but i’ll have to look at an Earth Fare not too far from where I live. It sounds so good! And I love dinners like that, all in a bowl together.


13 Jenn (www. ) January 23, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Your massage sounds wonderful. Thankfully Dustin is quite generous with the rubs (and he works cheap, too!) haha

I’ve never had kabocha, but we used to sell it at our farm market. If I only knew then… sigh!

You had quite the eclectic tastes going on in that bowl. I love a lil of everything. :)



14 Lee January 23, 2010 at 10:35 pm

I need Narval to come to Atlanta. I’ve had a knot in my shoulder for over a year!


15 Jac January 23, 2010 at 10:39 pm

wish i could try kabocha!! none here.


16 caronae January 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm

The massage sounds wonderful. I’m a wee bit jealous! And dinner sounds great too. I have never found the pre-cubed tofu, so I always just cut up my own.


17 Sophie January 23, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Iron Jawed Angels is amazing and powerful. The ending really gets me every time. I’m not a Swank fan either, but she was fabulous in that movie!


18 Mama Pea January 23, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Dream dinner! And when you said “massage hero” I totally thought, “That’d make a good Wii game!!!”


19 Heather January 23, 2010 at 11:00 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE turmeric AND Iron Jawed Angels! I’m so thankful for Alice Paul (and all the other suffragetes!) fighting for my right to vote. Rock on, ladies. I’m indifferent to Hilary Swank but I loved her in that film, for sure. Your bowl looks delicious. I think I saw the Pure2Raw twins doing this, but I love adding turmeric to amaranth and eating it kind of like a porridge. Warming spices that double as anti-inflammatory = amazing.


20 Jamie January 23, 2010 at 11:04 pm

I love the breakdown of the tastes: such a cute idea and really informative as well!


21 Meredith (Pursuing Balance) January 23, 2010 at 11:06 pm

I love that movie too! Some parts are really hard to watch though (the force feeding).


22 Cynthia (It All Changes) January 23, 2010 at 11:10 pm

I love that you ate your dinner on the couch while watching a movie. We tend to do that a lot of nights because our Dining table is a catch all for stuff when we walk in the door.

I love the flavor of tumeric. I add it to my rice in the rice cooker and it infuses in the rice.


23 Heather (Heather's Dish) January 23, 2010 at 11:14 pm

i love kabocha! i can actually find it pretty easily here at WF, but HEAB says she gets hers from the asian market…?

either way, it’s amazing when it’s roasted…nice and dense and sweet! great dinner :)


24 Priyanka January 23, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Being an Indian, most of my dishes are turmeric centric. Apart from the anti-inflammatory property it is a great antiseptic and wound healer. All Mom’s know that if an antiseptic isn’t around, good ole’ turmeric will some to the rescue. It is also great for acne scars. For cooking I think nothing can beat the deep golden color it gives every dish. Poor Man’s saffron you see!

Wow that was a short essay on Turmeric :)


25 Hillary @ Nutrition Nut on the Run January 23, 2010 at 11:16 pm

I like your orange living room wall.

Curious question: Are you not a fan of alcohol – concerned about calories, dislike the taste? What’s with the mocktails in other words? ; )


26 Kath January 24, 2010 at 8:57 am

I love alcohol, but it just makes me feel so awful. My body doesn’t like it – I gain weight quickly, lose my inhibitions quickly, and I feel hungover after just 2 drinks. So I only partake in fun social events and try to stick to mocktails when I’m craving a fun drink to sip while I cook.


27 Deva (Voracious Vorilee) January 23, 2010 at 11:18 pm

I love cooking with turmeric – it adds a lovely color and flavor to food. The pre-cubed tofu sounds interesting, but I haven’t been able to find it yet.


28 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is January 23, 2010 at 11:24 pm

I’ve never had a massage!!


29 Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) January 23, 2010 at 11:42 pm

A massage sounds perfect right about now! I haven’t gotten one in over a year because ever since enjoying daily (or twice daily!) massages in Thailand for $3/hour, I can’t bring myself to pay $100+ for a massage. 😛


30 Mae @ OhhMay January 23, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Gah the massage sounds awesome!!! 😀 I really don’t enjoy acorn, I wonder if the ones I’m getting just aren’t sweet enough. I LOVE kabocha though!! 😀


31 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) January 24, 2010 at 12:31 am

Kabocha is super cheap if you can find an international/Asian supermarket. I got mine for 79 cents a pound! Compared to $2.99 per pound at WFs.

Try it with ketchup next time….in a saaaandwich!!!! SO GOOD!


32 Jasmine @ Eat Move Write January 24, 2010 at 12:38 am

I’m so jealous!!! I’ve only had ONE massage ever and it was on the morning of my wedding (a great idea, though)……..

Sounds like you had a fantastic day.


33 Katharine January 24, 2010 at 12:58 am

What a deal! That sounds so relaxing. :) I need to find a place around here that is priced similar… I’m sure I have knots I don’t even know about!


34 Brittany January 24, 2010 at 2:04 am

Although I don’t get them often, I love getting massages. So relaxing.

Dinner looks delicious. I’ve tried kabocha and I wasn’t that impressed. I like b-nut better.


35 Ashley January 24, 2010 at 3:36 am

Heeey…I know that squash sticker…it’s from Colorado!!!! :)


36 tiffany January 24, 2010 at 4:59 am

wow that meal looks FABULOUS!!! My coworker always jokes with me that i like everything mixed together like that.. I really do.. no matter what I make.. I throw it right on top of my salad and to me it is delish!!! I guess I am a harmony bowl kinda gal… I am definetly trying this dish!


37 Freya @ January 24, 2010 at 5:26 am

ohmygosh Kabocha is my FAVOURITE!!! I found it once and bought 3 to last me! It has the best flavour, and I think the skin is actually really tasty 😀 so glad you liked it!
Yay for your massage too, sounds good, I’ve never had one lol!
Sleep well :)


38 Simply Life January 24, 2010 at 6:52 am

Wow that does look like a great deal for a massage!


39 christie @ honoring health January 24, 2010 at 7:15 am

Man, when I bought kabocha I thought we were going to have to bust out the saw to get it open. I thought it tasted Ok but not worth all of the work we had to do to open it. I wonder how you tell which ones are more hollow inside. I would love to try it again since everyone says how delicious they are.

Massage sounds awesome! Great price, too!


40 Kristen @ Change of Pace January 24, 2010 at 8:01 am

Dinner looks fabulous! I wish I was as creative as you!


41 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg January 24, 2010 at 8:19 am

We STILL don’t have kabocha in our grocery store…I’m so jealous!

I love turmeric! It’s what turns my tofu scrambles yellow :-)


42 amanda January 24, 2010 at 8:26 am

I have never had that type of squash before but have heard so many great things about it. Also I saw you use Harris teeter products, I love them!! I am addicted to those free sugar cookies you get when you visit the store. :)


43 Ashley January 24, 2010 at 8:43 am

That dinner looks fabulous! I just put in a request to the hubby for similar dinner tonight! I’m sure he’ll require chicken but i’m going to try the tofu option! Were you aprehensive of the massage at first due to price? I have a massage next Friday as a reward for a first month back in action blogging, eating healthy, and working out!


44 Kath January 24, 2010 at 8:57 am

Well I knew it was a legitimate business and all, so not really. They had a nice website when I found it. I would have been more weary about a single person out of their home or something.


45 Jenna January 24, 2010 at 8:50 am

Great dinn!


46 Lily @ Lily's Health Pad January 24, 2010 at 8:53 am

how did you cook the tofu? I like mine crunchy on the outside, but I never can get it that way. It’s always mushy. :-(


47 Kath January 24, 2010 at 8:58 am

You gotta roast it! High heat, less liquid.


48 BEKI January 24, 2010 at 9:06 am

Turmeric is also good at avoiding the flu. My sister brought the seasonal flu home with her from LA one Christmas like 10 years ago and the entire family got it. My dad had read about Turmeric’s health benefits and made me choke down a heaping tablespoon each day. At that time, I didn’t realize it was in curry powder. I just ate the stuff dry because adding liquid just made it worse for some reason. But I was the only one who did this and I was the only one who did not get the flu. My sister, both parents, my aunt and grandmother all got it. I ended up driving to the pharmacy each day refilling prescriptions.


49 [email protected] January 24, 2010 at 9:29 am

I recently discovered kabocha squash and I am addicted. It is so filling. I will have to rent that movie thanks for the review.


50 Jenny January 24, 2010 at 9:39 am

What a nice massage place! And sorry to hear about your inflammation, but now you know, you can do something to soothe it! I don’t know much about inflammation, but Epsom salts are definitely helpful remedies for anything :)

Love the ingredients for dinner!


51 Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) January 24, 2010 at 9:52 am

Oh my gosh Kath, a massage followed by that dinner? Sounds like the perfect day to me.

Hope your back/neck is feeling better. I’ve done the same thing, and it was totally from this funky twist we did on the floor in yoga once. The pain radiated up my neck from the knot in my shoulder blade. Not fun!

That was definitely a kabocha, and yes, you do have a hot oven. :) So happy you enjoyed it, and I love the Laughing Seed. I always stop there when I’m in Asheville. I love love love their Sunday brunch!


52 Jasmine (Sweet and Fit) January 24, 2010 at 10:03 am

Kath – I am persian and my mom uses turmeric all the time – in just about anything. Some of the things I can think of are: egg scrambles, stews, stir-frys, soups, and I love to use it when making “home-fries” for my family. Its a really earthy flavor, glad you like it!


53 Jil January 24, 2010 at 10:26 am

I should probably get a massage at some point. I wish I was near Narval — he sounds awesome! That squash dinner looks absolutely amazing!


54 Teresa January 24, 2010 at 11:00 am

I went to see Narvel recently and he was SO good. He is the first massage therapist that really read my body and what it needed. I have vowed to go once a month because I have neck issues which lead to headaches. He did wonders for that!


55 Kath January 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm

No way!!! So funny you go to him too.


56 Beth (Mackattack) January 24, 2010 at 11:11 am

that kabocha looks delicious!!! Glad you had a great massage, it’s always nerve wracking to find a good place!


57 Lyn January 24, 2010 at 11:54 am

I have a FANTASTIC Thai kabocha squash recipe on my blog. It is stewed in coconut milk, very simple and good. You can add curry powder for a Kabocha Curry. You should try it! Amazing flavor!
(It’s in the recipe links on my front page).


58 molly b January 24, 2010 at 1:16 pm

i live in asheville and LOVE the laughing seed! i pretty much get the harmony bowl every time i go because i love the sesame ginger sauce!


59 Tay January 24, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Definitely agree about the Kabocha. When I ate acorn squash with the skin, I was in mad pain for the rest of the night!! Kabocha isn’t nearly as bad. And I think the skin is easier to eat/tastier. Try roasting it with a mixture of: salt, cumin, cinnamon, sugar & red pepper. Delicious!!


60 Ash @ Good Taste. Healthy Me January 24, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Wow that is a full meal! Sometimes eating in front of the TV is just fun. Especially with that yummy bowl!


61 Bronwyn January 24, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Love that link, it’s such a fun remix. Thanks for sharing.


62 J January 24, 2010 at 8:09 pm

OH MI GOSH! GRANT FARMS THAT PRODUCED YOUR KOBOCHA IS MY FAMILY’S FARM!!!!!!!!!!!! I would gladly send you as much as you could eat if we could figure out shipping… squash is so heavy that 4-5 could easily be like $80 to ship.


63 Kath January 24, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Hahaha. YAY!!! Glad I could support you guys :) I would gladly buy some more from you if we could figure out the shipping. Let me know if it’s even possible!


64 Maggie February 6, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Yes, it IS kabocha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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