My stomach was growling this afternoon and as I was mulling over places to stop to get a bowl of soup, I decided to practice what I preach about home cooking.
I stopped to pick up a butternut squash (the only ingredient I was missing in the soup I was conjuring up in my mind) and hurried home. I have to admit that I have never really enjoyed cooking but since I have cleaned up my eating habits and like to know exactly what’s in the food I’m eating, I’m slowly approaching my kitchen with less dread.
Being an artist, I’ve always been puzzled by why I was so unimaginative in the kitchen. My family and friends (and especially my partner who is a chef) gently tease me when I measure things that really shouldn’t need measuring (i.e. oatmeal!). I’m trying hard to loosen up in this department so I was particularly proud of this day’s lunch that I made up and whipped up in about a half an hour.
This is a great example of a complete meal made with fresh, whole foods that is easy, quick and satisfying. Here’s the recipe – feel free to alter it to your heart’s content. The only thing missing was the last pumpkin muffin that I ate at breakfast. I’ll include that recipe as well.
Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
1-2 small yellow onions, cut up
2 T butter, ghee, or olive oil
1 32 oz. organic vegetable broth (I like the Pacifica brand for its lack of unnecessary ingredients)
1 3″ piece of kombu
1 can of beans of your choice (Eden is a great brand; I used black eyed peas because that’s what I had on hand but aduki beans or anything else would work just as well.) rinsed and drained.
Leftover quinoa (that’s what I had), brown rice or millet
Collard greens (my choice), kale, spinach, beet greens, etc. cut into small pieces
Nutmeg, sea salt and pepper
In a large pot, saute the onion in the butter, ghee or olive oil until soft. Add the cubed squash and saute for a few minutes before adding the vegetable stock and kombu. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until the squash is soft (about 15 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, remove the squash and puree in a blender. Return squash to pot and stir in beans and grain. Add greens for about five minutes until soft. Add nutmeg, sea salt and pepper.
Simple Raw Salad (Add or delete ingredients to your liking.)
1″ piece of daikon radish, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 beet, shredded
1/4 cup raw sauerkraut
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cucumber, chopped
1/2 avocado, sliced
1-2 artichokes (bottled ones are okay), sliced
1T olive oil 1T apple cider vinegar 1 tsp. chia or hemp seeds (optional)
Pumpkin Muffins (Makes 1 Dozen)
Heat oven to 400 degrees
Grease muffin tins with virgin coconut oil
2 cups fresh pureed pumpkin or 1 small can of organic pumpkin
1 1/2 cup of stone ground whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2T (melted and cooled) virgin coconut oil
scant 1/2 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
1/2 cup organic plain whole fat yogurt
1/2-1 cup raisins, soaked and drained
1 tsp. cinnamon
dashes of nutmeg, cloves, ginger
Optional: blueberries, apples, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, hemp seed or anything else you can think of!
In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg, coconut oil and maple syrup or honey. Add yogurt and pumpkin. Sprinkle baking soda and salt into mixture and then slowly stir in flour. Stir in raisins and spices (and any other ingredients, if desired). Spoon mixture into muffin tins. Fill to top as they will not rise very much – you should only fill 1 dozen. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on top, if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.