Butternut Squash Tomato Soup

We are going on 3 weeks of being plagued with the winter sickness…

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We’ve been sharing it amongst each other and been quarantined from the outside world for all of January…

I’m going freaking nuts.

We’ve been watching non stop episodes of Barbie Life in the Dream House, blasting the heat up to 76, wiping up runny noses and eating cough drops like candy.

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Our coffee table has had little legs run around it 587 times, and the one time we decide to go out and see the sun, Sweet Pea falls and gets a scar on her face that looks like Hitler. Awesome.

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But oddly enough, I think we needed this break. I’ve spent more one on one time with my girls than ever. We’ve read stories, laughed, played, and cuddled in bed together. It was a great reminder that the most important task I have in life is to be their mommy. To teach, raise, and love them unconditionally.

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I’ve also learned that soup is one of the greatest blessings when sick. It’s fast, easy, and comforting. Along side a toasted sandwich with marathon watching of Downton Abby, and well…having a few sick days is probably just what I needed.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Butternut Squash Tomato Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • ½ medium butternut squash, peeled and diced, about 2 cups*
  • 2-3 heaping TB. coconut oil, or other oil of choice
  • 4 cups diced fresh tomatoes**
  • 2 large carrots diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • ½ medium sweet onion diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic chopped
  • Salt/pepper/Paprika
  • Liquid of choice: veggie broth, chicken broth, cream, etc.
  • Fresh herb of choice, such as basil
  • *To save time buy the pre-chopped fresh butternut squash
  • **To save time use canned tomatoes
Instructions
  1. Steam the butternut squash.
  2. While the butternut is steaming, dice the rest of the veggies.
  3. In a large pot over medium heat add the oil. Add the garlic, onion, tomato, carrot, and celery.
  4. Continually stir every so often, and cook veggies on med/low heat for 15 minutes.
  5. At this time, the veggies should be softened, including the butternut squash.
  6. Add the cooked butternut squash to the pot, toss, and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Remove pot from heat and transfer veggies to a blender. Puree veggies into a soup.
  8. Add the puree back to the pot. Stir in desired amount of preferred liquid, until consistency is reached. Stir in the spices to taste, and serve with chopped fresh herbs.

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You know what else…I’ve heard Disney’s Frozen Songs being sung on repeat constantly, and my three year old begged me to film her, (Yes that’s right!). So I thought I would share her cute version of the song, “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?”

Trust me…Cuteness overload!

Hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup

I’ve never been so happy to welcome this cold and overcast weather that San Diego has been having recently! Normally, I would much rather embrace the sunshine…But recently the extremely hot sunshine melts that makeup right off my face within 5 minutes of being outside. Me+no makeup=scary monster.

Even though cold weather tends to make me want to spend my day in my bed, us girls decided a day out shopping and pumpkin picking was way more fun. So we grabbed my mom to come with us and out we went. First we did some damage at Target, and then we headed to Nordstoms for lunch.

I think I’ve converted both my children to Nordstrom’s lovers…Especially Sweet Pea.

Next we headed to the pumpkin patch where Boo rode her VERY FIRST pony. I was nervous that halfway through the ride she would be screaming to get off, but alas she proved me wrong. She smiled the ENTIRE time, and then asked me if we could take the pony home.

I told her no and blamed her Daddy…

After ponies and baby goat petting we headed to get our pumpkins. We contemplated getting a pumpkin that Boo could fit in herself once it was carved, but then I thought about what the hubby would say…Probably something along the lines of, “YOU picked that pumpkin…Therefore YOU will carve it. But, I mean if you need help eating those pumpkin seeds by all means..I’M your guy!”

As soon as we got home I knew that I had to cook something that was warm and filling for dinner, since us girls had done lots of walking and a minor amount of damage to our wallets.

Minor…Major..Same thing.

*This soup was put together in all of about 10 minutes since I had a lot of leftover prepared food just sitting in my fridge. The ingredients are definitely versatile, and if you want a vegan option, omit the chicken and double/triple the beans! If you have a toddler that is anti soup, just do what I did and pick out all the ingredients and put them on her plate sans the broth!*

Ingredients:

1-2 TB. coconut oil

1/2 medium onion diced

1 TB chopped garlic

1 1/2 c. frozen or fresh cooked corn

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can black beans drained and rinsed

1-2 c. cooked quinoa

2 c. cooked organic chicken chopped-seasoned with salt and pepper

32 oz. organic chicken broth

2 tsp. cumin

1 TB dried oregano

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. coriander

1/4 tsp. celery seed (opt.)

salt and pepper to taste

cilantro, lime, avocado, and crushed tortilla chips for garnish

Directions:

1. In a large pot heat coconut oil until fully melted. Add in onions and saute for a few minutes until they become clear and a little brown. Add in garlic and saute for another 1-2 minutes. Throw in corn, tomatoes, beans, quinoa, chicken. Toss ingredients together then stir in chicken broth. Add spices in and adjust to liking. Stir and let sit on stove on LOW heat until ready to eat. I made this about 45 minutes until dinner, so I let it sit for about 30 minutes on the stove on low and let the flavors come together. Top with desired toppings. (Fresh squeezed lime juice is a favorite!)

Thank goodness for leftovers! Tomorrow looks like it’s going to be another gloomy day, and I think we will just spend this one in bed watching Cinderella!

(Rather than going broke at Target….)

Crock Pot Indian Spiced Lentils

This Sunday is Mother’s Day.

From the very beginning of my husband and I getting married, I always told him that even if we didn’t have children at that time, he would still celebrate me on that day.

I would often joke with him and say, “Silly husband, I’m basically a mother to you. I cook, clean, scrub, feed, drive, and clean your dirty toilets…”

Ironically enough his birthday falls near or on Mother’s day ever year, which means we usually share the holiday…

And I somehow still end up cleaning those dirty toilets. ๐Ÿ™‚

All joking aside, each year Mother’s day has been very special to me. I’m surrounded by beautiful woman in my life who have been amazing mother figures to me, this including my own mama. Then after having Baby Boo, the day only became more special because I have been so blessed to be a mother to someone (soon to be 2 someones) so amazing. Motherhood and mother-figures are such a powerful and beautiful thing, that I am truly honored to celebrate it this weekend for the many motherly woman out there!

Usually when it comes to special occasions, the first food I request is chocolate of some sort. Heavy, rich, and filling is all that I ask for, a long with a big glass of coconut milk and some trash Tv. Hot right?

This year, I told my husband I still want the chocolate but I also want something else. (Yea that’s me, always have to have more and more! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Since trying Indian food for the first time last year, my husband and I have gone out to Indian restaurants every opportunity we get. I load up on naan like no other, and my husband sweats curry from his shiny forehead. We are addicted.

For a while now I have been wanting to make it at home, and I finally did just that. I’ve made this dish numerous times, with different add ins and beans, and each time I cry with joy and wipe my tears with naan bread.

It’s heavenly, and the ultimate comfort food.

Woah Mama!

Indian Spiced Lentils

*This dish is a kind of similar to a traditional Indian dish called Chana Masala, which is made from chickpeas. The first time I made this, I used chickpeas and didn’t add anything else. Since then, I have switched it up to lentils (because it was what I had on hand), and threw in a few other veggies that were in my kitchen. Everything pairs beautiful! It’s the perfect dish that makes you feel happy inside! ๐Ÿ™‚ On top of everything else, I made it in a crock pot! Easy!

*Inspiration: Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

2 1/2 c. cooked lentils

1 sweet potato peeled and finely diced

1 yellow bell pepper finely diced

1 medium onion finely diced

3-4 cloves garlic finely diced

1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. cayanne (can add more for additional heat)

1 tsp. ground tumeric

2 tsp. paprika

1 TB. ground coriander

1 tsp. garam masala

2/3 c. vegetable broth (organic)

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Gather all your ingredients, including chopped veggies. I used a food processor for my onion, bell pepper, and garlic to speed it up. (It also finely dices them the way I like!)

2. Throw everything into a crock pot, and set on high for 3 hours, or until sweet potatoes are soft and cooked. This can also be done over the stove, just cook the garlic and onions with some oil over heat for a little bit until brown. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook over stove top for at least 30 min, or until potatoes are soft.

3. Serve with brown rice and naan bread.

I made homemade Whole Wheat Naan Bread, and I loved it!! I got the recipe from Jessica @ How Sweet it is! I used whole wheat pastry flour, coconut milk, and greek yogurt. You could definitely use a non dairy soy plain yogurt too! I topped with coconut oil, rosemary, and mashed garlic.

Indian food and naan just may be the perfect present for myself or any mother out there this weekend!

Throw in a day without toilet bowl cleaning, and sweet golly gee willakers…

Now THAT’S more like it!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Crockpot Tempeh Veggie Chili

In a perfect world, every man would love their veggies.

They would request green smoothies in the morning, kale chips in their lunches, and tofu stir fry for dinner.

But alas…

I am LOL.

Today, on our way home from an outing, (this was AFTER dinner), my husband asked if we could stop at McDonalds.

To get the new McRib.

The McDump…Or whatever.

One man has not been excited about the McRib coming back, as my husband was. I’m talking, literally salivating.

Despite my intentions to shove veggies down his throat, he has a place in his heart for fast foods…(which in turn are hurting his heart, it’s really quite ironic.) I figure I am not the only wifey out there, pleading with their spouses to come clean and switch green, begging them to say goodbye to the scary man dressed in a yellow jumpsuit with bright red hair.

But we don’t live in a perfect world, we live in reality.

Reality says that men(and most people in the world) love fast food, and the thought of coming home to a tasty healthy tofu stir fry really doesn’t get the average person’s taste buds dancing.

But if there is something that I have learned with the hubby, it’s that the more ‘obvious’ it is that the meal is healthy, the less likely he is going to touch it. For example, in no way shape or form would the hubby be excited about a salad topped with tofu.

Buuuuttt, this is a GiNoRmOuS But my friends, if I threw on some sick wit’ it salad dressing, yummy crunchy coated nuts, some flavored veggies, a little touch of goat cheese, and a slice of warm buttered bread…

Well then he is more likely to dig in.

Fast forward to Halloween.

Every year my family makes chili and cornbread. This year was no different, except I was going full on vegetarian chili.

My hubby was super nervous when I told him I was making chili for him and a few family members as well…In fact, I am pretty sure he told me, “Make sure it’s not a Healthy chili ok?”

I did as I always do, and ignored his suggestions by packing that chili full of veggies, and some crumbled tempeh to give it that hearty meat texture that everyone loves to have in chili.

What did everyone think?

Let’s just say their taste buds were salivating enough to eat more than one…even two helpings…

Especially when they could load their chili with cheese, avocados, bread, or chips!!

Crockpot Tempeh Veggie Chili

*This was done in a crockpot, but I assume could be done on the stove*

Ingredients:

1 medium sweet onion finely diced

5-6 large cloves garlic finely diced

1 C. butternut squash cubed

2 yellow bell peppers diced

2 pkg. Tempeh Bacon chopped/diced

3 TB. Sucanat

2 cans garbanzo beans(drained and rinsed)

1 can black beans(drained and rinsed)

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 c. veggie broth

8 oz. can tomato sauce

2 TB. cornstarch dissolved in 2 TB. cold water

1 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. coriander

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. oregano

salt & pepper

Directions:

1. Throw all ingredients into a crockpot. Set on high for about 3 hours, and low for about 2 hours. When the chili is done to desired consistency, turn crockpot to ‘keep warm’ until ready to eat.

This is hands down the best chili I have made so far!

And I owe a lot of it to this bad boy:

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Tempeh has been my new found love for a while! It’s basically cooked and fermented soy beans formed into a little patty. The kind of Tempeh I buy usually has added grains in it too! It doesn’t have much flavor, but you can crumble it to the perfect texture to resemble meat crumbles. It gives you that hearty texture of meat, but a lot more nutrition and deliciousness! You can find it at any health food store, even Trader Joes!

For this chili I used Tempeh Bacon, which looks like this:

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It has an awesome marinated smokey taste! Perfect for chili! ๐Ÿ™‚

And after our bellies were warm, we decided to take Baby Boo out for her first trick or treating experience!

Baby Boo has always been friendly with others, but I wasn’t sure how she would act going up to random doors…

Luckily, that was about as scary as the costumes got….

And door after door, Baby Boo RAN.

Apparently she had one thing in mind…

It was like christmas for her!

Especially since her papa dressed like her idol:

It turned out to be the perfect night with fun costumes, lots of laughter, and full bellies filled with goodness!

Did I mention the leftovers made a delicious chili corn bread casserole? I’ll share tomorrow friends!

Who knew a good thing could get even better?! ๐Ÿ™‚

Zucchini, Sweet Potato, and Cilantro Soup

Ready for a joke?

What do you get when you cross 3 days of rain + 1 Baby Boo + 1 ย Mama ??

Answer:

Little Helper in the Kitchen:

Broken dishes:

Broken Wisk-A-Mabober:

Yogurt in the Bathtub: (Don’t even go there)

Peeling the skins off Chickpeas: (P.S. I was doing a spell check and realized I almost left the L out of Peeling…)

And the most delicious soup I have had to date:

Zucchini, Sweet Potato, and Cilantro Soup

Recipe by: 101 cookbooks.

Changes I made from the original recipe:

-Instead of Potatoes I used Sweet Potatoes

-Added an extra 1/2 cup cilantro

-Added seasonings: Cumin, Paprika, Salt, and Pepper

-Topped with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Drizzled with “Cheeze Sauce”

-“Cheeze Sauce idea from OhShe Glows: 1/4 cup hummus, 1-2 TB non diary milk, and 2 TB nutritional yeast all mixed together.

Best. Soup.Ever.

Warm, inviting, delicious, comforting, creamy, and did I say delicious?!

Oh, and if you must know, the yogurt in the bath tub had to do with a dumb idea on the internet.

It was an “edible” finger painting activity that turned into an episode of wipeout..

and no not Baby Boo…

Rain Rain please go away..

Some of us are going crazy…okay?