Meatless Monday: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

In my last blog post I had mentioned how I finally ran a full 5k without stopping to walk, and that my goal was to continue decreasing my time so I could try to complete it in less than 28 minutes on race day.

Well, apparently training has been doing my body good, because just last night I ran 5k in about 28 minutes! Since I have three and a half weeks left until race day, I’m going to continue working hard to see if I can get down to about 26 minutes. It’s hard to believe how far I’ve come in less than 2 months, but it just goes to show what a little persistence and motivation can do! I’m actually starting to ENJOY running, to the point where it’s become an important part of my daily routine.

Making a conscious effort to eat well and drink plenty of water has definitely helped with the training process. Now that the cooler weather is approaching, I’ve been making a lot of homemade soup. It’s perfect to make on a Sunday because you can keep half of it on hand for quick meals throughout the rest of the week, and then freeze the remainder in individual freezer bags for nights where you don’t feel like cooking.

Nothing screams fall like fresh squash from the farmer’s market! Butternut squash is my FAVOURITE. This recipe is super simple and super tasty – like.. lick-the-bowl-it’s-so-yummy, tasty. You laugh now, but when you make this recipe I guarantee you’ll be tempted to lick your bowl clean!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
Seasonings, such as garlic powder, dried rosemary, or sage (I used about ¼ tsp of each)
Salt & pepper, to taste
3 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth (plus more, in case the soup is too thick for your liking)
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375oC. Place the squash and onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, whatever seasonings you plan to use, and a little bit of salt and pepper. Gently mix so that everything is nicely coated in oil, and then pour into a large roasting pan. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until tender, stirring the mixture a couple of times.
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  2. When done, blend the squash, vegetable broth, and Greek yogurt using a large blender or food processor until smooth and well-combined (I had to blend everything in a couple of batches because there was so much!). Transfer to a large pot set at low to medium heat and stir constantly until heated through. If the soup is too thick for your liking, feel free to mix in a bit more broth or water. Enjoy with a light, green salad or fresh bread!
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Be Well!

Meatless Monday: Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. This recipe is nothing but a whole lot of ooey, gooey, warm, cheesy goodness.

I’ve made eggplant parmesan before, but it was the traditional way where you slice the eggplant into discs and bread each piece.

This is a much simpler, quicker version and oh-so yummy. I enjoyed my eggplant with a whole wheat roll, which I used to dip into the ooey, gooey, warm, cheesy goodness. Fantastic. Hope you all enjoy! Oh, and don’t forget to enter my SlimKicker giveaway contest to win a FREE slow cooker!

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 eggplant, sliced in half vertically
Olive oil
Salt
1/3 cup light ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp each dried basil and parsley (or fresh, if you have some handy)
1/3 cup low-sodium marinara sauce
1 small tomato, sliced
Whole wheat bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Sprinkle the eggplant halves with a little bit of salt and place on a baking sheet, flesh side down. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and broil on high for 20 minutes. While the eggplant is in the oven, combine the ricotta cheese, basil, and parsley in a small bowl.

2. When the eggplant is done, remove it from the oven and carefully turn over each half. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on each piece of eggplant. Do the same with the marinara sauce. Top each half with a few slices of tomato; sprinkle with some bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.

3. Bake at 400 degrees until the bread crumbs are toasted (about 5-10 minutes). You can also use mozzarella instead of ricotta if you like, or even sprinkle some feta cheese on top. Yum!

Happy Meatless Monday!

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

Be Well xo

Meatless Monday: Curried Cashew Lentil Burgers

Two posts in a row, I’m on a roll!

I’ve got yet another tasty meat-free burger recipe for you all. Some of you may remember a couple of recipes I posted last year for asian-inspired quinoa veggie burgers and southwest veggie burgers. This recipe might be my favourite of the 3!

This protein-packed patty is chock full of heart-healthy fats and fibre, and not to mention super delicious. I got the recipe from my Canadian Living cookbook, “The Vegetarian Collection”. The full recipe is provided below, but I only made half of it since I was cooking for one :) I made one patty and saved what was left of the burger “meat” in the fridge for the following day. Hope you enjoy!

Curried Cashew Lentil Burgers

Makes 4 servings
Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups sliced white mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1 can no-salt-added lentils, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp curry paste
1/4 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. In a medium skillet, toast the cashews over medium-low heat until fragrant (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a food processor.

2. In the same skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat; saute the mushrooms, onion, garlic, salt and pepper until no liquid remains (about 5 minutes). I added a couple pinches of cumin and curry powder as well. Add to the food processor.

3. Add the lentils and curry paste to the food processor; pulse to combine. Mix in the bread crumbs and cilantro. Shape into four 1-inch thick patties.

4. In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat; fry the patties until crusty, turning once (about 16 minutes). Carefully transfer the patties to whole wheat buns and top with your favourite condiments. I topped mine with slices of red onion, alfalfa sprouts and fresh cilantro. Delicious!

Curried Cashew Lentil Burgers

Happy Meatless Monday!

Be Well xo

Meatless Monday: Stuffed Butternut Squash

I’ve had a mild obsession with butternut squash lately. It’s just SO GOOD, and can be used in so many different ways! I had pinned a recipe on Pinterest a while back for stuffed acorn squash and figured why not try it with a butternut squash? I didn’t really follow a specific recipe for this. I sort of made it up as I went along, throwing a bit of this and that in whenever I saw fit. Here’s the jist of the recipe:

Stuffed Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

1 bottom half of a butternut squash, seeds removed – the squash should be hollowed out like a bowl so it can be easily stuffed

1/4 cup cooked quinoa (you can also substitute any other leftover grains you may have lying around, such as brown rice or bulgur)

1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup mixed vegetables, chopped (I used peppers, onions, tomatoes and mushrooms)

1 green onion, thinly sliced

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

2-3 tbsp feta cheese*, crumbled

1/2 tbsp Parmesan cheese*

*Feel free to omit the cheese to make this recipe vegan-friendly, or substitute with non-dairy cheese.

Directions:

1. Place the butternut squash, cut side down, on a baking tray lined with tinfoil. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until tender.

2. While the squash is roasting, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped vegetables and saute until softened, about 4-5 minutes. You can also add a pinch of chili flakes if you want a bit of heat.

3. Remove the frying pan from the heat. Add the quinoa, black beans, green onion, cilantro, and feta cheese to the vegetables; mix to combine.

4. Carefully turn the squash over so it looks like a bowl. Stuff the squash with the vegetable/quinoa/bean mixture; sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Place the squash back in the oven and broil for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.

5. Eat and enjoy!

This recipe was so tasty and very filling. I plan on making it again very soon!

Happy Meatless Monday :)

Be Well xo

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Pad Thai

Pad thai is quite possibly one of my favourite dishes. I had tried making it in the past with store-bought sauces, but it never tasted as good as I hoped it would.

After browsing through some of my cookbooks that I’ve failed to look at in months, I came across a recipe for pad thai that looked fairly simple. It’s probably not the healthiest of dishes, but it’s definitely better for you than traditional take-out versions, and certainly a nice treat to enjoy every once in a while :)

Next, I’d like to try this healthy version of pad thai, courtesy of Cravings Gone Clean!

Vegetarian Pad Thai

Serves 4

Ingredients:

200g dried rice noodles

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cups vegetables, chopped (I used yellow bell pepper and broccoli)

4 ounces (125g) firm tofu, cubed

2 large eggs, beaten

2 tbsp brown sugar

1.5 tbsp tamarind paste

1.5 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1.5 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce

1.5 cups mung bean sprouts

2-3 scallions, sliced

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Peanuts & lime wedges, to garnish

Directions:

1. Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Combine the brown sugar, tamarind, soy sauce and chili sauce in a small bowl.

2. Heat the oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

3. Add the chopped vegetables and tofu and stir fry for a few minutes, until the vegetables have softened and the tofu is golden brown. Push to the side, add the eggs, and scramble them for about 1 minute.

4. Decrease the heat to medium. Add the noodles and pad thai sauce; stir fry for about 1 minute. Add the bean sprouts and scallions; stir fry for another minute, tossing to combine.

5. Divide the pad thai into bowls and serve garnished with cilantro, peanuts and a lime wedge.

Happy Meatless Monday :)