Monday, October 31, 2011

Meatless Monday... Ghouly Butternut Squash Soup and Halloween Sweet Potatoes

First of all, Happy Halloweeen!!!  This is one of my favorite holidays so you know I am dressing up at work and having a ball all day!  So you may be asking yourself... what is a Halloween Sweet Potato, to tell you the truth I made it up after I created my recipe for today.  I named it because the ingredients themselves are the traditional colors of Halloween (black and orange).  This sweet potato is dressed with black beans and lots of spices for a protein packed vegetarian meal.  I paired it with a butternut squash soup, because let's face it... there's nothing better than butternut squash soup on an autumn day... better yet, on Halloween!

The soup is sweet and creamy, with hints of cinnamon and apples, perfect for a cold day!  Instead of using half and half or heavy cream to make it creamy... I used almond milk and it had this unique nutty flavor to it.  I topped the soup with some freshly toasted squash seeds and some dried cranberries to give it a little crunch and to increase the protein and fat content!

There are a variety of winter Squash, Butternut being one of the sweeter varities is perfect as a carbohydrate for a meal.  Instead of pasta or rice with your dinner, reach for squash!  They are packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber.  Did I mention that they are one of the best sources of caretenoids (recognized for its cancer fighting ability).  1 cup contains about 80 calories.

Squash Seeds?  Yes you can toast squash seeds the same as you would pumpkin seeds!  They make for a healthy snack or a crunchy topping for casseroles, soups, and salads! 

Halloween Sweet Potato
Serves 4

4 small sweet potatoes
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups of black beans
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 350.  Bake sweet potatoes for 1 hour.  In a small saucepan combine remaining ingredients and heat over medium heat for 15 minutes.  Cut a slit in the sweet potato and fill with 1/4 cup of black beans.  Enjoy! 

Dinner In a Hurry? Instead of baking the sweet potato, poke holes in the outside and place on a microwave safe plate for 6 minutes per potato. 

Nutrition Facts: 1 small potato with 1/2 cup beans
~215 calories, 42 g carbohydrates, 11 g protein, 1 g fat, 11 g fiber

Autumn Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 6

2 pounds of butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 tsp canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup almond, coconut, or soy milk
1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries

 In a large pan heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and the squash and cook for 5 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth and the garlic, ginger, and cinnamon. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until the squash is fairly soft.  Place mixture in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Pour back into the pan and combine the remaining vegetable broth and milk of choice. Serve warm and top with craisins and roasted pumpkin seeds. 

Nutrition Facts: 1 cup of soup
100 calories, 17 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 4 g fiber, 76 mg sodium

No comments:

Post a Comment