Monday, January 16, 2012

Roasted Potatoes, Butternut Squash Soup and Three Novels: January's Off to a Delicious Start

Believe it or not, I tried new recipes last week, I just somehow got lost between a great trip to a new Whole Foods and the Patriots game on Saturday (go Pats!!) I've also read two great young adult novels and one adult novel!  

Butternut Squash Soup
Okay, this recipe isn't new, but I did vary it a bit by adding an onion and additional veggie stock, so it counts

1 butternut squash, cubed
1 small onion of your choice
1 tbs olive oil 
1 tbs earth balance
1 apple, sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
Approximately 2 cups vegetable stock

I recently started buying the butternut squash that's already peeled and cut in half.  It saves about fifteen minutes of preparation time and that's worth it to me.  Start by heating the olive oil and earth balance in a large pot on medium low heat while you're slicing your onion.  Once the EB is melted, add the onions and stir them to coat.  While they're cooking away, cut up the squash and add it to the pot.  Slice, but don't peel, the apple and add it to the pot.  Cover the mixture with vegetable stock.  I used an entire container last time.  Just be careful that you're buying gluten free veggie stock.  It's surprising how many brands have wheat in them.  

Bring the mixture up to a boil, and add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and pepper.  Feel free to adjust the measurements according to your tastes.  I like my butternut squash soup to be a bit sweet, so I take it easy on the savory ingredients.  In fact, this time was the first time I used an entire onion, I used to just use half a shallot.  

Once it's boiling, bring it down to a simmer, and cover for about twenty minutes.  Your soup is done when the squash is super tender.  I removed the cover and let it simmer another twenty minutes.  Carefully remove the peels from the apples.  Beware-they're hot!

I use an immersion blender to combine it all, but if you don't have one, use your blender or food processor to turn your soup into a smooth delight.  Just be sure you're careful as hot liquids in blenders can sometimes cause accidents.


Roasted Potatoes 
If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be the potato.  The French Fry, to me, is the potato perfected.  I consider myself a French Fry connoisseur.  (Faves include, the Blues BBQ Co. in Roanoke, VA, Ray's Fries at The Woodstock Fair, the chunky fries at Ronnie's in Oxford, or is it Auburn? MA, and the fries at 85 Main in Putnam, CT).  Anyway, I love potatoes.  I roast them all the time, but never like I did last week, so they count as a new recipe, too!

Preheat oven to 500 degrees
4 potatoes of your choice (I used red, but I love Yukon Golds, too!)
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. dried chives
1 tsp. sea salt (or Kosher, or Pink, or whatever salt you love)
1/2 tsp. pepper

Wash and prepare, but don't peel, your potatoes.  Cut them into wedges.  I went with medium sized wedges and loved them a lot. 

Place cut potatoes in a bowl.  Add oil, chives, salt and pepper.  Toss to totally coat.

Spray cookie sheet (the kind with sides!) with a non-stick oil spray and pour potatoes on pan.  Arrange evenly and place in hot oven.  Set timer for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, remove pan, turn potatoes with fork or spatula carefully and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Remove carefully and enjoy!  I topped mine with a tsp of vegan sour cream.  Yum!

Just finished GF Lava Cakes and Coconut Cupcakes

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