Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Allison Cooks: Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Yes. It's true. I made my first batch of homemade soup...ever! I've made chili countless times, both in the slow cooker & stovetop which have all come out delicious in the past but today I thought... I want to try something different.

What better than Butternut Squash soup right???!

Whenever you order this in restaurants it's warm, full of flavor, thick & creamy without being overbearing, and of course... the amazing taste of the squash overpowers everything else. I wanted to try my hand at it (especially since Jilly-Bean pulled about 3 little squashies out of her garden yesterday & they had to be used)

So how do you turn this....Into this???
Ohhh I will show you pretties!

But first.... let's recap yesterday. It was chock full of good eats if I do say so myself! I made an effort to balance out my carbs/starches & my proteins yesterday because if I don't really pay attention, I tend to carbo overload... oooops!

So my pre-workout breakfast was this...
~Multigrain Arnolds thin toasted
~1/2 with MaraNatha smooth PB & Gala apple slices
~1/2 with PB & Pear Hazelnut fruit spread (I cannot get enough of this! Pleaseeee try it!)
~Organic Gala apple slices with cinnamon

Along with my usual breakfast companion...
My workout was good, a little painful, but good. My legs were not cooperating and my muscles felt sore the entire time I was on the treadmill.. It may have been the fact that I cut my usual 15 minute walk warm-up down to 5 minutes because I had all this pent-up energy and just felt READY to run quicker than usual. Whatever it was, they were giving me trouble the majority of the time.

After that I hopped on the elliptical hoping to make up for my less than perfect run.. success!

30 minutes on the treadmill / 2.5 miles / 307 calories

30 minutes on the elliptical / 255 calories

I wasn't upset with the fact I was a little sore today and did the best that I could... it hurt a little more than usual but I made sure to realllllly stretch everything out afterward and still got good & sweaty (Which shouldnt really constitute a "good workout" for me because I sweat like a beast anytime I work out... seriously, I feel bad for those who dare hopping on the tready next to me mid-run haha)

My usual post-gym snack was a special treat today! A perfect Honeycrisp apple :)

Lunch required busting out this bad boy from the fridge that I've been meaning to try...
I've used this company's products before (Pulled "BBQ" chicken sammies) and loved them! The meat doesn't taste fake and the marinades are always veryy delish... Plus, preparation is simple as pie (Mmmm, pie...) You pop these into the micro for a quick 2 mins, remove, and enjoy~

I used them as a topper for my awesome salad at lunch...
This. Salad. Is. INCREDIBLE!!!!!

~Romaine Lettuce
~Goat cheese
~Chopped cherry tomatoes
~1/4 an avocado sliced
~1 Tuscan "chicken" breast
It didn't even require dressing. Why? Because the heat from the chicken strips melted the Goat cheese slightly making a creamy, delicious, scrumptious, I've-died-and-gone-to-Goat-cheese-heaven dressing...

I could eat this everyday.. for the rest of my life....

Well.. that plus this...
A girl's gotta have her chocolate ;)

My afternoon snack after lunch was yummy yummy....
Honey Chobani (first time trying this flavor!) topped with 1/3 cup Kashi Honey Almond Flax & a sprinkle of cinnamon...

The item for this week was Chili... any kind, any size, any brand.. just two cans of it. I picked up 2 cans of Hormel Vegetarian Chili with beans.

Just realized I'm pulling a Gliding Calm with my all black attire of the day.. and I'm LOVING it.

So... in an attempt to "photograph myself with the item of the week in front of something that represents where I'm from" Side note: FAIL. Haha... I did try to, but I was racing around all day, didn't have a 2nd person along to take a GOOD pic in front of a town sign or anything like that... BUT I did happen to see our local newspaper on the dining room table when I got home, opened up to the sports page, featuring a picture of one of CT's best High School field hockey teams (they were our rivals!!!)

NOT really sure if this counts, but field hockey, to me, represents my part of CT because it's huge around here! Back in high school we were 3rd in the state in our class and people hadn't even heard of half the towns we were from because they're sooo very tiny. This brought back great high school memories *sigh*

I want the Alumni game to get here sooner!!!

Okay okay.. I'm rambling... it's already getting late and I have 45 minutes before I have to leave for a double at work ahhhh ... moving on!

Pre-soup appetizer was created using the last few itty bitty basil leaves Jilly-Bean had in her garden...
I made a quick Allison-version of Caprese salad... aka Tomato-fresh Mozz salad with a few drops of EVOO, shredded basil, salt & pepper

Gahh, I'll never get over how good this is... especially when you add toasted baguette to the comination. I knew I was going to have toasted bread with my soup for dipping, so I maintained control & toasted up 3 little slices of WW baguette to go with my salad...

Then came the soup...

It was out of this world good. Not to toot my own horn (ew) but this was my first attempt at soup & I absolutely loved it! It was originally a vegan soup recipe and I fully intended to keep it that way but unfortunately didn't have soymilk in the house so I threw in about 1/2 cup of regular skim milk...
Soooo so rich & delicious. It thickened up quite a bit after letting it sit for a minute or two... I added two slices of toasted WW baguette for dipping and I can safely say the leftovers will be gone by tomorrow ;)

Gone.... Hated It.
Quick as a flash recap of the recipe because I'm running late!:

~2 tbsp. olive oil
~1 onion, diced
~4 cloves garlic, minced
~4 carrots, peeled & sliced
~3 stalks celery, diced
~2 small or one large butternut squash, peeled & chopped
~5 cups vegetable broth of your choice (I used Nature's Promise)
~2 tbsp. sage chopped
~1/2 cup soymilk (or milk of your choice!)

In a large pot, sautee the onion & garlic in the olive oil until onions are soft.
Add carrots & celery for 3-5 mins
Add squash & stir, then add broth & sage.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer - cover & allow to cook for 25 mins or until squash is soft.
Using a potato masher (or a blender) mash the squash mixture.
Stir in milk, season with salt & pepper, then serve with crusty bread!


After dinner, I went out to grab a drink with my girlfraaaaan Linds aka Stroker (don't ask - but it's actually not inapprop believe it or not) at, where else but the Village, where I had a fantastic lunch earlier in the week....

I went for the Shocktops....

Strokes went for the Honey BBQ wings, Autumn salad (which was amaaazing! chock full of sliced apples, croutons, & a cranberry dressing) & Octoberkfest. Hence why we are friends. Eating dinner - scratch that: eating ridic amounts of bar food - at 10pm and dranking brewnanas is the usual for this chica.. and she still somehow maintains a 100 lb. frame or so. Bravoooo Sir Strokes-a-lot!!! haha...

I did sample both the Autumn salad & one of the Honey BBQ wings but wasn't craving much food since my soup & salad for dinner had just about filled me up...
I was, however, fully prepared to stare down the dessert list & select this pretty little thing...
Chocolate Mousse in a wine glass? I'm in. Sooo rich & creamy. With a thickness almost like ice cream, rather than a mousse. Yummmmm :)

Me and Linds then proceeded to stay until they pretty much had to kick us out talking about our futures a.k.a. never wanting to get married and/or have kids (we're weird, I know), dranking like fiends (this was more Linds than me... I was a good girl and stuck to my one delicious drink & savored it), foreshadowing Linds's removal of her stitches tomorrow since she had her wisdom tooth removed, and laughing like hyenas.. per usual. People probably strongly dislike us at bars. HA... sorryyy we like to have a good time.

Anyway... I must away.. I have work in half an hour and will be working the day & night away (missing my brother's birthday dinner :( booo) and probably literally crashing in my bed when I get home because I have another double to work the next day. Fun fun!!! Happy Humpday lovelies!

1 comment:

  1. Loved this post. The food was amaaazing as per usual. My legs have been sucking lately on my runs to I need to stretch way more since it is getting colder out. Both salads sound great but you sold me as soon as you said melted goat cheese! Have fun at work and boo for missing your bro's bday dinner!


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