All Things Fall!! – Butternut Squash Soup

Happy Tuesday! It seems as though everyone has a craze for the fall season with all the pumpkin foods that are now on display! I am one of those people out trying to buy basically anything pumpkin while it lasts!

I’ve been experimenting a lot with different pumpkin breads and muffins which has been fun.  I have actually started making my morning pancakes (in previous post) with pumpkin and they are amazing!

Around this time, I always settle into the warm and comforting recipes that are bursting with the flavors we all love at this time of year! For me, besides pumpkin everything, it has always been warm soups and apple cider doughnuts. Luckily, I’ve been able to find gluten free doughnuts at a local grocery store! I still go to our local farm stand to buy the regular apple cider doughnuts for T because they cannot be beat. With crazy busy days at work, I’ve been eating super healthy all week then indulging on “Sunday Funday”!

I was finally able to do some cooking this weekend and make one of my favorite fall recipes… Butternut squash soup! I added a very small amount of light cream in this recipe. You can easily omit it or you can think.. moderation!! 😉

I also used a new gadget to make this– an immersion blender! I have never used one of these before but was told it makes making soups so much easier.  After buying one and using it for the first time, I can tell you it is incredible!! I originally planned to use a regular blender and purée the soup in batches until it was smooth which you can do if you do not own an immersion blender; but the unique thing about the immersion blender is that I just kept it in the saucepan and blended away! It was done in about 2 minutes! If you make soups often, I definitely recommend buying one of these.. or if you are like me, a bride-to-be you can register for it! 😉 It was only $35.00 at Bed Bath and Beyond!

Anyway, back to the recipe itself, I shared it with quite a few people and everyone loved it so definitely try 🙂 🙂

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 butternut squash - on the larger side
  2. 1 Granny Smith apple
  3. 1/2 yellow onion
  4. 10 sage leaves
  5. 3 cups water
  6. 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  7. Ground pepper
  8. Sea salt
  9. 1/4 cup light cream
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven at 425. Cut both butternut squash in half. Line a cookie sheet with a piece of tin foil and place on the cookie sheet. Take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (melt if needed) then brush on the tops and inside of the butternut squash halves. Season with sea salt and pepper and place in the oven for 1 hour.
  2. While the squash is cooking, peel and chop the apple and onion into small pieces. Put a very small amount of olive oil into the saucepan and begin to heat until onions become softer and translucent. Once soft, remove from heat and add in the cream.
  3. With a large spoon, carefully remove the squash out of it's shell and into the saucepan. Add the water, chicken broth, salt and pepper and put back on the heat. Boil at medium heat for about 12 minutes. Stir occasionally and break up any large pieces of squash with a spoon.
  4. After 12-15 minutes, remove saucepan from heat. Now, if you have an immersion blender, you can place in saucepan and start blending away. If not, pour into a regular blender in batches and blend until smooth.
  5. Sea salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!!
Alyssa Grieco http://alyssagrieco.com/

Cucumber Cilantro Salad

Happy Friday! I have been wanting to post this post for a few weeks now but have been absolutely crazy with work and in any free time, wedding planning! We officially decided to have our wedding on August 15, 2015!  Now we have started planning full force which has meant less time for all the cooking I am usually doing.

Regardless, there were a few beautiful weekends in September and I made one of my favorite cucumber salads which I want to share! I made this salad literally ALL summer and have continued making it this fall.  I LOVE cilantro and it is this salad’s main ingredient! It is packed with protein and flavor and is super refreshing any day.  It is also VERY easy to make and can be done so in minutes! I have received so many compliments from people who have tried it.

As a child, I remember eating this at barbecues but sour cream was always used.  I hate sour cream and really don’t think it’s necessary to ever use, since Greek yogurt can replace it in so many recipes. In this case, I have substituted the 2% greek yogurt instead and it is delicious!.. and filling :).

Ingredients:

2 cucumbers finely chopped and peeled
1 – 2% plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
Sea salt

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients together.  Add sea salt to taste.  I typically add the Greek yogurt to my desired thickness.

Enjoy!!