My first taste of butternut squash soup was at a marche restaurant in Toronto. I was so blown away by its creaminess and flavour I worked hard to recreate it. I think I’ve come close and on top of that it is completely healthy. Theirs probably had cream in it but I have found that this recipe just doesn’t need it. It is tasty and creamy all on its own. Pair this with some fresh baked bread and you really have a heavenly meal. It’s a favourite of mine really, especially when it is cold and rainy. Which happens often out here!
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 leeks, white part only, chopped
- 2 lbs butternut squash, cubed
- 1 bartlett pear, cored and chopped
- 6 cup water or chicken stock
- 2 purple basil leaves, chopped finely
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and leeks. Saute until carmelization occurs.
- Add the squash, pear, stock or water, basil and pie spice. Season with some salt and pepper. Allow to simmer until the squash and pear are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Puree the soup using a hand blender or in batches in a regular blender until it is smooth.
- Reheat the soup and serve.
Makes 8 large portions. Each portion (about 2 cups) is 72 calories, .8 gram fat, 4.4 grams fibre, 17.2 grams carbs, 1.3 grams protein. Calculated if water is used instead of stock. If you need a bit of extra creaminess a dollop of fat free sour cream is excellent in this. I don’t usually do that, made for a pretty picture though!
When it comes to strudel pastry I totally cheat. My grandmother was always a very practical woman. When something can be bought to help that dessert be successful she had no qualms about doing so. Phyllo dough is one of these short cuts my grandmother supported. Why go through the trouble of making it when the ingredient is right there? Now you can concentrate on the more important things…like the filling. Oh wait, that isn’t hard either? Well…score! Seriously, whipping up a strudel like this as a weeknight dessert isn’t all that hard. That’s exactly what this one was.
- 2 pears, cored, sliced
- 4 sheets phyllo dough
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp splenda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 30 grams brie, sliced thinly
- butter flavoured cooking spray
- Lay your first sheet of phyllo dough on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Layer another sheet on top. Repeat until all sheets have been stacked.
- Lay the cheese slices on the strudel sheets horizontally, not quite center. I usually go for about an inch off center towards me.
- Layer the pear slices on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and splenda.
- Fold in the sides of the dough, then the bottom. Flip away from you to wrap. That moves the seam of your folding underneath the pastry.
- Spray the pastry. Cut four slits into the top and sprinkle with brown sugar.
- Cover with foil. Bake at 375F for 15 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Serves 4 generously. Each serving contains 141 calories, 3.9 grams of fat and 2.7 grams of fibre. I love pears and brie so creamy and sweet, apples would work with this too. If you don’t want the brie each serving will contain 116 calories, 1.8 grams of fat and 2.7 grams of fibre. Nothing wrong with a simple fruit strudel, I just like to get a little fancy sometimes hehe.
The fruit during the fall season is just so tasty. I especially love the abundance of apples and pears. So many varieties of delicious awesomeness. Once again my husband has provided an awesome special breakfast on the weekend. Have I mentioned publicly how much I love his special breakfasts? Screw that coffee stuff, they are definitely the best part of waking up. This time my husband was inspired by another Bobby Flay throwdown loss…hehe. For the bread we just used a store brand whole wheat bread that turned out to be our best nutritional option. Check them out! You don’t have to break the bank on silly expensive bread just to eat right.
- 3 egg whites
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pear, peeled, cored, chopped
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, chopped
- 1 tbl low fat yogurt cheese or fat free cream cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbl brown sugar, unpacked
- 4 slices whole wheat bread
- Combine fruit, vanilla and sugar in a saucepan. Cook for a few minutes on medium high until tender. Allow to cool. Stir in the yogurt cheese.
- Combine egg whites and cinnamon in a large bowl. Heat a skillet on medium high.
- Dip bread in the egg mixture. Allow the bread to rest in the egg mixture for a just a few seconds to allow it to absorb the mix.
- Pan fry the slices of dipped bread. Once the sides are cooked top one slice with a bit of fruit filling then top with another slice. Heat for one minute and serve. Top the toast with 1 tbl of filling.
Serves two. Each serving contains 304 calories, 4.3 grams of fat and 7.7 grams of fibre. Take a look at that nice fibre! We had this as a brunch so I felt full for most of the day, ended up just having an afternoon snack instead of lunch really. I was still too full! French toast for breakfast is always a total win!
This makes for a nice and easy, yet filling lunch. Lots of fruit and veggie serving potential in this one! We had this for lunch yesterday and even my husband proclaimed it filling. Considering how teenager like his eating has been the past couple of days, that is a huge compliment! He’d better not be pregnant or something. hehe.
This salad is probably closer to the original version by Oscar Tschirky in 1893…being that it doesn’t have grapes. That certainly shouldn’t stop you from adding them if thats your bag. I’m just anti grape for awhile after someone told me a story about folks finding black widow spiders in grapes…then showed me news reports to prove it. I have an issue with spiders…when they are poisonous that issue rises by a factor incalculable by man. Haven’t been able to look at a grape without shuddering since. A side note..in lotro you have to kill really realistic looking spiders, they even crumple up the right way when they die. This too gives me crawlies. Took me forever to complete that spider killing deed I tell you.
I’m a wuss.
Just eat your tasty salad you big meanie.
- 1 apple cored and cut into chunks
- 1 pear cored and cut into chunks
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 tbl raisins
- 1 cup uncooked whole wheat rotini pasta
- 1/4 cup half the fat mayo
- 1 tbl lemon juice
- 1 tbl orange/mango juice (just plain orange works fine too)
- 2 tsp honey
- a pinch of sea salt
- 2 tbl toasted chopped walnuts (I’ve had this with raw walnuts too and it remains delicious!)
- Cook the pasta according to the directions for al dente texture. Rinse under cold water when done.
- Combine the mayo, juices, honey, and salt in the serving bowl.
- Add the fruit, veggies and pasta to the serving bowl. Stir carefully to combine and coat.
- Serve and top with a bit of the walnuts.
Serves 4. Each serving contains 260 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 3 grams of fiber. This recipe refrigerated nicely for packing to go to work or for having leftovers for a second lunch the next day. Awesome stuff! I like the fact that it was enough to fuel me through an afternoon of crazy errand running without problems. Kept going all the way through to dinner. Wahoo! Definitely a good one to have ingredients on hand for. I’m considering it for a good picnic lunch someday.