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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Adaptable Recipes, Easy Preparation Meals, Food Glorious Food, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Makeover Monday Meals, Slow Cooker

Makeover Monday Meal- Dinner Edition

 

This Monday meal is just right for autumn and football season. When the temperatures drop, this chili will warm you up without weighing you down. It also comes together fairly quickly. Serve the chili alone, topped with cheese or over rice. It also goes well with guacamole and chips.

This is a family pleaser and perfect for Monday Night Football.

The recipe includes adaptations for vegetarians and vegans. It’s also gluten-free and high protein.

 

Chicken Chili by Still A Chick Lit

 

 

4 small or 3 large sweet onions, diced (Vidalia or Texas sweet)

2 green peppers, medium-diced

3 red peppers, medium-diced

1 orange pepper, medium-diced

1, yellow pepper, medium-diced

1 can low-sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can low-sodium pink kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of unsalted chicken stock or broth

3 cans Campbells tomato soup

3 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste

1 pound ground chicken (or ground turkey)

1 pound ground chicken breast (or ground turkey breast)

3 tablespoons Canola oil

Add Canola or vegetable oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add your diced onions and peppers. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground chicken and chicken breast in, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cover and let cook through, stirring occasionally.

When the chicken is no longer pink, add the chili powder and stir well. Add the beans and tomato soup. Mix well. Lower the flame and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Vegan Substitution

  • 2 Packages of vegan ground meat
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 unsalted vegetable stock or broth

 

To Make Using a Slow Cooker

  1. Cook the ground chicken separately in a skillet until cooked through. Set aside. Clean the skillet and add the onions and peppers. Cook until the vegetables are just beginning to soften. Remove from the heat.
  2. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a slow cooker with the beans, tomato soup, seasoning, and chicken stock.
  3. Cover and cook on high until chili has thickened, about 4 hours. Or cook on low for 6 hours.

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Adaptable Recipes, Fall Comfort Recipes, Food Glorious Food

Makeover Meal Meal-Fall Comfort Edition

Summer is the season of hot weather, going to the beach, cool drinks, grilling, and long lazy days. Conversely, autumn is the season of cooler temps, leaves changing, sweaters, hot apple cider, comfort food, Halloween, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving. For so many of us, it’s time to put the oven on and head back into the kitchen.

 

Comfort meals are just the thing to help us hit the reset button in the midst of the stresses of work, school, and other obligations that can make us feel a bit off balance. During the week, we often don’t have the time or energy to deal with a long complicated meal. Even a slow cooker can be hard when you don’t have time to put the ingredients together, or some of us have even forgotten to put it on.  However, we came across a recipe in Southern Living that is easy, healthy and comes together in less than thirty minutes.

Chicken soup is one of the ultimate comfort foods and cure for all that ails you. The best thing about this soup is you can buy many of the ingredients pre-cooked and pre-chopped.  We’ve adapted the recipe for vegans and vegetarians ( no chicken, vegan noodles, and non-dairy milk) as a way to be sure that everyone can find comfort in a hot, creamy soup perfect for the cooler evenings ahead.

 

Enjoy and Happy Fall!

Creamy Chicken Soup recipe by Southern Living Magazine adapted by Still A Chick Lit

Total Time 25 minutes

¼ cup unsalted butter (unsalted vegan butter)

1 medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped

3 medium carrots, sliced into 1/2 -inch rounds (about ¾ cup)

2 medium celery stalks, chopped

4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 cups fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen peas

1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 bay leaf

¼ cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour)

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

6 cups unsalted chicken stock (unsalted vegetable stock) (I like Kitchen Basics)

8 ounces Old-fashioned wide egg noodles (you can use pasta, such as orzo or even angel hair spaghetti to keep it vegan/vegetarian)

1 cooked or rotisserie chicken, torn into bite-size pieces (omit for vegan/vegetarian soup)

½ cup heavy cream (dairy: light cream or half and half) (non-dairy: rice, soy, or almond milk)

1 tablespoon Sherry Vinegar

2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Melt butter in a large pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened. Add flour, garlic, and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is fragrant and the flour begins to turn brown.

Add stock to the mixture and increase the heat to bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally. Add the noodles, spinach, or peas and cook, stirring occasionally until the noodles are tender. Reduce the heat to low, add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is heated through, about one minute. Stir in the cream, sherry vinegar, and remaining salt. Before serving top with thyme leaves. Serves Four.

Notes

  • For a vegan or vegetarian version of this soup, double the vegetables for an extra-yummy creamy vegetable soup.

There isn’t a lot of knife work for this recipe, however, if you’re not comfortable, most grocery stores and supermarkets have pre-chopped vegetables in their produce section. It’s also a time saver.

 

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