9/26/2016

THE BEST SLOW COOKER BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP...

butternut squash soup
If we were face to face and you asked me what I was smiling about these days, I would say fall. I am SO excited that fall is here. It's my favorite season - and even if it wasn't, it would probably become my favorite because I feel like we all fried to death this summer! 

Anyway, one of my favorite things to do in the fall is curl up on the couch in a warm blanket and eat soup while watching TV. I recently found and tried a soup recipe that I'll be doing just that with this season. Butternut squash and in-season apples are two of my favorite fall vegetables. I adore them And I adore my slow cooker - like more than life - especially now that I cook ALL the time. I recently found this butternut squash soup recipe that uses all of those things and it is so good!!! It has earthiness from the butternut squash, garlic, cinnamon, and sage. It has a good amount of sweetness from the fresh Granny Smith apple, and it has a little richness from the splash of creamy coconut milk that is stirred in right at the end. It's easy to make, makes your house smell divine, and warms your soul. It's kinda perfect... :)

butternut squash soup


Prep Time: 15 minutes (YES!!)
Cook Time: 3-4 hours (using the high setting)
Gluten-Free, Vegan

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven


Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable stock 
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed (or minced if you don't have a garlic press)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1 medium butternut squash, uncooked, peeled and diced (I peel mine with a y-shaped peeler and dice it with a sharp knife!)
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk

Directions
  • Add the vegetable stock, garlic, carrot, apple, butternut squash, sage, onion, cinnamon, and salt to the slow cooker. Stir. You might feel like you need to add more stock, but you don't!! 
  • Cook on high for about 3 hours or low for 6-8 hours until the butternut squash is tender. 
  • Once it is done, fish out the sage. Pour in the coconut milk. Stir to combine. Taste for seasonings and add more salt or cinnamon to taste. 
  • If you want a chunkier soup (that's how I like it), use an immersion blender to blend the soup up while it's still in the slow cooker. If you want a creamier soup, transfer the soup in batches to a blender and blend until smooth. 
  • Then, ladle some soup into a bowl. Drizzle a little more coconut milk on top if you prefer. Then curl up on the couch with a blanket and a bowl of this soup and enjoy. It tastes even better when you eat it that way... :)

You might also like this Butternut Squash Black Bean Chili!


Images by me
Pin It

9/19/2016

A PEEK INSIDE MY FRIDGE...

Well helllooo!! How are ya? Sorry for the silence over the last few weeks. I was taking care of a deadline at work. It's all over now, so I'm back at it! 

So one of my favorite, and perhaps not so polite things to do, is to slyly look in other people's shopping carts at the grocery store to see what they are purchasing. I also like to peek in my friend's fridges to see what they have. That is so entirely nosy I know, but I just like to see! So in case you are like me (and I know many of you are!), I thought I would give you a little peek inside my fridge. Remember that I'm still on the Autoimmune Protocol diet (I'm feeling so much better!!), so it's mostly all healthy stuff. But hopefully this is inspiring and helpful (and maybe entertaining??) no matter how you eat!

My fridge primarily consists of four things: Meat, drinks, vegetables, and fruit. So fun right?? Ha. Here are some deets on those...

Meat: I've never been big on meat - until now. It's a requirement of my diet and I honestly feel much better now that I'm eating more of it. I always have these three things:

1. Chicken: I make chicken from time to time, but most weeks I still always have an organic rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. This saves times and allows for quick meals. 

2. Ground Beef and Turkey: I always grass-fed beef or organic ground turkey for burgers, meatballs, or for simple sautéed ground beef or turkey with onions and garlic. 

3. Fish: I eat wild salmon a few nights a week, which I store in my freezer. I buy a bag of fillets from Costco, which is WAY cheaper than buying them individually from a regular grocery store. 

Drinks: The four drinks that are always in my fridge are water, almond milk, Kombucha, and sparkling water. A few details on those...


1. Water: I drink a LOT of water and I got really tired of buying bottled water. It's expensive, terrible for the environment, and the bottles were taking up too much room in my fridge. My fridge has filtered water, but I don't like the way it tastes. So I did some research and decided to buy this PUR 18-cup Water Dispenser. I LOVE it! The water in my area rates pretty good to start with, so I felt pretty comfortable drinking water from the faucet that is filtered again by the dispenser. It only takes up a small amount of room in my fridge. Most importantly, the water is so good and I'm saving so much money!! 

2. Almond Milk: I can't have dairy, so almond milk is my go-to. I have zero time to make my own, so I rely on the store for it. My favorite brand thus far is Califia Farms. I specifically love their Coconut Almondmilk. It is SO SO good! I use it in my morning smoothies and I think the addition of the coconut cream creates a creamier smoothie. It also adds a good healthy fat to the smoothie as well. You can find it at Target, Whole Foods, and most regular grocery stores. 

3. Kombucha: I always have a few bottles of GT's Lemon Kombucha in the fridge. Kombucha is a nutrient-rich, naturally fermented tea that improves gut health, mood, and mental clarity - all of which are critical for me given my autoimmune issues.  It's really carbonated and potent, so I feel like I'm getting the same effervescence that I would get if I were drinking soda. Love it.   

P.S. I can't drink alcohol right now, but I always have rosé, red, and white wine chilling for company! :)

Vegetables and herbs: Organic vegetables are everything for me, so I always have lots of them in my fridge. Here's a bit on what I have and how I store them:

1. Favorite vegetables: My vegetable drawer is always filled with celery, cucumber, carrots, and leeks. They seem to last longer when I store them in plastic produce bags. I also always have zucchini and squash (great for noodles), cauliflower for "rice," asparagus, broccoli (I typically buy these frozen), and Brussels sprouts, and sometimes beets. I use these glass storage containers to store leftovers and pre-prepped veggies. Love them... 

2. Leafy greens: Kale for juicing and sautéing, swiss chard for my morning smoothies, and arugula and romaine lettuce (seen in the first pic) for salads. I store the kale and swiss chard in large plastic resealable bags that are stuffed with paper towels. The paper towels seep up the moisture, which keeps the greens fresh and helps them last longer.  I keep the salad greens in the plastic containers they come in. I add a paper towel to the container as well to keep the greens fresh. 

3. Herbs: I always have fresh rosemary and thyme. Those are great for roasting meats and sweet potatoes. I also have basil, parsley, and cilantro to use in juices and pestos. 


Fruit: I get excited every time I open this drawer! I love the colors... I store most of my fruit in a drawer in the fridge, which helps the fruit last longer. I always have apples, oranges, lemons, limes - all of which I use for juicing and homemade salad dressings. 

That's basically it! If you want to know anything else, just ask!

Photos via my iPhone...

Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...