Friday, January 9, 2015

Easy Butternut Squash Soup



Happy New Year, friends!

Hope you're all doing well - I wanted to share this really yummy recipe for an easy butternut squash soup.  If you were lucky to get an immersion blender for Christmas, this is your chance to use it!

The health benefits of butternut squash are abundant - it is loaded with fiber, heart healthy, contains potassium for those bones, folate, and vitamin B6 which is important for the functioning of our nervous and immune systems - important for this time of year.  The best part of this little ghourd is its color.  The beautiful yellow hue comes with benefits of their own including important cartotenoids which are believed to be protective against heart disease.  It also contains beta-carotene which studies suggest fights against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration.  In just one serving, you get almost half your daily recommendation of vitamin C.

Not a fan of dealing with cutting and peeling?  No worries; most grocery stores sell it already done for you.  See?  EASY!

Ingredients:
20 oz prepared butternut squash - or one whole - peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
3-4 garlic cloves
1 Vidalia onion, cut
1 red pepper, cut
6 cups chicken broth or veggie broth
2tsp sea salt
1T sugar
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup low fat milk

Preparation:
Place all of the ingredients, except milk, into a soup pot and bring to a boil over medium/high heat.
Reduce heat to simmer and cover soup for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat, and use your immersion blender to blend all of the ingredients together.  (If you don't have an immersion blender, use a regular blender and be sure to vent it for heat to escape)
Stir in milk
Serve with warm baguette and a salad!

Nutrition*:
Makes about 8 cups of soup


*Nutrition information is an estimation only and the nutritional analysis I provide for each recipe is calculated via My Fitness Pal using the nutritional data found on their website. I am not a registered dietitian, so always consult a qualified healthcare provider for any answers to personal health care questions.


 
Adapted from Once Upon a Chef


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Baked Parmesan Garlic Squash




Oh my word you guys!  This recipe was soooo yummy…and quick…and easy…and did I mention yummy?

Every weeknight is so very busy for me, as it is for many of you!  And I need quick, easy and healthy options for dinner otherwise bad choices loom around the corner.  I eat a ton of veggies and I am always looking for ways to switch it up.  Sometimes though, it comes down to what I have in my veggie basket and using my imagination to throw it all together.  I love the combination of tomatoes and Parmesan and I had these gorgeous squash that I picked up at a local farm market this weekend; so I decided to throw them in a dish and bake them up and they were so good that I had them for breakfast this morning with my eggs and I'm going to have them again for dinner tonight!

Quickly, I just want to mention the health benefits of zucchini and summer squash.  They are loaded with antioxidants and are an excellent source of manganese and vitamin C.  Additionally, they contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which research suggests can help protect our eyes from diseases like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.  Summer squash is also packed with a great amount of fiber, and can help regulate blood sugar because it contains B-vitamins, choline and omega-3 fatty acids.  To learn more about the health benefits of summer squash, read here.

Now, let’s get to it!

Ingredients:
2 medium zucchini – cut into nice sized dices
2 medium yellow squash, diced
5 Roma tomatoes, diced (you can also use cherry or grape tomatoes if you can’t find Romas)
5 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1T extra virgin olive oil
 ½ tsp dried thyme
 ½ tsp dried basil
 ½ tsp dried oregano
 ¼ tsp dried red pepper flakes
 ½ tsp sea salt
 ½ tsp ground pepper
 ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a medium sized baking dish with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine squash, tomatoes, olive oil and seasonings and mix well.

Transfer veggies to baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Remove and serve!

*Nutrition:
Serves 4
Calories 136 / Fat 14g / Carbs 12g / Protein 9g / Sodium 584mg

*Nutrition information is an estimation only and the nutritional analysis I provide for each recipe is calculated via My Fitness Pal using the nutritional data found on their website. I am not a registered dietitian, so always consult a qualified healthcare provider for any answers to personal health care questions.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cauliflower Au Gratin




Here’s a super easy, yummy side dish for you to try – I loved it so much I could have eaten it ALL…of course, since Hubs doesn’t eat cauliflower, it was mine for the taking.

You could eat this entire dish and still not feel guilty…not that I’d know anything about that…

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped roughly
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • 2T butter, room temp
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper


Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly spray a small baking dish or pie plate with nonstick spray.
  2. Wash and rinse cauliflower, do not dry, and place in a microwaveable bowl.  Microwave it for about 3-4 minutes until it becomes soft.  You may need to stir and cook a little longer – you want it to be fork-tender in order to mash it a bit after it’s done.
  3. After it is cooked, using a hand masher or fork, mash the cauliflower a bit more until desired consistency.  Meaning YOUR desired consistency – if you like it the consistency of rice, mash it until it’s that size, and so on.  I kept mine a little rougher than that.
  4. To the bowl, add the rest of the ingredients making sure to stir to mix everything together.
  5. Pour it into your prepared baking dish and then bake it for about 20-30 minutes or until it bubbles or the top browns.  Don’t overdo it; you want it to be creamy.
  6. Remove and serve!  I had this in place of potatoes alongside our roast the other night.  DELISH!


Nutrition*:
Serves 3-4 as a side dish (about ½ cup each)

Calories 127 / Carbs 8g / Fat 8g / Protein 7g / Fiber 3g / Sodium 551mg

*Nutrition information is an estimation only and the nutritional analysis I provide for each recipe is calculated via My Fitness Pal using the nutritional data found on their website. I am not a registered dietitian, so always consult a qualified healthcare provider for any answers to personal health care questions.