Dinner, Easy Preparation Meals, Food Glorious Food, Healthy Food Makeover, Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Soup’s On Edition

 

Most of the country has been enjoying a longer Indian summer than usual. However, fall is beginning to make its presence known with temperatures beginning to dip all across the country. Although many are sorry to see the warmer temps go, I enjoy the cooler temperatures. Sleeping weather is also a perfect time to enjoy a nice bowl of soup.

Squash is available year-round everywhere, but there are seasons when certain varieties are more plentiful. I love the hearty gourds like acorn and butternut squash.  Both are versatile and can be used in many recipes. This Makeover Monday puts the spotlight on butternut squash soup.

This soup has been on my fall and Thanksgiving table for many years. The recipe is very simple, and you can adjust the ingredients according to your flavor palate. It’s a wonderful combination of roasted butternut squash, sweet onions, and ginger.  To make it even easier, you can buy butternut squash that’s already prepped. It’s a time saver.

This recipe is vegan/vegetarian, low-carb, and gluten-free.

Total Time: Approximately 1 hour 

Active time: 15 minutes Estimate

Inactive time: 45 minutes

Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup

2 large butternut squash (Cut in halves and seeded) (or 2 packages of pre-cut butternut squash)

4 medium sweet onions, rough chopped

1 small fresh ginger root (peeled and minced)

3 tablespoons Canola oil

Virgin Olive Oil

4 ½ – 5  cups Unsalted Vegetable Stock

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.

Split the butternut squash in half and take the seeds out. Line a large sheet pan with foil. Place the squash on the pan, skin down, and drizzle olive oil until the squash is coated. Place it in the preheated oven and roast it for 45 minutes to an hour. When you can easily pierce the squash with a fork, take it out and let it cool to room temperature.  Once it’s cool enough to handle scoop the softened squash into a bowl.

In a Dutch oven or large soup pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onions. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the onions are soft, then add the minced ginger, and cook until the onions are translucent.

Add 1 cup of the vegetable stock and the squash. Using an immersion blender, blend the onions, ginger, and butternut squash. Add the remaining vegetable stock, one cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Cover, and let simmer on low heat for ten minutes. How thick or thin the soup is up to you. If you like a thinner soup, add more stock, if a thicker soup is to your liking, add less.

Tips

  • You can save money buying fresh butternut squash and cubing it yourself. Split the squash in half, and then into quarters. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin, then cut into medium-sized chunks.
  • You can use unsalted or low salt vegetable broth
  • You can also use unsalted chicken stock or broth to add a little more depth to the soup
  • How much ginger you use is up to you. Remember, you can add more ginger, but you can’t take it out. If you use a bit more than intended and it has a little too much bite, you can a little applesauce to add a bit of sweetness and tamps the spiciness down.
  • If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a blender. Be careful to do it in small batches, and make sure the mixture isn’t too hot to avoid making a mess.
  • You can store the soup in the fridge for up to 11 days
  • This soup freezes beautifully in an airtight container for up to three months.

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Health, Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus, Mind Body Spirit Connection, Whole Body Wellness

Health and Whole Body Wellness

 

Maintaining our health is always important, but it is increasingly so as we age. While there are many things we can do to improve and maintain our physical appearance, taking care of what’s on the inside is the key to looking and feeling good.

Taking Care of Your Body

Over the past five years, more people are investing in home fitness equipment that comes with personal trainers for different types of workouts. Peloton is at the front of the pack. Fun fact about the word peloton. In a road bicycle race, the peloton (from French, originally meaning ‘platoon’) is the main group or pack of riders. Riders in a group save energy by riding close (drafting or slipstreaming) to (particularly behind) other riders.

Peloton is just one of a number of in-home streaming workouts. There are others that may be more suited to what you like such as:

  • Yoga
  • Dance
  • Barre (ballet-based)
  • Cardio
  • Cycling

Look for a program that fits your budget. Many of these services offer trial periods before your commit to the either monthly or yearly expense of the service. Some workout platforms like Fit-On, have free basic memberships. However, it’s important to remember that if you want more variety, the price of a pro-plan could be worth it for you.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is another key to maintaining balance in our lives. It’s important not to focus on calories, carbs, and fat. Rather, approach your diet by putting the best food or fuel into it. Vegetables, fruit, whole grain, lean proteins, and plenty of water are the basis for keeping your body running at peak condition. Treats are okay and don’t need to be measured and weighed if you partake in moderation.

There is a vicious cycle that results from denial. When you feel like some ice cream, chocolate, or whatever your preferred indulgence is, it’s best to go ahead and eat it.  You are more likely to indulge moderately. Conversely, it’s the denial of what your body is craving that leads to overindulgence, binging, and guilt. Allow yourself a treat. When you want to snack, pick something that hits your flavor profile whether it’s sweet and crunchy, sweet and salty, or salty and crunchy. This way you snack smarter.

Read labels. Even light or healthy food products have hidden things in them like salt. Google all the alternative names used for salt and sugar. You would be surprised at how many healthy alternatives are filled with sugar, salt, and preservatives. Also, if you are looking into one of the many meal services available, research their ingredients too. The meals and components have to travel, which means preservatives and more. If this is something that would work for your lifestyle, make sure you pick one that benefits your health too.

Relax and get some rest

Powering down our bodies is as essential as powering them up. Most of us lead incredibly busy lives and spend oodles of time on the go. Find time to disconnect from your schedule to reconnect with relaxation and rest.

  1. Spend time with hobbies- Whether it’s model airplanes or cars, sewing, knitting, crocheting, painting, or drawing, hobbies relax our minds to focus on something we enjoy.
  2. Read- Turn the television off and put down the smartphone to pick up a book or magazine.
  3. Watch television- Put on your favorite program. Watch a nature show or binge a series. There’s nothing like watching a guilty pleasure.
  4. Get all the electronics (phone, television, computer, laptop) out of your bedroom. Make your bedroom a real place of rest. This will allow you to turn off the distractions so you can get the 7 to 8 hours your body needs.

 

Keep your mind clear and centered

Our mental and emotional health plays a big role in the health of our physical body. To keep everything balanced, we need to find ways to deal with the biggest enemy of good mental and emotional health, stress.

Stress, anger, and sadness, are three things that can wear us down. Therefore, it’s important to deal with the issues that cause them.

  • Talk to a professional. There is nothing wrong with seeing a therapist or psychologist for talk therapy. It’s a safe space to let our emotions out and to figure what’s a healthy way to deal with them.
  • Friends, family, spouse, or partners. Talking to the people we love can help us feel supported and loved. However, there’s a difference between unburdening ourselves and offloading our problems onto someone else’s shoulders. The latter is something to avoid doing for the sake of your relationship.
  • Worship If you’re a religious or spiritual person connecting with God through a church, synagogue, or mosque can provide a sense of being grounded and having a greater purpose in life.
  • Meditation – This allows you to connect with yourself. It also helps you learn how to quiet your mind, which keeps stressful thoughts at bay.

 

If you can find a way to implement some of these tips, you will be on your way to whole-body wellness as a woman who is north of forty plus shining brightly for years to come.

Health and Wellness Keys to Balanced Body