Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Haaapppy Hump Day! I AM so happy because I just found out last night that will be attending my first ever healthy living conference this August! I will have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful healthy living bloggers who I have been following forever, meet fellow blogging friends, learn about how to improve my blog, talk about healthy living and food, and soak up every other bit in between! I am on cloud 9 seriously. I cannot wait. WOOOO!

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Yesterday I briefly mentioned how I will be gearing my workouts towards lower impact activities, at least for a couple of weeks until I get my colitis under control. I notice that my body doesn’t respond well recently to running and jumping which makes sense as I am putting a lot of impact on my body (organs included I guess). This might explain my not so beautiful half-marathon experience.

I absolutely will continue to be active through this all. My activities can include: walking, biking, yoga, elliptical, swimming, strength training and more. I will just be limiting my running and jumping exercises for a short time.

Let’s talk about yoga for a second shall we? I haven’t always been a huge fan of it, and I think the one of the reasons why is because I’m not good at it. I am embarrassed to say as a former dancer that I can no longer touch my toes without bending my knees and have lost all flexibility whatsoever. Well, what’s the best way to get better at something? Practice.

Yesterday, I flipped to OnDemand yoga on the TV and found a workout called “Gentle Yoga.” That sounded nice, and guess what? It was nice. It was a little slow moving at first which is something one has to get used to when you’re used to doing majority cardio type exercises. I focused on my breathing like the woman was telling me to do, and took the 36 minutes to really relax and stretch and listen to my body.

Wow. If I can actually let myself be patient enough to ease into yoga, I think I could really benefit from it and even enjoy it! I would love to regain flexibility and I KNOW yoga would help me with this. Also, I believe that if I can learn to manage my stress more effectively, including yoga and breathing exercises, I can heal faster. I am really hoping to try and add yoga into my weekly routine. Maybe start off with a goal of one time per week, see how I am liking it, then increase to two times per week. Huh, I like this idea! A fellow blogger Courtney at Sweettoothsweetlife, started a June Yoga Challenge and although I’m a little late on the ball, I just may join in. I never thought I would say it.

After my relaxing yoga, I headed out for an easy 30-minute walk, and then it was time for breakfast. Do I even need to tell you what I had? You could look at my last whole entire month of breakfasts practically and learn real quickly that breakfast was indeed a bowl of Cream of Wheat cereal mixed with cinnamon, stevia and just a touch of brown sugar. This is my ‘makes my tummy feel fine’ breakfast and it’s a must on days I have to work; for now at least.

We had a potluck meeting at work over the lunch hour and I didn’t snap any photos mostly because my plate wasn’t very colorful or pretty. Continuing to stick with the low-fiber meals, I managed to find a few options that I was able to enjoy: tuna noodle salad, turkey wrapped mozzarella (courtesy of moi), and a piece of the most fabulous homemade lemon blueberry bread.

I had an evening shift at work and managed to munch on five handfuls of peanut butter M & M’s (my absolute favorite alongside Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups OMG) throughout the course of the afternoon. I ate a banana around 5:30 which held me over until I got home at 7:30. I’ve mentioned this before but whenever I work later, I can never figure out what sounds good to me for dinner when I am home. I am in deed hungry, but I just can’t put my finger on what it is I’m hungry for. So I usually end up having a few small snacks.

I began with a piece of toasted Spelt Bread from Trader Joe’s with peanut butter and jelly.

After that I moved on to a small serving of Fage Non-fat Greek Yogurt with maple syrup, a half of a pair, and one more spoonful of peanut butter. That would have to do. I crawled into bed and read my book but the strangest thing happened to me last night…I could not get tired for the life of me. I read and read and read and instead of getting my normal droopy eyelids after about five pages, I just got more energy as I went along. At about 11:00 (already one hour past my bedtime), I decided I should shut off the lights and try and sleep. I laid in bed for almost 3 hours before finally falling asleep. Then, every time I woke up in the middle of the night I felt like I was ready for the day and full of energy. Is this what insomnia feels like? I didn’t like it. I hope I survive my day today, keeping in mind I am off the caffeine. Yikes.

Recipe Time!

Moving on….I mentioned this past weekend that I was busy in the kitchen whipping up a batch of pureed butternut squash soup. Well, here it is ladies and gentleman. Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (makes about 4-6 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups butternut squash, skinned, seeds removed and cut into cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 48 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. If you have an option for convection roast, use that, if not standard 350 roast or bake is perfect too.
  2. Lightly grease large baking pan with olive oil; place squash, carrots, celery, onion and garlic on pan; use hands to stir and coat veggies with olive oil.
  3. Roast or bake in oven for 25-45 minutes. Baking times vary greatly depending on cooking method (convection roast, roast, bake, etc.). You should be able to pierce the carrots easily with a fork when roasting time is complete, and onions start to take on a sweet scent.
  4. On the stove top, in a large soup pan, add vegetables and broth; cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add thyme and sage; stir.
  6. Using an immersion blender or standard blender, puree soup until smooth.
  7. Return to pot; add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Spoon into bowls,  garnish with fresh herbs and serve with whole grain bread or croutons.

After the soup was cooled, I ladled the soup into 6 Ziploc baggies and froze them for an easy and healthy meal in minutes.

Have a great day!

Favorite Posts

Hello friends! I thought it would be fun to pull together a round up of a few of my favorite posts from when I first began the blog in January 2012 through today….

January:

Sweatin’ Out Onions

Ugly Pacman

February:

Sweet Day & Fun Plans

Jam-Packed Fun

You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere

When in Rome

 March:

Bright Lights, Lots of Sights, Tasty Delights

7 Healthy Eating Tips When You Are Away

Asparagus Appetizer and Asics

Mindful Eating

Make This: Vegetable Lasagna

April:

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

A Lucky Friday the 13th

Homemade Grilled Pizza

Healthier Reese’s Recipe, Now Hide the Sweets

I can’t believe I have had this blog up and running for four months now. I still have so much work to do! Thank you all for being so loyal and supporting my love for food and fitness. I hope to inspire you with new ideas and recipes, and help encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle.

Whole Wheat Quinoa Bread

Morning!

Did you know that one month ago from today I published my first post on Beautifully Nutty?! I can’t believe it’s been a month already. BN is still a long way from where I want it to be but it has progressed quite a bit in the last month and I am very proud. Thank you for sticking with me being I am a rookie with this. I promise it’s just going to get better and better with more recipes, motivation, and hopefully inspiration to live a healthy life full of delicious food. Thank you to all of you for supporting me as I get this blog up and running.

What better way to celebrate the day than by having peanut butter not once, but twice today. I thought it was a good idea. Breakfast was cinnamon bread (new recipe to come soon) with PB2 and honey.

I couldn’t for the life of me get a good picture of breakfast this morning. Lunch is all packed up and ready for me at noon. It includes an ol’ favorite…peanut butter banana wrap but with a twist! I may or may not have added some turkey bacon to it, which was leftover from dinner last night! Isn’t that what Elvis used to do? Or did I just make that up. It sounds really weird but it seemed like a good idea to me last night when I was packing lunch. I’ll let you know how it tastes. I also packed a huge bunch of veggies and a nice big juicy apple.

Speaking of dinner last night. This one was thought up by Dana. We had all of the ingredients for a B.L.A.T.  Bacon (turkey), lettuce, avocado, and tomato on homemade whole grain bread, toasted, with a  little sprinkle of onion powder over the tomato. Okay, I’ll have that please. If you’re wondering, yes, I did put mayo on my bread. This doesn’t happen very often, you may want to mark it on your calendars. 🙂 It was a delicious sandwich which I enjoyed while watching the Grammy’s. Jennifer Hudson did a knock-out job on her tribute to Whitney Houston btw.

Now let’s get down to some recipe business. As you all know I have been on a bit of a quinoa kick. I thought I would try throwing some into a whole grain bread recipe, set it in the bread machine, and see what happened.

The result was a very hearty, nutty, delicious and healthy bread! Perfect for savory or sweet sandwiches. I have to share the recipe with you.

Whole Wheat Quinoa Bread (Bread Machine)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons non-fat greek yogurt, plain
  • 1/2 Tablespoon molasses
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Directions

Add all ingredients into bread-maker. Set it and forget it.

Off to work I go. I hope everyone has a tolerable Monday! Womp wompppp. I love Mondays.