Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Butternut Squash and Sundried Tomato Soup

First day of Vegan eating was a success!  My main goal the next 60 (now 59!) days is to make this process as simple for my family as possible, and to do that I have to be an organized meal planner and make sure all my food is prepped and chopped ahead of time

So I don't feel like I'm in the kitchen 24/7, every Sunday I try to sit down and plan out the week what I want to cook and make. I used to only have to do that with dinners, because breakfast and lunch were usually the same every week. Now since we are on a new diet, I need to plan breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, since I'm still getting used to using new staples and foods, and my "go-to" meals like Quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches and Dutch Oven Chicken won't work anymore!

This is what our meal plan looked like Day 1:

Breakfast: Double Recipe (for the 4 of us and some leftovers) of Toasted Oatmeal , with drizzled maple syrup and almond milk. A piece of fruit.  

Snack:  Oatmeal-Cranberry Muffin --used dried cranberries instead of raisins.

Lunch: Quinoa ( in rice cooker...1 cup rinsed quinoa with 2 cups of water), sauteed Kale, Cabbage, garlic, 1 roasted bell pepper, and 1 cup white beans. Added a couple tablespoons of Trader Joe's Soyaki Sauce.  

Dinner: Butternut Squash and Sun-dried Tomato Soup with a fresh loaf of Honey-Oat Bread.

We really enjoyed this butternut squash soup. You could definitely taste the sun-dried tomatoes in it which we liked. It hardly took anytime to cook, but the prep is where you will be spending most of your time, because you are waiting for the tomatoes to soften and squash to cook.  That is all stuff you can easily do the night before, and the next night you will have a meal in under 20 minutes. 

If you and your family eat a lot of soup, invest in a good Immersion Blender. The first one I had was made completely out of plastic (except for the blade), and it broke within a couple months of use.  

To be honest, overall the first day was a lot of work, mostly because I was making everything fresh (which is important to me) and because I was preparing larger meals that we will have leftovers from the next couple of days.  I was in the kitchen most of the day, but thankfully I was able to take the time to prep for the week because my husband was home. We will see how well I do on the days he's working! 

Happy Healthy Eating!! 


**This recipe is adapted from Manifest Vegan.

Soup Recipe
 Makes: 8 servings Prep: 60 minutes  Cooking Time: 15 minutes

 (Printable Recipe)

2 small butternut squash, 1-2 lbs each  
 4 shallots, minced
1 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
 1/4 tsp cayenne or chipotle chile powder (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced (1) 3.5 oz package (or 1 cup chopped) sundried tomatoes, not the ones in oil
3-4 cups Vegetable broth
(1) 13.5 oz can of low-fat coconut milk
 Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Foil a baking sheet. Cut butternut squash in half, spoon seeds out. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes, or until soft when pierced with fork. Let cool for 10-15 minutes.
2. While squash is cooking, soak tomatoes for about 45 min-1 hour or until softened.
3. In a heavy soup pot, saute shallots through cayenne in olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add drained tomatoes through coconut milk. Carefully spoon cooked butternut squash into the soup pot. 
4. Use an immersion blender or carefully pour soup into a blender in batches. Blend until completely smooth. Use less or more broth depending on the consistency and texture you like.

Who likes to change it up?

~Use 1 leek or onions instead of shallots. 
~Change up spices like italian seasoning, coriander, chili powder, etc.
~Chop some cilantro and add on top for a little variety.


Christi said...

this looks incredibly de-lish! I am glad you noted that you could really taste the sun-dried tomato, why? Because that's one YUMMY flavor! I will definitely make this one.

Meal Planning Made Simple said...

Can't wait to hear how it goes Christi!


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