What a crazy fall its been. I kept thinking things would slow down enough that I could come back and be regular. hmph! What was I thinking? Between sending our 2 oldest kids to public school, which was a HUGE change for our family, and adding to that soccer and football, elk season, piano lessons, catering events at the cafe and finally a football injury that will have our boy on sidelines a good 8-12 months (severed ACL) I feel like I’ve been just treading water.
Food wise, fall has been fantastic. Butternut Squash Rolls, homemade cream of tomato soup, Curried Coconut Butternut Squash Soup, Sweet Butternut Squash bread, and then some. I also had the challenge of a gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, egg free guest at the last seminar. I actually enjoyed the challenge, I felt like I was on my own “Chopped” episode.
As for taking care of myself, well………….I was pretty low on the totem pole. It was the same old story, not enough time, blah, blah, blah. That too will change now that things are actually slowing down—after the Halloween Party at the museum. I do seem to have an issue with my hip, running up a flight of stairs, a long walk with hills, running all seem to aggravate it. I will try my bike out this coming week and see how that goes. Other than that, things are going GREAT!!
The recipe for the Curried Coconut Butternut Squash soup came about with the challenge of my gluten, dairy, egg, wheat free guest. No dairy, no cream was used and it was THE BEST soup I think I’ve made. It got RAVE reviews. My boss took home the extra to serve for her dinner party.
First, a tip:
I roast my butternut squash whole, in a 350 degree oven until tender. I don’t poke holes, I don’t skin and chop, I just give it a quick wash and toss it on a cookie sheet and roast until tender. Then once my fork or knife slips into the flesh through the skin easily, i take it out and let it cool for 15 min. or so. This time, I actually cooled it over night in the fridge and messed with it the next day. Anyway, it becomes very easy to skin it, scrape the seeds and chop, puree etc.
So let’s begin:
1. roast your butternut squash, peel, seed and chop
2. saute some chopped carrot, onion and garlic in a stock pot, until they become soft and translucent.
3. Add chunked squash in a stock pot with enough vegetable broth to cover the squash by 1/3. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer until the squash is very, very mushy and soft, past the point you’d want for mashed potatoes. I used my immersion blender to puree it.
4. then add coconut milk…..I used some I’d found in the natural foods section of the grocery, next to the almond and soy milks. Use enough milk to give you a nice “soupy” texture. I also added a couple of cans of coconut milk for some extra creaminess.
5. As the soup begins to come together, you can start to play with the seasoning. I kept it very simple with a bit of ground ginger and curry powder, salt and pepper. I just kept adding and tasting until it was the way I liked it.
I am sorry I don’t have any measurements for you, but you really can’t go wrong. Cinnamon would be good, lemon juice, along with some ground mustard powder for depth. Experiment, just go little by little and keep tasting.
Its cheap, its seasonal, its totally YUMMY. Very, Very tasty with some feta sprinkled on top. Also served with grilled cheese sandwiches with sharp cheddar and crispy apples between the buttered slices. (For my gluten/wheat/dairy/egg free guest I used soy cheese on rice bread.
I hope some of you give it a try. Let me know how it goes. There’s nothing better than knowing you provided a good, wholesome, healthy, tasty food for your loved ones. Don’t tell anyone what it until they’ve tasted it. Make them try just one bite first, then tell them. I did that the whole week of the seminar. I made everything safe for the guest with the allergies, which means lots of substitutions that I know most of my meat and potatoes guys wouldn’t have tried., yet they ended up loving it.
Desserts were a challenge. Aside from the convenient boxed mixes sold in the specialty stores, there doesn’t seem to be much left for my allergic guest. I was very proud of myself when I came up with a scratch recipe for rice pudding, made with vanilla soy milk….the guests told me it was just like Grandma used to make. Go figure.
Well, happy fall everyone! Here’s to regular time for me!