Meatless Monday Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup with Granny Smith Apples

Another Happy #MeatlessMonday to you! If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know two things.  1) I love making soup, and 2) I love cooking with butternut squash.

I was looking for a different taste than my usual favorite butternut squash soup recipe … something not as garlic-ky … so I started experimenting.  I had a few granny smith apples in the fruit bowl, and I felt like the tart apple flavor would be really nice with the butternut squash.

I was right! After I made it, I felt like this Butternut Squash Soup with Granny Smith Apples was the best of any soup I’d ever made! Not bad for an experiment.  I highly recommend giving this a try. It was super easy to make, not a huge time commitment, and like I said … it tasted REALLY good!

Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Soup with Granny Smith Apples

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds whole butternut squash (1 medium-sized squash), seeds removed and cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel the skin off of a medium-sized butternut squash.  Cut into 2-3 inch pieces and add to a roasting pan.  Add olive oil and water to roasting pan and toss with the squash, coating well.  Roast for about 50 minutes or until squash is tender.
  2. While the squash is roasting, peel and core the apple and cut into a medium dice. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the butter Dutch oven or small stock pot over medium heat. Add the apple, onion, and sage. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft (7 – 10 minutes) stirring every couple of minutes so it does not stick. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  3. When the squash is done, remove from oven and add the apple/onion mixture as well as the fresh grated ginger to the roasting pan.
  4. Add about one cup of the squash apple mixture to a blender with one cup of the vegetable stock.  Puree until smooth and put back into your dutch oven/stock pot.  Repeat until all of the squash has been pureed with the remaining vegetable broth. If you desire a thinner consistency, you can add a little water to the puree.
  5. Simmer until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy!

 

Question: Do you have a favorite butternut squash soup recipe? If you do, please add your link in the comments below!

 

 

Meatless Monday Recipe: Easy Microwave Apple Crisp

I’ve never been a gal who has been satisfied with an apple for a snack in the afternoon — my sweet tooth can get the best of me if I’m not careful.

With all of the yummy pumpkin breads, scones, and other goodies EVERYWHERE I turned today, I really needed a little treat with my afternoon tea.

And, I didn’t get the Meatless Monday recipe up early today — so it was a perfect day to share this delicious & semi-healthy little treat with you. Ok, maybe healthy is pushing it.  But there’s an apple in it, ok?!! 🙂

Today’s Meatless Monday Recipe is an Easy Microwave Apple Crisp for One.  It was inspired by a similar recipe from Sophie at My Happy Place (thanks, Sophie!)

Prep time: 10 minutes (and I was taking photos while I was prepping, so if you are quick it is probably even less than that).

Microwave time: 1 1/2 minutes

Easy MIcrowave Apple Crisp

Here’s what you need:

1 medium sized organic apple (any kind will do, but my favorite are Honeycrisp apples. I buy organic since apples on the the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list)
2 tbsp. organic brown sugar
2 tbsp. quick cook oats
1 1/2 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg
1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Directions:

1. Peel and thinly slice your apple and place in a bowl.
2. Add 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar, half a tablespoon of your flour, 1/8 teaspoon of your cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg

crisp-prep1
3. Coat the sliced apples with the mixture, and pour it all into a microwaveable mug.

apples-with-crumble
4. In the same bowl you had your apples in, mix together the remaining dry ingredients. Add your butter, and with a fork mash the butter into the dry ingredients to it creates a nice crumbly texture.

crisp-with-topping
5. Pour the crumble right on top of your apples in the mug and pop in the microwave for 90 seconds. Enjoy!

crisp-done

Did you know that there are over 1,000 apple varieties to choose from? Check out this article that I wrote for Clean Eating magazine to learn which kind of apples work best in all of your favorite recipes.

Meatless Monday Recipe: Tofu and Walnut Lettuce Cups

One of my favorite appetizers when I go out for Chinese food are Lettuce Wraps! I’m always bummed when there isn’t a vegetarian version on the menu, but so many restaurants have both a chicken & a veg version now!!

It seems like a simple dish to whip up at home. Today’s Meatless Monday recipe is from House Foods — made with firm organic tofu will definitely hit the spot if you have such a craving.

And with only 120 calories per serving, you don’t even have to fill guilty! 🙂

 

Photo courtesy of House Foods

Photo courtesy of House Foods

 

INGREDIENTS:
½ package (7 oz) House Foods Organic Tofu Firm, drained well
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced

Sauce:
1 ½ tablespoon Miso (red or awase)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon Sake
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ teaspoon corn starch mixed with ¼ cup cold water

To Serve:
Lettuce, shredded carrots, chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS:
In frying pan, heat olive oil, garlic, and Tofu over moderately high heat, breaking up the Tofu into small pieces with a wooden spoon (can also be cubed beforehand according to preference). Cook until Tofu and garlic gets well toasted.

Add all the sauce ingredients and continue cooking for a few minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the water and cornstarch mixture in, stirring until mixture thickens. Mix walnuts in.

Serve them on lettuce cups, topped with shredded carrots and chopped cilantro.

Enjoy!!

From house-foods.com

From house-foods.com

Learn more about Meatless Monday here.

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Meatless Monday Recipe: Winter Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

Ahhh, that crisp fall chill is in the morning air.  How it does inspire me to whip up comforting dishes and start baking!

Question: What are you favorite fall foods?  Do you crave more sweet or savory goodies?

When I was a kid, my mama used to make a mean shepherd’s pie! Hers was a more traditional version, with ground beef and cheddar cheese that crisped up just right under the oven broiler.

After I became a vegetarian, I started searching for meatless versions of all of the foods that I loved growing up. I have been making this Winter Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie from Food & Wine magazine for a few years now. The creamy mashed potatoes are rich enough that you don’t miss the meat.

 

Winter Vegetable Shepherd's Pie

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups sliced mixed winter vegetables, such as celery, turnips, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, fennel, cabbage, or celery root
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups vegetable stock

Directions:

  1. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and put them back into the saucepan along with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Mash the potatoes over very low heat, gradually incorporating the cream and 4 tablespoons of the butter. Cover and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over moderately low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the sliced mixed vegetables, carrots, thyme, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderate heat, covered, until the vegetables start to soften, 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to moderately high, and cook until the vegetables are tender and almost no liquid remains in the pan, about 10 minutes longer.
  4. Heat the broiler. Transfer the vegetables to a 9-inch pie plate, spread the potatoes over the top, and broil until lightly browned, about 5 – 7 minutes.

Note: Some broilers work much more quickly than others, so keep an eye on your dish while its under the broiler so it doesn’t burn!!

 

winter-vegetable-shepherds-pie-sm

 

 

 

Meatless Monday Recipe: Blackberry-Peach Chia Jelly

Hey guys! Today, I want to introduce you to another Meatless Monday Blogger, Heather, who hosts a weekly cooking challenge Meatless Mondays from A-Z.  Heather is sharing one of her awesome vegetarian recipes with you … enjoy!

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Hey The Wellness Scientist readers! I’m Heather from Better With Veggies, a Colorado girl with a love for food, fitness, and an adventurous life. I’m crashing Karen’s blog today to share a weekly cooking challenge that I host called Meatless Mondays from A-Z (also known as #MMAZ)!

Blackberry-Peach Chia Jelly

I love challenges as a way to help motivate me to step out of my comfort zone. You can see that in my life as I love the challenge of long running and triathlon races. Or my latest challenge of training for a NPC Bikini competition. But what about cooking? When I realized I was cooking with many of the same ingredients over and over, I wanted a way to motivate myself to step out of that box. From that idea, the concept of MMAZ was born.

Every two weeks on MMAZ, we have a different featured ingredient (working through the alphabet from A-Z). The first week’s challenge is to create a meatless recipe with that week’s ingredient. The second week’s challenge is to cook a meatless recipe with the key ingredient (bonus points if it’s one that was submitted the week before). So if you’re someone who likes to create recipes or just likes to cook, there’s a way for you to join in!

When we got to “J” this round, the ingredient chosen was Jelly. ignoring the differences between jam & jelly, I decided it was time to create a chia jelly!

BWV-Round2-August-Jelly

I’ve been seeing chia jelly recipes for quite some time now, but it’s not something I paid much attention to. It almost seemed too easy, which can get lost in the shuffle of recipes I want to try. After enjoying a fresh Colorado peach on a Saturday night, I knew it was finally time to give this a try.

My husband often helps me in the kitchen and he created this fresh jelly with local (Colorado) fruits. I knew that Peach & Blackberries would be delicious together, but he suggested the lime that really made the flavors pop.

Blackberry-Peach Chia Jelly

I was pleasantly surprised by how well the chia jelly sets up, although it’s better described as a fruit spread versus a traditional jelly. Sweetened with just a little stevia, instead of the sugar that you find in most store varieties. And with the added superpowers of chia (omega 3, calcium, fiber, and protein are just a few), it’s gotta be good for you!

Blackberry-Peach Chia Jelly

Blackberry-Peach Chia Jelly

by Kirk Blackmon

Keywords: blender raw breakfast dessert gluten-free nut-free soy-free vegan vegetarian chia summer

Ingredients

  • 1 peach
  • 10 blackberries
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 10 drops vanilla stevia (or more, to taste)

Instructions

In a food processor or blender, liquify the peach and blackberries. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in lime juice & chia seeds. Finally, add 10 drops of stevia (more if you want a sweeter result) and stir well.

Cover bowl and allow to setup in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes. Spread on toast, use as a topping of your favorite breakfast or dessert bowls, or just enjoy by the spoonful!

So don’t be like me and wait months to try chia jelly for yourself ‚make it this week! You can easily mix up the fruits to find what’s available in your area.

Blackberry-Peach Chia Jelly

And now that you see how #MMAZ works, I hope you’ll take the challenge next week! Or just stop by Better With Veggies for more Meatless Mondays from A-Z recipes, fitness tips, and random life ramblings!

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Questions for you:

  • What is your favorite Meatless Monday meal?
  • Do you enjoy creating new recipes?

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Other posts you might like: 

Apple Cranberry Pie | The Wellness Scientist

Apple Cranberry Pie | The Wellness Scientist

Paleo Raspberry Crisp | The Wellness Scientist

Paleo Raspberry Crisp | The Wellness Scientist

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal | The Wellness Scientist

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal | The Wellness Scientist

Meatless Monday Recipe: Black Bean Soup

I had never cooking anything using dried beans before making this recipe. I’ve always cheated and used canned beans. Using dried beans was WAY less work than I thought it would be, and it cut out all of that excess sodium that no one needs!

Mexican food is probably my all-time favorite. I love the side of beans (black or re-fried) that comes with a meal almost as much as I love the meal itself.

Black Bean Soup

I’ve always been a fan of black bean soup, even before I stopped eating meat several years ago. Until I saw this recipe on Nutritionella’s blog, I had no idea how easy it was to whip up at home. I modified her recipe a bit to suit my tastes. Add a little fresh avocado, shredded cheese, and tortilla chips, and you’ve got yourself a winner folks!

Here’s what you’ll need.  This recipe serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole bag dried black beans (about 6 cups cooked)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Can of Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce (you’ll only need 2 or 3 of the peppers, more if you like it nice & spicy)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 small tortillas, corn or flour, thinly sliced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

 

Toppings: 

  • Tortilla strips (you can get these by the salad toppings, or just crumble up a few tortilla chips … whatever you fancy!)
  • Sliced avocado
  • Non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Shredded Mexican-blend cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedge

 

Directions

  1. In a large pot, combine dried beans and 8 cups water and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and let sit for 1 hour before draining and rinsing beans with cool water. Add beans back to pot; add all of the vegetable broth plus 1 cup of water.
  2. Bring covered pot to a boil once again, then reduce to a simmer. Cook beans until soft, about 70-75 minutes.
  3. While the beans are cooking, sauté onion, cumin, and paprika in olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent (about 8-10 minutes). Set aside.
  4. Once the beans are cooked, add the onion, chipotle peppers and Adobo sauce (as many as you like to get the spice level you prefer) and puree with immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt & pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve in a soup bowl. Squeeze a little fresh lime juice and add some or all of the toppings.

Voila!  If you aren’t serving a crowd, you can freeze the leftovers. I’m going to make some homemade cornbread with this the next time I serve it. I love me some cornbread, and I’m thinking the combination would be the business!

Do you like black bean soup? Do you prefer yours mild or spicy?

Other recipes you might like:

Meatless Monday Spicy Veggie Frittata | The Wellness Scientist

Spicy Veggie Frittata | The Wellness Scientist

Skinny Cowboy Soup | The Wellness Scientist

Skinny Cowboy Soup | The Wellness Scientist

Sweet Corn and Mango Salsa | The Wellness Scientist

Sweet Corn and Mango Salsa | The Wellness Scientist

 

Meatless Monday Recipe: Jamie Eason’s Chocolate Protein Bars

Happy Meatless Monday!  I’ve been on big baking kick lately, trying out several treats that stick to the Clean Eating rules!

I’m a big fan of grabbing a protein bar on the way out the door to enjoy as a mid-morning snack.  I literally had a standing order with Amazon Prime for my Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna Bars!

Since I’m trying to avoid dairy and eat foods without preservatives as often as possible, I’ve been making batches of protein bars in my kitchen to grab instead.  This week, I’m sharing another Jamie Eason recipe with you that is a clean treat that is also dairy-free.

Jamie Eason's Chocolate Protein Bars

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup Oat Flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill Oat Flour which you can order on Amazon at a great price! Jamie uses this brand in her recipes too!)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 scoops Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • ½ cup Truvia Baking Blend
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 8 oz berry-flavored baby food
  • 3 tbsp baking cocoa
  • 4 oz water

 

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients (oat flour, vanilla whey protein, baking soda, salt, baking cocoa, Truvia) together in a large bowl using a wisk.
3. Add wet ingredients (egg whites, baby food, water) on top of the mixed dry ingredients and stir well.
5. Spray an 8 x 8 Pyrex dish with a nonstick cooking spray and pour batter into dish.
6. Bake 30 minutes in oven.

This recipes makes 16 squares.  Serving size = 2 bars.

Clean Eating Brownies

Nutritional info for one serving (2 bars): Calories 96; Fat 1.4 grams; Total Carbs 12 grams; Protein 10 grams

 

 

Meatless Monday Recipe: Grilled Polenta and Balsamic Mushrooms

 

It’s been more than six months since the last Whole Living issue hit my mailbox, but MAN do I still miss it 🙁  I SO looked forward to diving into that magazine.  Luckily, the wholeliving.com website is still up and running, and to honor my feelings of nostalgia I decided to pull today’s Meatless Monday recipe from the Whole Living archives.

Courtesy of wholeliving.com  PHOTO: MARCUS NILSSON

Courtesy of wholeliving.com PHOTO: MARCUS NILSSON

Today, I’m featuring Grilled Polenta and Balsamic Mushrooms from Whole Living magazine’s website.  The notes actually say this was originally from Martha Stewart Living, October 2007.  It looks delicious!  It cooks up quickly, but give yourself an hour to let the mushrooms marinate.  Here is what you’ll need to make 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 6 portobello mushrooms (about 1 pound), stems and caps separated, halved if very large
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 12 pieces set polenta cut into 1-inch-thick rectangles or triangles
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 8 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved

Directions:

Toss portobellos with garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, vinegar, and 1/4 cup oil in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally, for 1 hour.

Transfer portobellos to a plate. Pour marinade into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute. Add stock. Raise heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in remaining tablespoon oil, and remove from heat.

Preheat grill to medium-high. (If you are using a charcoal grill, coals are ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill for just 3 to 4 seconds.) Lightly brush top and bottom of polenta with oil, and place in center of grill. Cook, flipping once, until polenta is marked, crisp, and no longer sticks to grill, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Meanwhile, place portobellos on cooler part of grill, and cook, turning frequently to avoid burning, until tender, about 10 minutes.

Place arugula on a platter, and arrange polenta and portobellos on top. Drizzle about half the sauce over portobellos. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve immediately with extra sauce on the side.

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Other Meatless Monday recipes you’ll love:

Gluten-Free Tomato Basil Pizza

Meatless Monday Recipe: Tomato-Basil Pizza with Gluten-Free Crust

Spicy Veggie Frittata

Spicy Veggie Frittata

Meatless Monday Recipe: Spicy Veggie Frittata

Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

Meatless Monday Recipe: Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

 

Meatless Monday Recipe: Southwestern Cheddar Steak Fries

Happy 1st of July!  In my opinion, no burger (veggie or otherwise) is complete without a side of fries!  I consider myself a french fry connoisseur — try them wherever I go!  These fabulous fries were featured in the June 2013 issue of Clean Eating magazine.  While you are grilling this 4th of July, try cooking up a batch of these as well (hint: total time is less than 30 minutes!)

Oh, and they are only 154 calories per serving!  Can’t beat that!

Photo by Edward Pond - courtesy of Clean Eating Magazine

Photo by Edward Pond – courtesy of Clean Eating Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb red or Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 oz finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

How to Prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Place potatoes on baking sheet, drizzle evenly with oil and toss to coat lightly. In a small bowl, combine paprika, cumin and garlic powder. Sprinkle paprika mixture evenly over both sides of potatoes, then arrange potatoes in a single layer. Bake in center of oven for 10 minutes, then flip and stir, and bake for 7 minutes or until lightly golden and tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with salt, cheese and pepper. Bake for 2 minutes more or until cheese has melted slightly. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately for peak flavor.

Nutrients per serving (2/3 cup serving cheddar steak fries): Calories: 154, Total Fat: 5 g, Sat. Fat: 1.5 g, Carbs: 22 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 0.5 g, Protein: 5 g, Sodium: 187 mg, Cholesterol: 5 mg

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Meatless Monday Recipe: Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Looking for some Meatless Main Dishes for dinner tonight or for your upcoming 4th of July festivities?  Look no further than these savory Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms.

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

Yield: 4 stuffed mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms
  • Ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces kale, roughly chopped
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat white cheddar cheese
  • Canola-oil cooking spray

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 375F.

2)  Remove stems & inside gils of the portobello mushrooms.  Spray inside of a glass/Pyrex dish large enough to hold all four portobellos (a 9 x 9 square pan should work).  Place the mushrooms inside the dish and brush insides of the with olive oil.

3)  Add kale, shredded cheese, and then tomatoes to each of the mushroom caps.  Splash a little extra olive oil on top of each.  Don’t be afraid to pile on the toppings — they will reduce down while cooking.  Splash a little balsamic vinegar on top of each, then season freshly ground black pepper.

4)  Bake in the preheated oven until mushrooms are cooked through and cheese bubbles, about 25-30 minutes.  Serve immediately.

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Do you have a favorite vegetarian recipe? Tell me about it below, and you may be featured on our blog!