Posts tagged with butternut squash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All hail, September! Likely my favourite month of the year. No jokes. It may have taken me 27.5 years to realize this, but I find the turn of summer to fall so invigorating. Cool nights with wool socks, spicy reds, hot suppers and early bedtimes just feel so good. It also seems like the slate clears a little in September too, doesn’t it? Even though I’m not a student nor do I have any little ones heading off to school, I still find that when August’s calendar gets flipped and pinned up, there are big opportunities for new beginnings and re-focusing of goals.

I had a tumultuous relationship with soup last winter, I was off my game and had many flops. This one will be different though, I’ve got a feeling! It doesn’t hurt that I’ll be spending every weekend at the Farmer’s Market, eyeball deep in Made with Local biznass and amazing locally grown produce! If there was ever a reason to be motivated to get back in the kitchen and start whipping up fantastic meals for me and the mister, it’s a pretty damn good one.

Butternut squash is my main veggie man. I love it. It bakes quickly and is so freaking good roasted simply with s&p or as part of a more elaborate dinner scheme. It purees beautifully in soups and gives it a silky, creamy texture, sans cream. It’s the main act in this soup, and is a veggie that’s now in season in Atlantic Canada. Keep your eyes peeled at the grocery store for your produce’s area of origin or pop into your nearest farm market to make sure you’re getting local, seasonal goods!

This dish is easy-peasy and has a feisty kick!  It’s inexpensive to make, and will set you up for lunches for the whole week.

Yup, I’m back on my game.

Fall Kick-Off Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or any other oil)
  • 2 small red onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I use my beloved garlic press)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp garam marsala (a cumin/cumin blend would be okay too)
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in heavy bottomed pot. Add onion, sautee onions until soft, add garlic and sautee a little longer. Add broth, chopped squash, maple syrup, cider vinegar, and spices. Bring just to a simmer and let it go until the squash is soft. Take it off the burner and allow it to cool down a bit. Once you\'re able, puree with immersion blender or like me, use a regular old blender. Just be careful, and do it in batches!

This will keep in the fridge for a few days, and is best enjoyed with a wedge of crusty bread and a dollop of sour cream!

 

Here it is! For you impatient members of the newly formed Halifax Baking Club! Zee muffinz.

I am going to keep this post short and sweet, mostly because I want to get the recipe up but am mega distracted by the Oscar red carpet schedule. Gimme a break, people. I did a 100 minute long spin class today and just want to veg, mkay?

Speaking of veggies, these muffins are full of ‘em. Unconventional? Yup. But they are delicious. Especially warm out of the oven with a little smear of butter, or even cream cheese. If you’re a savoury breakfast person, a couple of these to take on the run in the morning would be fantastic.

Since I did not alter this recipe in the least, I am just going to provide you folks with a link to the original recipe, which is on one of my favourite food blog sites, 101 Cookbooks.

Butternut & Feta Muffins

Enjoy!

 

My office phone rang last Wednesday afternoon with a call from a delivery man. He had something for me, so I directed him to my workplace and got excited for a fun birthday delivery from a mystery person!

Well it arrived, and I got spoiled, big time. My parents sent me an AMAZING fruit, veggie, and chocolate gift basket from the local fancy-schmancy grocery store, called Pete’s Frootique. It is a beautiful place to buy fresh local, and interesting imported foods. Shopping at Pete’s is a treat.

This humongous basket blew my mind, with it came an adorable little aloe vera plant and a bouquet of beautiful flowers! My otherwise very bland desk space is now all gussied up with greenery.

At the core of this basket, acting as a base on which the rainbow of exotic fruits and veggies was resting, was this thing:

I was pretty sure that it was a celery root (aka celeriac) but honestly, I did have to google image search it just to make sure. Sad? Kinda. It looked likely something out of a Goosebumps book to me. I envisioned its gnarly, coiled appendages slithering and writhing, getting completely out of control and gobbling up everything within reach of its insatiable celeriac tentacles. Luckily, that didn’t happen. I think I roasetd it before it started on its veggie warpath. Phew.

I peeled this sucker and chopped it into small cubes, and did the same to a small butternut squash and a couple of yellow potatoes. I tossed them all in some simple seasoning, just salt, pepper, and olive oil – let me tell you, the smell in my kitchen was fantastic. I love the aroma of slow-roasted root veggies!

I roasted the butternut squash separately for another dish that I made, look how pretty it is! Like little bites of vegetable candy. Eff sakes I love squash. This dish is so great, any time of day. I had it for brunch this morning, post-workout, and it kept me full for hours. Feel free to tamper with the proportions of veggies, adjusting to your tastes/supply!

Roasted Root Vegetable Hash with Poached Egg

Yield: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 cup celeriac, cubed
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp dried herbs
  • 4 eggs, poached

Toss chopped veggies in olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices. Bake on a baking sheet at 400F for 20-30 minutes, or until tender. Divide between two plates. Poach four eggs to your liking, and place atop veggies. Enjoy with a dousing of your favourite condiments; hot sauce and balsamic reduction are my favourites!

So, now that I’ve regained my composure, and am no longer in a blinding rage due to the original post for this recipe evaporating into cyberspace…let’s talk soup.

Soup and I have been on rocky ground as of late. I used to whip fantastic-tasting soups out of nowhere. In retrospect, I certainly took those strokes of culinary luck for granted, until I produced 3 batches of duds.  My ego was beaten down and not until now have I been ready to open my heart up to another bowl of warm, wintery lunchtime love.

Soups are hugely convenient for me, as I work close enough to my house to walk home for lunch. I can just pull a serving out of the fridge and heat it up in no time flat, that gives me ample time to watch The View….err….I mean, plan my afternoon’s work at the office. Riiiiiiiigghht.

Since my confidence in winging soup recipes out of nowhere was at an all-time low, I decided to consult my new favourite cookbook for guidance. It’s one that I compiled as a fundraiser for the Banook Canoe Club, where I’m a member and fundraising chair. If I do say so myself, it’s awesome. So many people from the community pitched in; it has an awesome selection of recipes, with over 200 in total.

From the ‘Soups and Sides’ section, one in particular caught my eye. It was a submission from my friend/owner of Core Essentials Fitness Studio, Laurissa Manning. She and I spend a good portion of her classes chatting (in between gasps and grunted profanities) about restaurants, recipes, and products that we love or would like to try. She’s super knowledgable about nutrition and fitness; her contributions to the book are clean, and easy to make. Just the kind of recipe I needed to restore my faith in the power of a good soup.

The ingredients are pretty simple, but one in particular, the garam marsala spice, really sets this ahead of the pack. I’ve never used garam marsala before, so I picked some up a the Bulk Barn (many grocers likely carry it too, if not in the spice aisle check ethnic/indian section). It’s a warm spice, with a hint of cinnamon and cumin, and would do wonders for a curry or even sprinkled atop roasted sweet potatoes. It’s gonna get a lot of love in my kitchen!

The raita is optional, but adds a nice little contrast in flavours. Raita is similar to tzatziki, and is made simply of a yogurt base with diced cucumber and spices. I used mint and cumin. Not sure how authentic that is but it was friggin tasty. The cool, fresh flavour balanced nicely with the mellow earthiness of the soup.

Nutritionally, this soup is the bomb. Lentils are a great source of belly filling fibre and protein, and iron, which ladies, we can always use more of. Butternut squash has got loads of Vitamin A and C, as well as a nice little dose of fibre too. With only a tbsp of (healthy!) coconut oil, this soup has a negligible fat per serving and if made with low-sodium broth, will put store-bought soup brands to shame.  Spend a little time making it this weekend and you’ll be SOUPER happy you did!

Whomp whomp!

Indian Spiced Lentil Soup

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (olive or other vegetable oil will do)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garam marsala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder (optional, omit for a mild soup)
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup dried lentils (or about 3 cups canned)

Heat oil over medium heat and add garlic, onions, and spices. Heat until onions are soft and fragrant. Add broth, lentils, and squash. Bring the soup to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 35-45 minutes, or until squash and lentils are soft. Once everything’s cooked through, remove from heat and let it cool a bit before pureeing, in batches, in a blender or food processor. I think it could be great without blending too, I’d love to hear some feedback if anyone tries it chunky!

Raita

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, preferably whole-fat.
  • 1/2 cup english cucumber
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh mint or 1 tbsp dried

Add ingredents to a small bowl and mix with a spoon. Serve as a dollop on top of hot soup. Also is a great dip for pitas or naan bread!

Nutrition Facts
Calories  254
Calories from Fat  37
% Daily Value*
Total Fat  4.1g   6%
Saturated Fat  0.7g   4%
Cholesterol  0mg   0%
Sodium  140mg   6%
Total Carbohydrates  42.0g   14%
Dietary Fiber  14.9g   60%
Sugars  5.2g
Protein  14.5g
Vitamin A 298% Vitamin C 55%
Calcium 10% Iron 24%