Happy gorgeous fall! I hope its been as warm and colorful where you are as its been here in southern Vermont. Here is a photo I took on my walk earlier. Isn't the color amazing?
Food prep and soup....
I decided to write this quick post about food prep because one of my practitioners recently changed up my eating to correct some recent health imbalances and bolster my immune system (after months of feeling good a bit of a flare up occurred; things are fortunately smoothing out though). No raw vegetables, no caffeine, minimal to no meat, and a few random vegetables are off the table. This in addition to my usual anti-inflammatory diet of no wheat, dairy, and sugar. While I wasn't wanting salads and smoothies as often by the end of the summer and all in all this isn’t too drastic, it was a change and I was finding I didn't have anything to eat from one meal to the next.
Alas, the simple yet profound health tool called food preparation. Do you prepare food in advance for the week or days ahead? You should! My clients do this and I do this (you learn quickly what a difference some planning ahead can make), but I needed to be doing this with the foods that I can consume now.
Preparing a few healthy foods on a Sunday can make or break your healthy eating goals for the week whether it be a bag of washed greens, a bowl of cut up fruit, a container of chia seed pudding, or some hard boiled eggs. I always recommend preparing some nutrient dense vegetables and a grain because its a huge time saver, guarantees that healthy food will be fast, and it just makes life easier. Hello less stress! Roasting or steaming vegetables and cooking grains such as brown rice or quinoa takes time that you may not have when arriving home from work or activities or when you need to get out the door quickly in the morning. For example, having cooked quinoa on hand means apple cinnamon quinoa “oatmeal” is available for breakfast, greens with some quinoa and roasted squash is available for lunch, or vegetable soup with some added quinoa for protein is ready for dinner.
So plan ahead with me people so you can cook once and eat multiple times while sticking to your healthy eating regimen. And in the vein of food preparation, here is a recipe for the easiest yet delicious squash soup. A mere three ingredients and you will be sipping on some flavorful fall goodness.
Caramelized Squash Soup
1 Butternut squash or two halves already peeled
3 cups organic chicken broth
4 tablespoons gluten free rolled oats
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Peel and cut your squash into small one inch cubes, place on your baking sheet. Lightly spray your squash cubes with olive oil, season with some sea salt, and roast until tender (about 35-40 minutes depending on the size of your squash chunks), turning once so all sides get nice and brown. Put your cooked squash into a large pot and add the chicken broth and oats (oats make the soup silky as opposed to just a puree). Drop in an immersion blender or pour into a stand blender if you don't have one, and puree until smooth. Add more chicken broth if its too thick and season with salt and pepper to taste. I like to garnish mine with paprika but cinnamon, toasted pumpkin seeds, fresh thyme, or chopped cashews would be nice too.
P.S. If you don't have a handheld immersion blender I am recommending you treat yourself to one; so much easier than pouring hot ingredients into a blender in batches.