This is not a recipe blog, but I do love food and want to share delicious and healthy recipes when available. I would consider myself a herbivore. I eat meat, but I'm just not that into it, which is something I'm working on because protein is such an important part of a proper training diet and helps with muscle growth and repair. I get super excited though when I find healthy, filling vegetarian recipes like this roasted butternut squash soup from Edible Sound Bites. Paired with my quinoa kale salad concoction and it’s a complete meal that leaves my belly happy.
The weather is finally getting chilly in Long Beach (it rained last night!), so soup is going to be on the menu quite a bit. This soup freezes really well, which makes it perfect for meal prep or when you find your fridge empty.
Squash is very plentiful this time of year and I’ve found that Trader Joe’s has the best prices. I got a HUGE butternut squash for only $2.29. This thing was at least 5 pounds (I’m really terrible and guestimating weight, but it was big). In other grocery stores, I usually see them for 99 cents/pound.
This was my first time cooking with butternut squash and it is very difficult to cut. After you peel the skin off, you will want to use a very sturdy knife, or a strong dude, to cut that thing down the middle. Open it up and scoop out the seeds.
Use that same sturdy knife (or dude) to cut it into chunks. Combine this with one whole chopped yellow onion and minced garlic. Roast, boil in chicken broth and then blend after you add a few spices. Done and done.
This recipe can be completely vegan, but I added a little bit of evaporated milk (1/2 cup) to up the creaminess factor. However, the flavor and thickness was fine without it.
The kale and quinoa salad has a simple dressing that I use on almost anything I can, from coleslaw to tomatoes. It’s just white balsamic vinegar from TJ’s and as much fresh lemon juice as you want. I used leftover quinoa that was from a stir-fry I made earlier in the week. This salad would be good cold or warm and you can add tomatoes or pomegranate seeds to change it up or add more color.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup adapted from Edible Sound Bites
1 butternut squash, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks
1 yellow onion, cut into chunks
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cups no sodium added chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegan)
1 tsp grated nutmeg sea
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
2. In a large bowl, toss the squash and onions with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and empty the bowl out, making sure the veggies are in an even layer. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until veggies are tender and golden brown.
3. Transfer the roasted squash and onions to a large pot; add the chicken stock and nutmeg. Simmer for 25-30 minutes.
4. Purée the soup using an immersion blender or working in batches with a blender or food processor until you have a silk smooth soup.
5. Top with pepita seeds if desired.
Kale and Quinoa Salad
1 large bunch of kale, destemmed and chopped
½ cup of cooked quinoa
¼ cup of golden raisins (or dried cranberries)
¼ cup sliced almonds
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp of white balsamic vinegar
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well. Let marinate for 10 minutes before serving.