Squash Soup


My husband has been craving pumpkin soup and since I can’t find pumpkin I decided to try a squash soup and see how it goes. I’m on a low-fat diet (per doctor’s orders) and I searched for a recipe to guide me on the Spark Recipes app on my phone. I roasted two chicken breast halves, with the bone, to shred and mix in. My soup came out a little sweet and the chicken but the chicken mellowed it out to the perfect flavor. This is what I came up with:

Squash Soup

Ingredients:

1 large squash

1 med sweet potato

2 granny smith apples

4 inches of ginger

1 med onion

4 cups low fat chicken stock

1 tbsp butter

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

Method:

Cut onion into eighths and cook it in the butter until it starts to turn a little brown. Add chicken stock, squash, ginger and sweet potato and cook on a med heat, stirring occasionally. When squash and potatoes are cooked, but not falling apart, add apples, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook until apples are soft. Puree in blender and enjoy :).

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As I said, mine came out a little sweet. You can replace the sweet potatoes for regular potatoes if you want or use one apple instead of two. I was just having fun with this recipe and I’m going to continue to try different ingredients with it. Since Fall/Winter is coming, I’ll definitely post any good soup recipes that I’ve experimented with that work.

Squash soup

xx

Hooray for Ginger!


A few weeks ago, my dad sent me a power point presentation on ginger and it’s properties. When I was younger he’d often push for me to drink ginger tea when I wasn’t feeling well but it was always so strong that I didn’t want to go near it. But after reading this presentation and being “older and wiser” I decided to give ginger a shot in the best way I knew I could take it – my food. On a trip to Whole Foods market for some other stuff (*see side note) I bought some ginger and it sat in the fridge a few days before I actually used it. I decided to try it with some chicken first. I cut a small piece, probably, 1 inch in diameter and a half inch in thickness. I grated this, added soy sauce, garlic and black pepper to the chicken and let it marinate for an hour. When I was ready to cook it, I heated 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of sugar, put in the chicken and browned it. Added a few seasonings, a little more sugar and let it get sticky. BEST CHICKEN EVARRRR!! I was quite surprised that the ginger wasn’t overwhelming but there was just a hint of it there; not overpowering. This has encouraged me to try it in other meals but also to know to start with a little, and as I become more comfortable with it, to know if to add more or less to a meal to get a desired taste. When trying something new, start with a small portion and familiarize yourself with the product.

*As my personal training sessions were all about weight training, I tried to focus more on meat for my breakfast as I didn’t want to get full on bread, and egg and I aren’t friends more than 2 days a week. So on the advice of my trainer, I went to Whole Foods to purchase some fresh sausage (less sodium and preservatives) from the deli there to spice up my breakfast, and while I was there I remembered GINGER!!

 

Here are a few pointers from the presentation. I hope you start using ginger as well and appreciate it’s properties.

  • Ginger contains anti-viral, anti-toxic, and anti-fungal properties, and is used for the prevention of and treatment against the common cold. The warming effects make it a natural decongestant as well as an antihistamine, making it the perfect remedy for colds.
  • Ginger acts as an antihistamine and aids in the treatment of allergies.
  • Ginger contains special enzymes responsible for catalyzing the proteins in your food, thus aiding in digestion and the prevention of cramps.
  • Good for those with constipation!
  • The ancient Greeks used to eat ginger after a large meal, in order to ease the digestion process.
  • Chewing on fresh ginger, can help freshen the breath.
  • Being a warming herb, ginger can help knock out a fever. This property also makes it effective in stimulating circulation of the blood.
  • It can also help relax muscles around the blood vessels and is said to help prevent blood clots from forming.
  • Some studies show that it can even help inhibit the replication of the herpes simplex virus.
  • To discover the health benefits of ginger for yourself, simply make a tea by steeping about 5 slices of ginger in hot water.
  • Ginger doesn’t only spice up your food it can also help to put some extra spice in your intimate life too. It improves blood flow to your sexual organs, and contains Vitamin C, zinc and magnesium.

There are plenty of other great qualities in ginger, and it’s not limited to being used as tea or in food. So go out and educate yourself more on this wonderful root/herb and find the best way you’d like to incorporate it into your daily diet.