Tag Archives: healthy

Velvety Butternut Squash Soup

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Looking for a soulful and soothing soup for cold winter nights? Look no further.

This Butternut Squash recipe is incredibly easy to make, not to mention satisfying for the taste buds. It is sure to win over any dinner guest and it’s a great way to feed a small group of friends given how few ingredients this dish requires. This Butternut Squash soup is a perfect recipe for a dinner party, or as a starter for Thanksgiving dinner.

Jacob and I go to the Grand Lake Farmer’s Market pretty much every Saturday without fail. When you buy local and cook seasonal, everything tastes better. If you go to any farmer’s market this season you will start to see butternut squash, pumpkins, broccoli rabe, pears, crab apples and more! I love fall don’t you?

In an effort to eat healthier, I’m now the Soup (Wo)man. Soup is very filling, and according to Runners Magazine it’s a great choice after a long run. Butternut Squash Soup’s name represents its flavor profile. This Butternut Squash recipe is velvety, creamy and contains no butter (unless you prefer to use butter instead of olive oil). Either way!

Jacob doesn’t generally like “sweet” food but he loved this soup. It’s not too salty and not too sweet. Indulge your senses!

Ingredients for Butternut Squash Soup:

3 butternut squash, sliced and cubed
1 small white onion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon allspice
1 container chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 medium-sized carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced

Optional

4 small potatoes, cubed
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
2 tablespoons Fage yogurt (plain)
1 piece Fennel


Directions:

1. Put large soup pan on medium-high heat, and carmelize onions in olive oil and garlic.
2. Add in your butternut squash, and all other ingredients.
3. Cook on medium heat for about 45 minutes or until cubes of butternut squash are soft.
4. Allow soup to cool. Puree in blender or food chopper until smooth.
5. Serve with dollop of yogurt, and a small piece of fennel on top.

Wine Spritzers–A Sparkly Sip of Wonderful

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Sometimes it’s really easy to make something a little wee bit healthier–and still really enjoy the delicacy.

I have a few tricks I use to stay somewhat healthy and still enjoy the things I love.

For example, I love wine, but I honestly can’t drink that much of it….if I drink too much wine I fall asleep–and generally I work at night after dinner as well. So, if I feel like it, I make wine spritzers.

All you need is:

1. Wine
2. Seltzer

And it’s light and delicious especially in the summer when it gets hot! And of course I buy sparkling water from Trader Joe’s….and I generally like Pinot Noir–because it’s sweet….often described as having flavors of dark berries and cherry. Yum. Actually according to Wikipedia the name Pinot Noir is derived from the French words for “pine” and “black” alluding to the grape variety’s tightly clustered dark purple pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit.

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There are ways to indulge without throwing your New Year’s Resolution out the window.

Cheers!

Crisp Apple Cobbler

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The reason the creation of the “cobbler” has become a traditional culinary art is because it’s universally loved. Who doesn’t love warm gooey fruit topped with a crunchy flakey topping?

Thank God for the slow cooker–now I can actually make wonderful treats packed full of flavor with less work. The flavor from the slow cooker decreases the chef’s reliance on flavor steroids like oil, butter or any kind of cream—I know I can have that without starving my sweet tooth.

The slow cooker I have is pictured below–referred to me by Jacob’s mom Ella. This is a really affordable purchase considering the value. This small powerful machine makes your life much easier!

Cuisinart PSC-350 Programmable Slow Cooker - 3.5 Quart

Ingredients for Crisp Apple Cobbler:

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3 large red/orange organic fuji apples
2 baby granny smith apples
2 heaping tablespoons of cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar (you can use agave or honey). My dear friend Simone gave me fancy honey which was a treat.

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2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup oats
1/3 cup of light coconut milk

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1/3 cup of Kashi cereal (any kind will due but preferably low sugar)
1/3 cup chopped walnut pieces
1/3 cup apple sauce

Directions to cook Cobbler using the Slow Cooker:

For the apple mixture:

Heat the slow cooker
Peel and cut all apples into bite size pieces
Put them in a bowl
Mix in 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, honey or brown sugar
Put apples in slow cooker on high heat

For the top of the cobbler:

Mix in oats, cereal, walnuts, apple sauce, coconut milk, and one teaspoon vanilla extract. Add or subtract according to your own taste (add raisins, or other various nuts. Use interesting oils other than vanilla (almond oil etc).
Pour over the top of the fruit in the slow cooker.

It’s supposed to be a lil messy! Here’s a photo of mine from tonight…

Let it sit for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The trick with the slow cooker is the longer you wait the better it tastes.

And wallah.

It’s warm and flavorful on the inside with that hearty crunchy kick on top. Add some 0% Fage yogurt or Trader Joe’s fat-free frozen yogurt and you will be in heaven.

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Here is what mine looked like below (notice dessert always includes Tea).

A little bite of heaven…