Tasty Tuesday: SC Butternut Squash Soup

butternut-squash-soup

It’s cold outside! And nothing warms you up better than a savory soup that cooks all day and makes your house smell amazing! Two secret ingredients ( a granny smith apple and coconut milk) give this recipe a one of a kind flavor,and it’s an easy recipe too!  Just toss your ingredients into your slow cooker and you’re good to go!

Recipe from Gimmesomeoven

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1 medium (uncooked) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
  • pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup canned (unsweetened) coconut milk
  • optional garnishes: extra coconut milk and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (or smoked paprika)

Directions:

Add vegetable stock, garlic, carrot, apple, butternut squash, sage, onion, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg to a large slow cooker.  Toss to combine.

Cook for 6-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high, or until the squash is completely tender and mashes easily with a fork.  Remove and discard the sage.  Stir in the coconut milk.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.  (Or you can transfer the soup in two batches into a traditional blender, and puree until smooth, being very careful when working with the hot liquid.)  Taste, and season with additional salt, pepper, coconut milk, and cayenne if needed.

Serve warm, with optional garnishes if desired.

*A medium-sized butternut squash should weigh around 2 lbs or so, or about 2 1/2 cups, (so you would need about 32 ounces if buying pre-cut butternut squash).

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Ways to use or freeze your Thanksgiving leftovers

thanksgivingleftovers

Thanksgiving leftovers are just part of the tradition of the holiday. Usually after a few days, most of us are sick of eating them, but we don’t want them to go to waste either. If freezing your leftovers is more your style, you’ll want to check out this guide to freezing.

Or, you can try one of these healthy recipes for your Thanksgiving leftovers:

Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

This is a healthier twist on a classic creamy turkey and wild rice soup. Serve with a crisp romaine salad and whole-grain bread. Get the Recipe

Turkey Ramen

You might not think that Thanksgiving food could transform into a nourishing bowl of ramen soup, but that’s exactly what this recipe does. Miso paste, soy sauce, and ginger give the broth impressively authentic flavor that tastes so good, you may want to sip it by itself! Get the recipe.

Turkey Ramen

Turkey Tostadas
Swap out your typical turkey sandwich for these crispy turkey tostadas. Tomatillo salsa wakes up leftover turkey breast, and makes it moist and delectable. Top with shredded lettuce, onion and Monterey jack cheese, and dig in! Get the recipe.

Turkey Tostadas

Turkey and Stuffing Egg Cups
Make the most of the extra turkey and stuffing by using them to make these ingenious egg cups! Combined with eggs and veggies, these cups will make your busy, post-Thanksgiving mornings much easier, and they’re great for meal prep. Get the recipe.

Turkey Waldorf Salad
This refreshingly lean version of the classic Waldorf salad is made with crunchy apples, celery, walnuts sweet grapes, and turkey. Eat it atop a salad, serve in lettuce cups, or make an open-faced sandwich. Get the recipe.

Turkey Waldorf Salad

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
Have leftover mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes? This shepherd’s pie recipe will transform those tired taters, leftover turkey, and even some veggies, into comfort food at it’s very best. Get the recipe.

Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Turkey and Brussels Sprouts Frittata
What should you do when you wake up the morning after Thanksgiving to a house full of guests and a fridge full of leftover veggies? This, for starters. We created the perfect post-Turkey Day frittata recipe with turkey and roasted Brussels sprouts, but you can use any leftover vegetables or sweet potatoes. Get the recipe.

Turkey Frittata

Turkey, Cranberry, and Brie Sandwich
Cranberry sauce is the magical ingredient that makes leftover turkey sandwiches sing. But this sandwich has even more going for it with creamy brie cheese that melts perfectly when it’s grilled. Get the recipe.

Turkey, Cranberry, and Brie Sandwich

Pumpkin Chili 
Leftover pumpkin or sweet potatoes are right at home in this belly-warming vegetarian chili that has only 96 calories per serving. Get the recipe.

Pumpkin Chili

Turkey, Apple, and Sweet Potato Salad
With its crunchy pecans, apples, and sweet potato, this protein-rich salad is the perfect antidote to the heavy Thanksgiving dinner you probably downed the day before. Get the recipe.

Turkey, Apple, and Sweet Potato Salad

Turkey Tamale Pie
This tamale pie will make you forget you’re eating leftovers. Turkey gets new flavor in a richly spiced sauce with colorful veggies, and all of it is tucked under a cheese and jalapeño corn meal crust. Get the recipe.

Turkey Tamale Pie

Tasty Tuesday: Thanksgiving Sides & Desserts

thanksgivingsides

With Thanksgiving just next week, many of us are sitting down to plan the menu or trying to decide what kind of dish we’ll bring to share at the family get together. Holidays can be tricky when it comes to clean eating because a lot of dishes are loaded with butter, oil, and sugar. It’s also easy to fill our plates and not even realize how many calories we just ate! Thankfully, with just a few simple ingredient swaps, we’ll can find many delicious side dishes and desserts to offer our family and guests next week.

Thanksgiving Sides

Maple and Turkey Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts

Total Time: 50 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 35 min.
Yield: 6 servings, 4 Brussels sprouts each

Ingredients:
Aluminum foil
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
24 medium brussels sprouts
12 slices nitrite-free turkey bacon, cut in half
24 wooden toothpicks, soaked in water
½ tsp. ground black pepper

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Line large baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
3. Combine maple syrup and vinegar in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.
4. Wrap each brussels sprout tightly with half slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick.
5. Arrange brussels sprouts on prepared baking sheet so that they are not touching.
6. Brush bacon with maple syrup mixture. Sprinkle with pepper.
7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until brussels sprouts are tender crisp and bacon is crisp.
8. Remove toothpicks before serving.

10 more healthy sides found here

healthy-thanksgiving-sides

Go HERE for 10 healthier Thanksgiving dessert ideas like

  • Pumpkin Pie w/ a whole wheat crust
  • Pecan and Sweet Potato Pie
  • Pumpkin Coconut Custard
  • Pumpkin Cookies
  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Cups
  • Apple Crisp
  • Slow Cooker Baked Apples
  • Apple Raisin Cake

And finally, take a peak at this ULTIMATE HEALTHY THANKSGIVING GUIDE which will give you even more ideas for veggies, desserts, sauces, potato options, soups, whole grains, how to cook and carve your turkey, what to do with leftovers and more!

Tasty Tuesday: Coconut Chicken Tenders

coconutchicken

Chicken tenders (or fingers) are one of those foods that you love as a kid and never really grow out of. They are on every kids menu, fast food menu, and restaurant menu around, but they usually come deep fried and full of grease and oil. This recipe uses healthy ingredients and bakes the chicken instead of frying it. You’ll love the sweet and tangy flavor combination and this recipe is one that’s great to get the kids involved with too! They’ll love helping you dip the chicken!

Recipe adapted from here

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12 chicken tenders (more or less…you can also cut chicken breasts into strips)
1-2 eggs (start with one and crack another if it runs out)
1/2 C whole wheat flour or flour of your choice like almond flour
1 C unsweetened coconut flakes
1 C  whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp table salt
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (you can leave this out if you want to skip the spice for the kiddos)

preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Give coconut a rough chop so it’s about the same size as the panko pieces. Combine it with Panko and spices in a shallow dish (I like to use a pie plate). Mix well to distribute all of the spices.

Place the flour in another shallow dish, and the egg in another. Whisk the egg.Get your stations ready so they’re in order and you can quickly put them on a foil lined baking sheet that’s been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

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Working with one chicken tender at a time, dredge in flour, then egg, then spice mixture.

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Place chicken tenders on a foil-lined baking sheet (for easy clean up!)  that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. You can drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil on top to help them crisp nicely, but it’s optional.

Bake tenders for 20 minutes at 450 degrees, or until juices run clear. Serve with a side salad (you can even chop these up and use in a salad), or a side veggie. These chicken tenders are great dipped in your favorite dipping sauce too! Ranch, ketchup, Dijon mustard, honey mustard, sweet chili sauce…they all taste great!

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Tasty Tuesday: Skinny Burrito Bowl

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Spice up your next family taco night with these skinny burrito bowls. The recipe is high in protein and is loaded with fresh veggies and Mexican flavor! Ditching the traditional tortilla means you’re not adding unnecessary carbs into your diet either.

Recipe adapted from here

Photo via

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 pound lean ground turkey (or you can use diced or shredded chicken)
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice (Uncle Ben’s Instant Brown Rice was used)
  • 11/4 cup chicken broth, low-sodium and fat-free
  • 2 cups salsa, no sugar added
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning (recipe for taco seasoning) or you can use Mrs. Dash’s Southwest Chipotle Seasoning (season to taste)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, reduced-fat
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives or green onions
  • Avocado slices

Directions

Over medium heat, in a skillet, cook the onion and ground turkey. The turkey should be cooked until it’s no longer pink. Drain off any fat.

**If using chicken, cook the chicken (grill, bake, or boil) until done. Chop or shred chicken and set aside. In a skillet over medium heat, saute chopped onions in a small amount of Olive Oil. Stir onions to keep from sticking and burning. Cook until onions are transparent. Then, add in chicken and mix well.

Add the broth, rice, 1 cup salsa, 1 cup diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, corn, and the beans. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Season with salt and pepper. If it starts to dry up, just add a little more broth. Turn off the burner.

Mix in the cheese. It will melt with the heat.

Serve in individual bowls and garnish with the remaining tomatoes, salsa, chives, and avocado slices. Add lettuce if desired.

NOTE: If using long grain brown rice, it will need to be cooked in advance. Uncle Ben’s 10 minute brown rice was used in this recipe.

Have a Healthy Halloween!

halloween

Halloween is coming! So many sugary treats are spotlighted this time of year and Halloween seems to be the gateway into a sugar and treat filled holiday season. Don’t get sucked into “well, it’s the holidays” trap of indulging too much and regretting it later. You can still have lots of fun with your family and friends by using some of these fun Halloween-themed food ideas instead!

Original Post: 13 Healthy Halloween Treats

Jack-o’-Lantern Fruit Cups
Add color and fun to your Halloween with these smiling jack-o’-lantern faces carved into navel oranges. Slice off the tops of the oranges, scoop out the pulp, use a paring knife to cut out jack-o’-lantern faces, and fill with grapes and/or mixed berries.Jack O' Lantern Fruit Cups Halloween Snack
Photo by Frugal Coupon Living

Orange You Lovin’ Fall Fruit Salad
Save the pulp from your jack-o’-lantern fruit cups to make this fruit salad. Fill small mason jars with pineapple slices, orange wedges, and top with Greek yogurt.
Fruit salad candy corn Halloween Snack
Photo by Amanda Meixner

Slithering Snake Dip
Eek! What is lurking in your hummus? A slithering snake made from black olives! Cute Food for Kids carved beady eyes from string cheese and added a carrot tongue. Even those who hate serpents will love this little guy.
Snake in Hummus Halloween Snack
Photo by Cute Food for Kids

Candy Corn Popsicles
Here’s a healthier spin on candy corn! These colorful homemade popsicles are made from pineapple juice, orange juice, and yogurt. We want the popsicles! Click here to get the recipe.
Candy Corn Popsicles Halloween Snack
Photo by Chew Chew Mama

Mummified Apples
Googly eyes and gauze tape turn green apples into mummies that are almost too cute to bite into.
Mummy Apples Halloween Snack
Photo by Marci Coombs

Monster Pie
Kids will love this Monsters, Inc. tart because it’s so darn cute, and well, because it’s dessert! Visit Creative and Healthy Fun Food to get this recipe that’s got a filling made from avocado, banana, and almond milk!
Monster Pie Halloween Snack
Photo by Creative and Healthy Fun Food

Spooky Spider Eggs
Deviled eggs (like these) get extra creepy-crawly when they’re topped with spiders. To make eight scary spider eggs, cut 12 black olives in half vertically. Place one half in the center of each egg to form the body, then slice each remaining olive half into four sections to create legs. Shiver.

Photo by Chew Chew Mama

Ghoulish Hard-Boiled Eggs
Let your kids in on the decorating fun! Use black foodsafe ink pens to draw ghostly faces on white hard-boiled eggs. This example from Wit & Whistle shows how simple – and cute! – each drawing can be.
Ghoulish Hard Boiled Eggs Halloween Snack
Photo by Wit & Whistle

Frankenstein’s Monster
Is this a trick or a treat? This veggie tray made to look like Frankenstein’s monster is a little bit of both. Let your kids play with their food to help create this healthy platter and they might just be tricked into eating their veggies.
Frankenstein Veggies Halloween Snack
Photo by Blue Skies Ahead

Eyeball Pasta
Start off a night of trick-or-treating with this clever eyeball pasta! Visit Spend with Pennies to see how she used string cheese, black olives, and a straw to create eyeballs of different sizes that stare out of ghoulishly green spinach pasta.
Eyeball Pasta Halloween Snack
Photo by Spend with Pennies

Jack-o’-Lantern Clementines
Pick up a foodsafe pen and the whole family can have fun decorating the skin of clementines, tangerines, or oranges with spooky or smiling faces. Pop these into lunch boxes the week leading up to Halloween.
Jack O' Lanterns drawn on clementines Halloween Snack
Photo by Princess and the Frog Blog

Pumpkin Veggie Tray
This veggie platter is a Halloween party essential! Mom Endeavors shares some tips for constructing this spooky pumpkin from baby carrots and black olives. The stem can be made from broccoli, the end of cucumber, or a celery stick. Serve with Slithering Snake Dip!
Carrot Jack O' Lantern Veggie Tray Halloween Snack
Photo by Mom Endeavors

Banana Ghosts and Orange Pumpkins
Boo! Turn bananas into spooky ghosts with chocolate chip eyes and mouths made from chocolate covered raisins. Make a pumpkin patch out of peeled clementines or tangerines. Just use a sprig of celery in the center for the stem!
Banana ghosts and clementine pumpkins Halloween Snack

Here are 8 more fun ideas for healthy Halloween treats to make for home or for you child’s school party!

And here are 13 alternatives to handing out candy on Halloween night

 

Tasty Tuesday: Caramel Sauce

caramel-sauce

There’s just something about autumn that demands we eat apples with caramel. It’s a fun treat to share with family, friends, and neighbors, and caramel can be used in so many ways! Use it to drizzle over fruit, pancakes, other desserts, or mix it with your protein or shakeology shake!

I found two caramel sauce recipes and I just couldn’t decide which one I liked better, so I’m sharing both with you! Each recipe is dairy, sugar, and gluten free. It’s a clean eating recipe that still gives you the traditional caramel flavor!

Coconut Caramel Sauce:

Ingredients

Directions

1. Place coconut sugar, coconut cream and salt in a small sauce  pan. Heat slowly while stirring to dissolve the coconut sugar.

2. Bring mixture to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.

Caramel Sauce Ice Cream Topping
3. To test, take the saucepan off the heat. Spread a little sauce on a saucer (or similar) and place in the freezer for a few minutes. If the caramel doesn’t thicken (enough), simmer the sauce for a little longer.

4. Stir vanilla extract into finished caramel sauce.

Notes
I used the soft, paste-like kind of palm sugar, that you’ll find in Asia. Granulated coconut sugar works as well, but will produce a darker caramel sauce.
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (you can use either reduced fat or full fat – if you’re in the US you’ll want to use “premium” coconut milk that has as little ingredients as possible – ours just had coconut and water)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  1. Place all of your ingredients into a medium to large non-stick saucepan over a medium-high heat.
  2. Stir to combine all ingredients and bring caramel to the boil.
  3. Keep cooking your caramel until it thickens and darkens, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once your caramel has thickened, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before serving or storing in a clean container or jar.
  5. The caramel will stay fresh in the fridge for around a week, but it will harden once cooled. To warm your caramel for serving, simply put a couple of spoonfuls of the caramel into a small microwave safe dish and heat for ~10 seconds or heat on the stove.

Don’t forget to check out the recipe index on  my page to find more of my favorite clean eating foods!