The Soup of Any Squash Lovers Dreams

Recently I went to a beautiful wedding outside of Austin Texas. The venue, the decor, and the ridiculously phenomenal rehearsal dinner food will not soon be forgotten. One item in particular, the squash and ginger soup in adorable Moroccan shot glasses, has stuck with me since the event. The weather is turning colder and getting darker earlier here in Ohio so what better time than now to try to recreate this soup?

I looked all over Google and Pinterest for inspiration and found plenty of great looking recipes that only addressed one squash, or squash and apple or pear or carrot. So, I took the general idea of these recipes and made the most squash-tastic soup of my wildest dreams. I figured if people are making seis leches cakes then I can up the game as well and make four squash soup (five if you include pumpkin seeds). Roasting the squash before adding them to the soup makes them incredibly creamy and really caramelizes the flavors. I tried to keep this recipe as user friendly as possible. Besides using a giant knife to cut open the squash initially, which is really just amazing stress relief, there are no more knife skills needed. If you want to you can even buy pre-minced garlic and ginger. Easy peasy for those nights you want something healthy and packed with flavor. This is largely a set and forget recipe. It is in the oven for 30 minutes and then on the stove top for 20. If you play your cards right that is either one or two Netflix episodes.

I used the spaghetti squash as noodles which added a fun twist but if you aren’t feeling that, go ahead and add them near the end and blend with the other squash. I did not have sage on hand but if you do this would be an awesome addition as well. Just a handful pulled apart and added in when you add the thyme. Finally and unfortunately, I dug in so quickly after adding the pumpkin seeds on top that I did not get a proper photo. My pumpkin seeds were  pre-made from Trader Joe’s but if you have time I would definitely suggest roasting your own.

I cannot wait for you to try this soup and I hope you enjoy it!

Autumn Squash and Ginger Soup

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 50m
  • Total Time: 1h
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 delicata squash
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 4 cups veggie stock
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
  • 2 knobs ginger (grated)
  • 1 bag pre-cut butternut squash
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 acorn squash
  • optional topping, pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and lightly drizzle a bit of olive oil. Spread out cut side down on a sprayed baking sheet
  3. Bake for 30 minutes. Once done, take out of oven and let cool a few minutes until you can handle them. Scoop out the insides of the squash except for the spaghetti squash.
  4. Add olive oil to a large pot. Over medium high heat let garlic simmer until fragrant. Add scooped out squash and butternut squash, veggie stock, minced ginger (and a small piece of one of the knobs of ginger), thyme, turmeric, and cinnamon. Turn down heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. While the soup is simmering use a fork to make "noodles" out of the remaining spaghetti squash. After the soup has simmered for 20 minutes use an immersion blender or small batches at a time in a large blender to make soup smooth and creamy. (If you are going to use small batches in a large blender go slow there is a chance of explosion because of heat build up).
  6. Once blended to your liking divide the spaghetti squash into bowls and then ladle the soup mix on top. Top with a bit of salt and pepper and pumpkin seeds.
  7. Enjoy!

-Katie

Transitioning Stress Free Into The Holiday Season

I cannot believe all of the support I felt last night. It was truly an amazing entrance into the world of public speaking about a topic that I am passionate. It was great to see so many familiar faces in the crowd and meet some amazing new people!

The weekend and week leading up to last night has been completely devoted to the event. It is because of this that I wanted to keep dinners light and easy. The kind you can carry around and eat both hot and cold while doing ten other things. With the temperature plummeting outside this included a lot of pasta dishes. So today, I wanted to create a riff on pasta with the same great tastes but not so many carbs.

I guess I should also address the fact that I have this incredible garlic spread from TJ’s in my fridge. I stare at it lovingly whenever I open the fridge door and I try to add it to anything I can. The recipe would come from low carb garlicky roots and man oh man it did not disappoint. I used spaghetti squash lightly coated in the spread and topped with roasted red pepper bruschetta, capers, and fresh basil. The tangy, earthy, flavors worked so well together. This and the incredible brownie sundae I had after the event last night may be my best celebratory food to date.

Garlicky Mediterranean Inspired Spaghetti Squash

tangy, comforting goodness perfect for a low carb chilly evening

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Cook Time: 40m
  • Total Time: 45m
  • Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic Spread from Trader Joe's
  • 2 tablespoons Roasted Red Pepper (or red pepper bruschetta)
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 handful fresh basil lightly shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cut Spaghetti Squash in half lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil and add a bit of salt and pepper
  3. Place squash cut side down on a sprayed baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a fork goes through the back of the squash easily.
  4. Let the squash cool until you can handle it with your hands. Shred the inside of the squash with a fork to make the spaghetti and throw into medium size bowl.
  5. Combine with all other ingredients and mix well. Optional: add a bit of lemon juice and/or your favorite cheese to give it that extra something.
  6. Enjoy!

What is your favorite comforting dish when the weather starts to get colder?

-Katie

The One With All The Miso

In another episode of What I Ate Wednesday we explore the in’s and out’s of my typical Macrobiotic day. In the mornings I have been alternating between smoothies and this amazing whole grain wrap. The wrap has a garlic spread, smashed avocado, lox, spinach, and an egg.

One of the keys to a Macrobiotic diet is embracing miso. It is so good for your overall health and actually incredibly versatile. I started with the soup in a jar last week with red miso and this week experimented with miso/ginger broth from Trader Joes. The broth makes an excellent base for veggies and tofu. Depending on how much you add it can either be an excellent snack or a nice filling meal. I’ve gone a bit seaweed crazy, a phrase I never thought I would hear myself say, but the first day I put way to much in. There is such a thing as too much seaweed. This recipe fully embraces the “whatever floats your boat” lifestyle. I added some shaved carrots, edamame, mushrooms, a small handful of arame seaweed, and sriracha tofu (pre-made from TJ’s). I just heated it all together over medium high heat for about ten minutes.

While I try to incorporate more grains into my diet I am also fully embracing this beautiful Fall weather we have been having. I am having a field day with squash and this is absolutely the year of the Delicata! This recipe is one of my new Fall favorites. It hits every one of your tastebuds with all encompassing goodness. Feta cheese is not part of the Macrobiotic diet but would be PHENOMENAL in this.

Delicata Squash with Brown Rice Salad

So healthy and warming. This recipe will become an instant fan favorite

  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Cook Time: 25m
  • Total Time: 30m

Ingredients

  • 1 Delicata Squash
  • 2 cups brown rice cooked according to package (frozen in bags is fine too)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 handful chopped sage
  • 1/3 (optional) crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Cut squash length wise and discard the seeds inside. Cut into half inch pieces and spread out on sprayed baking sheet. drizzle with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper.
  3. Bake squash for 20-30 minutes
  4. While squash is baking cook rice according to package.
  5. After rice is cooked, while still warm mix in all of the other ingredients
  6. When squash is done split the rice and the squash among two plates and enjoy!

Are you as squash obsessed as I am? If so, what are some of your favorite Fall squash recipes?

-Katie

The Cleanse Diaries

This week I decided to do a juice cleanse to really get my body back on track. I am on my way back with the macrobiotic diet but I still have some nagging side effects from diets past that I wanted to flush out once and for all. I have had so many people ask me about cleanses, why I do them, how I feel during them, and the results that I decided to keep a daily diary. So here is goes:

Sunday: The night before the cleanse I am excited and hydrated.

Monday: I woke up STARVING. This is so rare for me and I took it as a cosmic joke that I couldn’t eat my normal avocado toast or eggs and potatoes for breakfast. I was officially cleansing, outlook gloomy. That is until I started drinking the juice. They are so flavorful and really fill you up. I tried to drink one then drink water for two hours then drink another. Near the end of my work day this broke down to just drink the juice because I wanted to make sure I had enough nutrients in me for the barre class I had that night. I absolutely did and got to celebrate with the fabulous “dessert” juice and a well deserved self care Monday bath.

Tuesday: Ok I have tasted the juice I know what I am in for. That is both good and bad. Today the first juice tastes more sugary to me. The plus side is I don’t have anything on the schedule tonight so I can relax and go to bed early. What keeps me going is the dessert juice. I skipped these on my first cleanse because I was actually just too full but oh my goodness I will never do that again. What I am not looking forward to is the beet juice. This is something that haunts most cleanses I have done. I adore beets, but prefer them sliced with cheese and nuts not juiced. Con of the today, it feels like there is a weird coating on my teeth and tongue. Pro of today, I don’t feel the overwhelming urge the bite something yet.

Wednesday: If you are thinking about working out during your cleanse think carefully. I did a barre workout day one that was really great but this morning I did hot yoga sculpt at that was a little dicier. It felt great and I had the energy for most of it but got a bit dizzy throughout and have quite the headache. I think on future cleanses I will take part in workouts that are not strenuous. Additionally, during this cleanse I have tried to go to bed earlier than usual. I am not sure if it is this or the cleanse but I have been waking up throughout the night and popping out of bed at 6 am meaning by 2 I am so tired. Otherwise, juices still taste good and I am not hungry outside of the juice.

Thursday: The final day has come! I woke up this morning with a little headache remaining. I am actually really surprised I don’t have the overwhelming urge to chew something that I have experienced on previous cleanses. I do have to alter my cleanse a bit today because I have an event tonight. I opted for a smoothie and a hard boiled egg in addition to my juice. This cleanse overall has been really good for me. Taking it slow for a few days really diving into self care and cleaning out my body. I think 3 day cleanses are my ideal but four hasn’t been too bad.

Guidelines for future cleanses: Hydration is key: Don’t skimp on the water while preparing for or during the cleanse. Pinterest is the enemy: I say this lovingly as I am Pinterest obsessed but looking at food while you are drinking your nutrients for 3-4 days is unnatural torture. Finally, on this cleanse I also gave up caffeine which I had inadvertently been ramping up recently. I think the cleanse and the caffeine detox are both contributing to my headache so maybe tackle one at a time.

I hope you enjoyed the cleanse diaries. Let me know if you have any questions or if you have experienced some of the same things while cleansing!

-Katie

The Simple Weekday Lunch You Will Love

You know those weeks where you have just the right amount of left over food that doesn’t seem to go together but you feel bad just throwing away? Make soup!

This week I had carrots, bell peppers, basil, and cilantro left over from meal prep. To me these ingredients generally point towards Thai food so I went to the store and bought rice noodles and soba noodles, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and baked sesame tofu. Pre-baked tofu is amazing. It lasts well in this recipe, it already tastes great, a general win. Now the questions was, a big production of soup cooking for hours or a quick to-go lunch option I could have all week? Can you guess which way I went?

SOUP IN A JAR…sweeping meal prep stations near you. I used three pint sized mason jars. I cooked the noodles to al dente and placing them in the bottom of the jars and put my seasoning on top. I used 1 tbsp in each jar of thai curry paste, Sambal Oelek (Ground Fresh Chili Paste), miso, and soy sauce. I also used a half a tbsp sriracha. These can be varied depending on how spicy you want your soup. My soup turned out with amazing flavor but not too spicy. I then added a handful of my diced bell peppers, mushrooms, diced tofu, and matchstick carrots. I threw in a decent helping of the mixed herbs and topped the whole jar with coconut cream. It was extremely full but so pretty and so portable.

When it got close to lunch time I removed the jars from the fridge to let them get closer to room temperature. I then filled the jar with boiling water, put the top back on and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. When I opened the jar again the coconut cream was infused and all I had to do was make sure the pastes and sauces were completely mixed in and then enjoy! I cannot put in to words how much I enjoyed these amazing and super easy and healthy lunches. I cannot wait to continue to experiment with new types of soups in the coming cold months.

Have you tried soup in a jar? If so, what is your favorite recipe?

-Katie

 

The Extroverted Introvert’s Guide to a Busy Month

September, what can I say you were a blur.

You began and ended with a bang. You provided heartwarming reunions, new experiences and memories, lots of football, and even more food. While I am overjoyed you happened I am also happy to see you go.

I am an extroverted introvert. This means I have a certain amount of energy I am able to use on social situations. When this energy is high I am making plans, going out, meeting new people, and loving it. Suddenly, I hit a wall and while I have enjoyed these events I need to go home, unplug, and recharge. I also prefer one on one or small group activities to large groups and deep conversation vs. small talk.

Coming to terms with this in recent years and meeting myself where I am in the moment has been quite the journey. Yet, I have come out the other side with a few tips and tricks to Extroverted Introvert survival!

  1. When you are feeling more introverted avoid social media. Social media creates FOMO (fear of missing out) and can make you feel like you should be out doing something rather than treating yourself and recharging your batteries.
  2. Treat Yourself. Don’t be afraid to unplug for a day or two. My ideal Sunday Funday may include Netflix and avoiding the outside world. After being “on” all week and weekend it is ok to retreat into your most comfortable space, make an awesome meal, watch your favorite series or read your favorite book, and totally feed your soul.
  3. Don’t Feel Bad Saying No. This was maybe my toughest step to get over. I was, and still kind of am, a people pleasing yes woman. I hate feeling like I am disappointing people even if that overbooks me or takes time away from my essential weekly reset. I realized that people get it. Especially if you don’t just say no but reschedule for a time that works better for you.
  4. If Needed Schedule Your Reset. When I first dabbled in self care I was really caught up in the third step and what helped me was scheduling my chill time. This made me value it as much as the other meetings and obligations during the week. Gradually, the need to schedule this time fades as you realize how amazing you feel and what you bring to the table after a day unplugged and totally for yourself.

This month with so many engagements both during the week and on the weekend and starting my own business my tips have been tested over and over again. I love being busy but it also makes me truly value my recharge time.

I hope these tips help you if you are an extroverted introvert or help you better understand a friend or loved one who is.

-Katie

A Day In The Life: Macrobiotic Diet

Happy Almost Weekend and first day of FALL!!!!

September has flown by I can’t believe it. This is the first whole week I have been home. Normally, this would mean recipe testing but I received a really fun surprise at the end of last week, a tasting menu of the new Hungryroot food!

I have enjoyed Hungryroot products previously and completely forgot I ordered some of their new snacks and meals a few weeks ago. This week I have something every night so these quick, healthy, veggie-based meals are amazingly helpful. I have also moved into my Macrobiotic month. Not to be confused with counting Macros, the Macrobiotic diet is actually an all encompassing lifestyle. It focuses on the yin/yang in food, whole grains, organic vegetables, and sea vegetables! Meat is allowed but should be enjoyed occasionally. I have been really excited to get to Macrobiotic. I am hoping it will serve me well pre-holiday.

Yesterday being a particularly long and busy day I planned ahead. This weekend I made these Vegan Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins so I could enjoy them for breakfasts or snacks. I was lazy and did not melt coconut oil with the flaxseed, cook my oats, and I was missing chocolate chips. I used slightly more milk (coconut/almond milk) and substituted chopped walnuts for the chocolate chips. THESE ARE AMAZING. Incredibly moist and full of fall flavor. 10/10 would make again and probably will this weekend.

For lunch I used some of the Southwest Chicken I meal prepped this weekend. Chicken Thighs with Chili-Lime seasoning from Trader Joe’s and fresh lime juice squeezed on top with a black bean/corn mixture on the side. I put this all over brown rice cooked in veggie stock and threw in avocado and tomato salsa for good measure. Taco Thursday anyone?

Dinner was quick and easy with the red pepper quinoa and chopped veggies from Hungryroot. It was done in 10 minutes.

Getting back to the recipe testing next week and diving into this new diet choice 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

-Katie

 

Eating Through Charleston, SC. in Two Days

Happy Monday!

I just got back from the most wonderful mini trip to Charleston, SC. I have been going to Charleston since I can remember with my family. It is by far my favorite city in the world. This visit I had the opportunity to play tour guide to my best friend.

I tested my, albeit poor, navigational skills and took her to most of my favorite spots. Unfortunately, as we rolled into the city they were preparing for Hurricane Irma. The weather was gorgeous, the streets were clear, and about 70% of the shops were closed. However, the restaurants were open so we had a field day.

Thursday night we went to Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island. This is a pretty recent find for me but somewhere I always try to make it back to. I first fell in love with their Old Danger Pizza (with an egg on top) during my last visit and this time sat at the bar and had a bunch of small plates. Their drinks, their staff, their atmosphere are all perfect. Their food is unreal. Honestly, go hungry and with a group so you can try a little of everything. Between the two of  us we had oysters, griddled octopus, and brussels sprouts and farro small plates. I don’t think I can pick a favorite.

Friday, we started our morning at Hominy Grill. This was a new place for me but I have always heard good things. I have a thing with floors and the entrance tile in this place did not disappoint. They also have the iconic “Grits Are Good For You” poster painted on the outside of the restaurant so you know you’re in for something fun. Great food and great portions. After an extended walking tour of the city and some shopping we decided to test our luck at Husk.

We had reservations for Sunday night originally but we were not sure we were staying that long with the impending storm or if anything would be open. Husk has been on my bucket list for years. Call me a foodie fangirl I am totally ok with that but I have never been able to get in. Being the cautiously optimistic girl I am I was THRILLED when the hostess said “Two? Sure, would you like to sit on the patio upstairs?” Why yes, my new favorite lady, I would love to sit on the patio. I have found as I have aged that my emotions are ridiculous. Super happy, extremely mad or frustrated? I’m tearing up and let me tell you people it was a close call. I was sitting in my seat trying to act normal while the waiter walked us through the menu and mercifully handed me a glass of rose. Their menu changes daily but there are some staple items. We had the pig ear lettuce wraps, pork rillette toast with red pepper and grain mustard, and then the amazing fried chicken with a bean salad. Just. Mindblowingly. Amazing.

Friday night we went to The Macintosh for happy hour. I mention this because they have amazing food as well but even above that the people that work there are the best. Every single one I have interacted with was so nice, energetic, and seemed like they loved what they did. Following drinks we went to The Darling Oyster Bar. I cannot tell you how I was eating at this point but the place was adorable and we got an absurd amount of small plates. We consumed a variety of oysters, seriously tasty hush puppies, insanely good creole shrimp, and snapper ceviche. You would think these wouldn’t go well together but they took on this insane umame flavor and it was delightful. After the small plates our waitress asked if we wanted to look at dessert and we thought, at this point why not? So we ordered these beignet type mini doughtnuts with peach preserves and lemon compote. When you go to the Darling, order the doughnuts.

The end to our foodie adventure and abbreviated trip was Poogan’s Porch for Saturday brunch. The music was on point and the food was even better. I had the pimento cheese BLT with a fried egg. It was accompanied by home fries cooked in duck fat. A pretty excellent way to end the Charleston portion of our vacation. While in the city we also perused some breweries. I am not a huge beer fan but my friend is and it is always fun to find new ways to enjoy a city.

I had an amazing falafel sandwich at Holy City which was the perfect meal after a 5 hour car ride. Revelry Brewing had the coolest set up with an awesome rooftop. Westbrook had my favorite beer. Westbrook had such a great variety, the people were super nice and knowledgeable, and the patrons were welcoming and excited to be there as well. We hit the first two Thursday and the second Friday and the crowds at both were perfect during these times.

I could go on forever about insane, must see and go-to places in Charleston but I will save the rest for another post. Let me know if you have been to any of these or your favorite Charleston food destination.

-Katie

The One With The Meal Prep Pilot

Happy first day of Fall!!!

Ok, I know it isn’t really the first day but it sure feels like it :). Football started and the weather is chilly. Bring on the soups, warm chai teas, pumpkin everything, and sweaters.

But first, meal prep. This weekend I took the first step toward my business and meal prepped for five people. It was amazing. I cannot express how much I love finding or creating recipes and then giving them to some of my favorite testers. This was definitely a learning experience but I am excited to be moving forward finally with something I have wanted to do for a while. I made a few of my favorite staples including Citrus Salmon with Arugula and Crispy Potatoes. This recipe is not only meal prep gold, because it tastes equally as amazing after a day or two, but it is also the perfect way to end my Pescatarian month.

I think citrus and fish work so well together and these small, colorful crispy potatoes compliment the fresh, flaky, fish perfectly. I added roasted asparagus to this as well. Recipe to come.

Citrus Salmon with Crispy Potatoes

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 1h 5m
  • Total Time: 1h 15m
  • Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 filets salmon
  • 2 lemons thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 pound mixed petite potatoes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Spray an oven safe sheet pan and add salmon.
  3. Lightly drizzle filets with olive oil, a little less than 1 tbsp, and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  4. Spread lemon slices over filets and put in oven
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until filets are cooked through (opaque) and flaky.
  6. Squeeze the remaining lemon juice over the lemon and set aside.
  7. Up oven to 425 degrees
  8. Quarter the potatoes and lay them out on a baking sheet
  9. Toss with remaining olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Cook for 35-45 minutes, flipping halfway, until soft all the way through.
  11. Let the potatoes cool a bit then add to the salmon to store.
  12. Enjoy!

Let me know if you try this recipe!

-Katie

The Skeptical Girls Quest For The Third Eye

When you think of Meditation what comes to mind?

That amazing couple of minutes in shavasana after a yoga or pilates practice?

The relaxed and refreshed feeling after a guided or self led session?

Or do you feel anxious and more A.D.D. with the idea of sitting in one place for a set period of time exploring your mind?

I am more in the latter group. I know you may be thinking, “but wait you’re a Health Coach you should be super zen!” I am sorry to expose the lady behind the curtain but that just is not me, at least not until recently. I had always assumed, even with so much evidence to the contrary, that I would not be able to sit through a meditation session. I assumed I would feel antsy or stupid and would not be able to fully let go and just “be” for a period of time. I have heard endless pro-meditation stories about how with practice you can reach places in your mind and another level of yourself you never realized. While I was skeptical I am always up for trying something new so this month I accepted the challenge.

I decided I needed a guided meditation to start. I chose Headspace and I am so glad I did. First of all it is an incredibly user-friendly app with the most calming voice I have ever heard that encourages and directs you without lulling you to sleep. It also teaches you why and how to meditate. It is also short 3-5 minute sessions to start so before you can even begin to think about something else you are done!

The first week I was dedicated. I meditated at the same time Mon-Fri. Then the weekend hit and I slacked off. Leading into the following week I found myself feeling guilty for skipping sessions and feeling like it was a chore or something I just needed to accomplish. To me, having something I do just to check it off the list is not something sustainable and I will eventually stop doing it. I did not want meditation to fall into this bucket. Therefore, I moved to practicing before meetings I needed to be totally present for, after a stressful day at work to ground me and release some of my frustration, and through the well deserved shavasana after a workout.

Making meditation not a chore but in fact a way to center myself again or as a reward after a hard workout is incredible. Not only is it now something I do not want to avoid but it is something I look forward to and appreciate. While I do not believe I have reached new levels in my mind and unlocked a new me I am satisfied with the reset meditation provides and I look forward to continuing to explore.

“The thing about meditation is…you become more and more you.” ~David Lynch

Have you dabbled in meditation? If so, what are your thoughts, what works or does not work for you?

-Katie