Creamed Butternut Squash Soup – Low-Calorie and Delicious

I feel like I have been absent from blogging quite a bit. I never truly forget about you (mythineaters) but I don’t seem to find the time to post new recipes. I keep my Instagram and mythineats Facebook page updated but for some reason actually taking the time that I should to post the recipe slips through the cracks.

It’s that time of year that I love! The trees start changing colors, the weather gets colder, the smells in the air are rustic and I love all things Autumn.
With that being said as soon as it got just chilly enough at night, I decided that I would attempt making something to keep us warm and cozy, but that didn’t have to take hours and that would be filling and a great way to welcome the colder weather.

So, my Husband and I stopped at our Farmer (where we buy most all of our fruits and vegetables from) to see what she had picked that day and what was new in season. I instantly saw a lovely butternut squash and knew that that was what we were having for dinner. My Husband especially loved the idea so we got the butternut squash and home we went.

Butternut squash has so many health benefits. 1 cup of butternut squash has more potassium than a banana. Is rich in vitamin A, C, E, B6, Magnesium and Folate just to name a few. So, let’s eat it up!

Now, I’ve seen plenty of recipes for this type of soup that call for heavy cream, coconut cream, milk, butter, etc.
I’m all about skipping that. I don’t think that it’s a necessary ingredient and I don’t miss it. I like to keep our meals with as little ingredients as possible. I must admit it turned out quite delicious and I’ve already made it about 3 times thus far and each time I change a few things.
The first time I added a couple potatoes. The second time I didn’t add any starch. And the third time I added a sweet potato. I have to admit the flavor was pretty much always the same so technically speaking you don’t need to add anything and it will taste delicious. You choose.

Making this off the top of my head I don’t have true measurements so I’ll try my best to give you some.
I hope you love just as much as we did!

Ingredients:

1 Butternut squash, medium sized
1-2 Shallots
Drizzle evoo
200 ml of Water**
2 Vegetable bullions, yeast free and organic**
1-2 tsp. Turmeric1 Sage branch (or 4-5 leaves), fresh
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a smaller pot put water and bullion to boil.
Now, clean you butternut squash by slicing in half remove the seeds with a spoon, and then peel. Be careful as it is tough, I generally cut mine in 3 parts and peel individually.
Once peeled, cube and set aside.

Peel and finely chop your shallot. Get a medium pot place over medium flame on the stove, add the evoo and then the shallot. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes.
Now add your butternut squash and mix thoroughly, mix in your turmeric and after about 5 minutes add the sage and your bullion water (vegetable stock). Place lid on top and allow to boil for about 20 minutes.

At this point you should be able to pierce the butternut squash with a fork. If you can then turn off the stove top if you can’t cook until you can.

Remove the sage, grab your immersion blender place all the way inside the pot and blend until pureed. (if you don’t have an immersion blender then simply grab your regular blender and carefully scoop the soup inside it and blend).

Serve with a drizzle of evoo.

Variations:
– Add potatoes or sweet potatoes to the soup, peeled and cubed, just add a little more water.
**
Instead of water and bullion you can heat vegetable stock already made.
– Top off at the end with toasted pumpkin seeds, or bacon bits, or croutons.

 

 

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Healthy Garbanzo and Spinach Soup

Garbanzo and Spinach SoupThere is one thing about Italians and there many soups that just taste so delicious and always comfort you. The ingredients are always simple but the soups have depths and are rich in flavor.
I found that most of them have one thing common and that is the rind of Parmigiano Reggiano. Italians waste nothing and this is a perfect example of that. Why throw way any part of the Parmigiano Reggiano? I mean it’s still cheese.
What we do is keep the rind of this amazing cheese and then when we make a soup we throw it in there, this will salt the food but also give your soup a richness of flavor that no other ingredient can give it.
I hope that you enjoy this dish. I’ve combined some of my favorite ingredients for one of those days that you need warmth, comfort, and deliciousness all in one, but here is the catch it’s really healthy too!

I find this recipe to be perfect for this time of year, when it’s cold and you need something heavy and filling that will keep you warm and fit as well; especially during this time of year with all the holidays happening it’s easy to forget what yummy healthiness you can be cooking. You don’t have to give up on anything delicious in order to be healthy. Trust me!

I hope you really Enjoy!

Ingredients
serves 6-8

  • 500 grams Garbanzo Beans, soaked overnight
  • 4 quarts Vegetable stock
  • 1/2 pound Baby Spinach or Kale
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Shallot
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 1/4 pound Baby Potatoes
  • 3 Parmigiano Reggiano Rinds
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
  • 2 sprigs Thyme
  • 6 Sage Leaves
  • 1 handful Parsley, chopped
  • 1 dash Tumeric
  1. In a medium pot over moderate flame add the Extra Virgin Olive oil & once hot add the shallot, carrot, celery and 2 sage leaves allow to cook until golden and then add your garbanzo beans mix thoroughly and then add stock.
  2. Make a Bouquet Garni with cooking string grab the Rosemary, Thyme and remaining Sage leaves tie them together with cooking string and drop it in the pot.
  3. Bring soup to a boil then lower flame to minimum and allow to boil for an hour. Add the potatoes and boil for another half hour; then add the parmigiano rinds and boil for an additional 20 minutes.
  4. Add the Spinach and simmer for only 10 minutes. Turn off flame, remove the Bouquet Garni and allow soup to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

 

Mussels, pomodorini and alotta Love!

I can’t believe that I actually let over a month go by since my last post. I’m embarrassed that I just haven’t fit in the time to write a recipe or give you some of my knowledge on how to eat and stay thin too!
Today I specifically took the day of work tomorrow, we head to Ibiza tomorrow for a little vacation and I figured I might as well take the day off and just clean, workout, blog, relax and cook my husband a nice dinner. I still don’t know what I’m going to make but it’s going to seafood something. I really like to make special healthy meals for my husband. But as of late I leave the house at 7:30am and get home at about 20:00 at night leaving me very little time to experiment in the kitchen; so I resort to salads, grilled food and that’s about that.Today I will cook up something and then post it next time around.

It’s a beautiful autumn day. The leaves are starting to fall, the weather is perfect, I had a kick ass workout and I am in such a good mood.
Speaking about mood, did I ever mention that your mood directly affects your weight? well it does!

I think that everyone is always so focused on what to eat that we forget that no matter how healthy we are if we are miserable we will never achieve that healthy thin body we want. Mental health plays a big role in weight loss and healthy nutrition.
The thing is that depending on what mood you are you are releasing chemicals into your bloodstream and this causes a reaction to where your body wants you to feel good so instead of focusing on maybe digestion, fat burn, or energy it focuses on protecting you from the attack that is your chemical imbalances.

So, you can eat as healthy as you want but if the whole time you are thinking that you are fat and ugly that ‘peach’ you are eating, is not going to make you skinny and pretty. It’s not the peach or forced salad which you think is absolutely disgusting that is going to fix your problem. It will put you on the path to a healthier you, but it’s not going to fix your problem. You need to start loving yourself and be happy, this is going to make you make healthy choices and you’ll see the pounds start coming off. Mind over matter.

Now with that being said get in the kitchen and make yourself a delicious light and simple meal tonight. I love Mussels. They are full of antioxidants, potassium, zinc, minerals and iodine; they also contain vitamin C & B and let’s not forget that they are full of iron. They are low in fat with only 86 calories per 100 grams.
This dish is super simple, fast and amazingly delicious.

Ingredients:
Serves 2-4

1 kilo of Mussels

1 Garlic clove, peeled and minced

Grape Tomatoes, a handful

2 tsp. Chili peppers, optional

1 bunch Parsley, fresh and chopped

3 drizzles of EVOO

To clean the mussels:
Run under cold water, remove the beard and scrub the shell. Eliminate the ones that are open or have a crushed shell. Once all this is done rinse and set aside.

Prepare:
Place big pan over high heat, drizzle the evoo, add the garlic and chili peppers, cook just a bit and then add your tomatoes allow to cook just for about 5 minutes. Add your mussels and cover with lid just until all of the mussels have opened, should take about 5-8 minutes. Do not mix during this time.

Turn heat off sprinkle the parsley and then gently mix. Now serve and if you want place a delicious piece of bread at the center of the table and enjoy!

Super Simple Meatless Monday Recipe: Beets & Goat Cheese

Today we are talking Beets. I know that they don’t look enticing or they might not be fun to cook with or even that great tasting for most people. But let me tell you that this is a fabulous super food and you should try to incorporate it into your diet.

Here is why it’s healthy:
Beets belong to the same family as spinach and chard. It’s a rich purple color, but can also be white or golden. Think of beets as red spinach.

Beetroot is of exceptional nutritional value mainly Vitamin C, Folate & Betaine. All of which are exceptional for the human body. From lowering blood levels & helping with cardiovascuar health, to immune boosting & liver detoxification, as well as cancer fighting benefits and of course high in antioxidants.

You should really try them. You can eat them raw, pickled but mainly they are eaten steamed.

Here is a quick recipe that packs a bunch of flavor and will keep you coming back for more of this little overlooked vegetable.

Ingredients: Serves 2

2 Beets, cooked

2 Caprino (goat) soft cheese sticks*

4 Bibb Lettuce leaves

2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

Cayenne (optional)

Tumeric (optional)

S&P to taste

Wash your lettuce and place 2 on each plate. Slice your beets and lay them on top of the lettuce.

Slice your cheese and place on top of the beets.

Drizzle 1 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive oil, sprinkle remaining ingredients and enjoy!

*check how they sell the soft goat cheese in your country here in Italy I find them like this at the grocery store

Beets and goat cheese

 

 

Goji Berry Energy Bliss Balls (Raw & Vegan)

This month for me is one that requires a lot of energy & when my body feels more exhausted.

Don’t get me wrong I do have fun running around doing all the wonderful Christmas things from parties, to cooking, planning and shopping; but I do feel like I run out of energy and my immune system get’s a little spent.
It is also a month where we tend to ingest a little more of the heavier foods causing the body to be just a bit more sluggish and bloated with not the best nutrition especially if you are eating out a lot. Unless you are watching what or how much you are eating you don’t generally realize the difference just a few here and there snack and meals for a whole month can do to the body.

I want something that really nourishes my body, fills me and gives me the energy that I need to workout, cook, attend parties, stay up later, work, shop and all the other housewife chores that still need to be done but that also keep me eating clean and healthy. These bliss balls do just that!

Here are some of ingredients that are in these little magic balls and their extraordinary benefits.

Goji Berry Bliss BallsGoji berries (Lycium barbarum) native to the Himalayan Mountains, Tibet & Mongolia are the most nutritionally dense fruit on Earth.
Amongst fruits they contain all the essential amino acids and also have the highest concentration of protein than any fruit. They are loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber. Boasting 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals, there is no doubt that the humble goji berry is a nutritional powerhouse.

This amazing little super-fruit also contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system. It’s no wonder then, that in traditional Chinese medicine they are renowned for increasing strength and longevity.

Gojis are most commonly available in dried form, and make a great snack eaten as is, added to trail mix, muesli or oatmeal. They can also be soaked for a couple of hours in enough water to cover them. Then the soak water can be drained off and makes a delicious drink, or both water and berries added to smoothies.

Flax seeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micro-nutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3.

It is not only a source of healthy fat, antioxidants, and fiber; modern research has found evidence to suggest that flax seed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Cocoa Powder unsweetened is rich in Minerals. Just 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder contains 3 to 9 percent of the recommended daily intake of iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc.

In addition to carrying oxygen, iron helps make red blood cells and is essential for your immune system. Manganese is a component of enzymes that form cartilage and bones, metabolize nutrients and function as antioxidants inside every cell in your body. Magnesium helps produce energy and maintain a normal heart rhythm. Zinc is vital for the production and development of new cells, including immune system cells. Without enough zinc, the number of bacteria-fighting cells goes down and you become more susceptible to illness.

Flavonoids are the plant-based substances responsible for many of cocoa’s health benefits. There are many different types of flavonoids, but cocoa is a good source of two: epicatechin and catechin. The flavonoids in cocoa function as antioxidants that help prevent systemic inflammation. Epicatechin relaxes the muscles in blood vessels, which improves blood flow and helps lower blood pressure, according to research published in the March 2012 issue of the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”

Speaking of antioxidants did you know according to a study at Cornell university the antioxidant concentration in cocoa is almost twice as strong as red wine, 3x’s stronger than that of green tea & 4x’s stronger than black tea.

These are just a few of the ingredients that are in these Bliss balls. There are many more health benefits for the rest of the ingredients. But I think that I should stop talking and give you the recipe.

This is the 1st time that I’ve attempted to make a raw, vegan dessert. I was kinda worried that they would taste like cardboard or just not be good but to my surprise they turned out delicious and I really enjoyed them as did my husband. I think these would be great to serve as an additional holiday treat, or to eat when you get that mid afternoon or after dinner craving.
They are simple, fast, nutritious and delicious. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Makes about 24 balls

1 cup Seeds, mixed (pumpkin, flax, sesame, sunflower)*

2 cups Shredded Coconut, Unsweetened

1 cup Goji Berries, soaked at least 4 hrs prior

3 tbsp. Cocoa Powder, unsweetened

1 tbsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 tbsp. Raw Honey

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until becomes incorporated and thick. Make truffle sized balls and put in fridge for 1 hour or eat them right away.

You can roll the balls in coconut or leave them like that your choice.
Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks in sealed container.

*Use whatever seed you like if you have all use them all or you see what you have or want.

Light & Clean Meal: Salmon & Green Beans

Let’s talk and make something healthy, light and nutritious.

It’s definitely getting colder outside, the heat is on and I don’t know if where you live they are putting up Christmas decorations but they definitely are here in Italy. All the shops, city centers, coffee shops and even the grocery stores are decorated and selling all things Christmas. I do love Christmas but I think that it might just be a bit too early for me to start decorating the house.

I feel like we recently just stopped going to the beach; wait actually I was at the beach the last week of October in my bikini, so yeah we did just end summer. Either summer ended late (which actually it did because it started late) but hold-your-horses I still want fall. I have mentioned this before and I will mention it again….I love Fall. With that being said there are some dishes I find to be perfect for both summer & winter. They are not too light or too heavy they are at that perfect in-between that is perfect year round.

Just like I change out my closets, I change my style in the kitchen. I tend to go for lots of salads, grilled veggies and lean proteins (which mainly consist of chicken and lots and lots of fresh seafood of all sorts), frittata’s, white wine, espresso and lots of raw veggies and homemade parfaits in the summer.

I generally cook lots of soups, roasted vegetables and chicken, fish al cartoccio, slower cooked winter stews such as Chicken Cacciatora, Chicken Adobo, all-vegetable stew, stuffed vegetables, cappuccino’s, red wine and lots of steamed vegetables and healthy baked treats in the winter.

Then of course there are those foods (and there  are quite a few) that I eat year round to name a few: risotto, pasta, pizza, cheese (parmigiano, pecorino & mozzarella my favorite), salads, tuna, fruit, nuts, ice-cream (occasionally but sometimes I crave it more in the winter than the summer), nut butters, and in this case Salmon.

Salmon is wonderful. It tastes fantastic both steamed, baked, grilled, smoked and even as a carpaccio. So it really doesn’t matter what the temp is outside your body will always welcome it.

Full of Omega 3, DHA & EPA Salmon has a whole bunch of amazing benefits for your body, mind and being. It boosts brain function, reduces inflammation, supports cardiovascular health, protects your eyes, increases bone density & strength, and about 3-6oz of Salmon can supply you with a days worth of Vitamin D crucial to maintaining optimal health. Plus many more benefits.
It’s so good for you and can be eaten both summer and winter and you won’t mind!

Your best bet is to consume wild or organically farmed fish to avoid any additional pesticides, fungicides and excessive omega-6 consumption (which leads to inflammation) found in conventionally farmed fish.

Here’s my light, healthy, toxic-free dinner to keep you in good health and shape.

Ingredients:

Serves 2

For the Salmon you’ll need:

  • 2 sheets of Aluminum foil
  • 2 6oz Salmon Filets
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt & Peppercorns to taste
  • Chili Flakes (optional)

For the Green Beans you’ll need:

  • 3 cups Green Beans, end cut off
  • 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Method:

Preheat your oven @ 350

Place a medium pot half filled of water to boil.

Grab salmon filets and place each on at the center of the aluminum foil sprinkle with salt & peppercorns. Slice your lemon and place 2 slices over each filet. Get your foil and lightly wrap creating sort of a pocket or bag; you don’t want it touching the top of salmon. Make sure no open areas around the filets, place on a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes.

Your water should be boiling by now so through in your green beans allow to boil until turns bright green about 6 minutes or desired doness. I like mine just a bit crunchy.
Prepare a bowl of cold water with some ice cubes. Drain your green beans and quickly place them in the bowl of cold water. This allows them to stop cooking instantly and preserves the vibrant color of the vegetable. Drain place in a bowl and drizzle the EVOO, Lemon juice, salt and pepper mix thoroughly and set on table.

Your Salmon should be ready remove from oven be careful when you open the pockets as some steam may come out (it burns).
Serve with Green beans and Enjoy!

My Summer Crave: Honey Walnut Granola Clusters

Sorry for my long absence. I do apologize; but other than the fact that I haven’t been on here because I’ve been so busy working (which thankfully is almost over), I also haven’t really had the time to cook.
I literally have been totally and fully reliant on my more than amazing Husband to cook, go grocery shopping, and all the household stuff….well besides cleaning I’ve still managed atleast that; and he has done an amazing job. Thanks babe, I really appreciate it!

Other than that he’s been tired too (I’m not the only one who works) and my guilt occasionally creeps in, so to try to give him a break we’ve been doing cereal Monday night pretty much every week. We have fresh strawberries, raspberries, bananas, really whatever we like; Greek yogurt, milk, nuts, coconut flakes, dried fruit…you name it. It’s been fantastic and we’ve really enjoyed it. It’s too hot to cook so we’ve relied on this meal. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we do! Ciao

Ingredients:

Lightly Adapted from OhsheGlows

1 cup Walnut Halves

1 cup mixed Nuts

3 tbsp. Honey

¾ cup Rolled Oats

½ cup Coconut, Shredded and unsweetened

½ tsp Cinnamon

Preheat oven at 275°F (130°C)

Place Walnuts and nuts in a bowl with the honey and make sure to incorporate completely.

In a smaller bowl mix all dry ingredients and add to the nuts and honey.
Mix well and then place on a baking sheet.

Place in oven and allow baking for 15 minutes, rotating pan and continuing to bake for another 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then place in a container.

Honey Walnut Clusters