Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup {gluten-free, Vegan}

It's almost officially Autumn!  Yay for warm soups, stews and delicious slow cooked dinners...my favorite.  Seeing all the fresh squash in the market inspired me to make some tasty Butternut squash soup.  My hubby eats gluten-free and dairy-free so I was inspired to create a creamy textured soup without the cream.  An updated version of this.  This soup, with it's roasted fall flavors and a subtle sweetness from the squash, is a hearty and filling choice for dinner tonight.  The slow cooker will do most of the work for you.  Enjoy!

Recipe: (Serves 4-6)

2 butternut squash (or 1 large squash)
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped,
olive oil,
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped,
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
6-7 small red potatoes, quartered
6 cups water
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
salt and pepper to taste

*My hubby has also figured out that he has an allergy of sorts to carrots (via ALCAT) so I have left them out when I would have normally added them to create a Mirepoix.  I also can't use store-bought stocks anymore (because they contain carrots).  You can use homemade stock if you have it on hand or store-bought vegetable stock, just adjust the salt accordingly.

1. Preheat oven to 350'F.  Slice butternut squash in half lengthwise and place cut side down in a large glass baking dish and fill with about 1 inch of water.  Bake @ 350'F for 20-30 minutes until cooked through (easily pierced with a knife)

2. In a large saute pan over medium heat add about 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add diced celery, onions and garlic.  Saute over low-medium heat for 10 minutes until fragrant and soft.  

 3. Add in poultry seasoning, thyme and salt and stir to combine and lightly toast spices to bring out their flavor.  Add celery, onion mix to the slow cooker.

4. Wash and quarter potatoes and add them to the slow cooker.  Add 6 cups of water to the slow cooker.

5. Once the squash is cooked through, remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.  Carefully handle the squash with an oven mitt and scoop out the soft orange flesh with a spoon.  Add it to the slow cooker.

6. Cook on LOW heat in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours.  Turn off heat and blend soup using an immersion blender or working in batches blend soup in a blend or food processor until smooth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with a bright green salad.  We added some tasty sprouted pumpkin seeds for a crunchy bite.

...click here for the recipe!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Make your own crispy shells {Tostadas, Tacos, Chips}

This is a great way to enjoy crispy tortilla shells at home made from nothing more than simple corn tortillas.  Nothing added, no added preservatives to keep them crispy in a box.  And guest what?  It's super easy.  We use these crispy shells whenever we have tostadas, crispy tacos or simply want some warm, fresh chips!  Enjoy!

fresh organic corn tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 350'F.  
2. Place tortillas directly on oven rack, with enough space so that they are not overlapping

3. After about 5-7 minutes, flip them all over

4. When you start to smell a nice toasty corn smell they are done, about 5-7 minutes later.  The first few times you make your homemade crispy shells you'll want to stay nearby the oven and watch them until you are comfortable with your oven and figure out the time that works for you.  *All ovens are slightly different.

*To make taco shells, simply shape the tortilla into a taco shape and drop in between the oven rack grates.

...click here for the recipe!

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