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.

 

 

Light Italian Dish: Seppie e Piselli (Cuttlefish and Peas)

Seppie e PiselliI don’t know how often it happens to you but to me it happens quite a bit especially when the weather changes. if it goes for hot to cold I instantly crave comfort and my comfort is always something like a homemade soup.
My go to for sure is Pasta e Fagioli (recipe here), but there are other things I crave as well; and the other thing is something I rarely make at home but mainly order in a restaurant. It’s called Seppie e Piselli which means Cuttlefish and Peas. It’s a very popular, simple but a delicious Italian dish.

It’s low calorie, healthy, light but yet hearty and totally satisfying to the palate. I actually attempted making it the other day and other than shelling the peas it was quite simple to make and the result was an amazing meal.
I’m not the biggest fan of peas. I just don’t care for them but in this recipe they are delightful. Accompany this recipe with some nice fresh baked bread and you’ve got yourself something that will change you forever. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Serves 4-6

2 lbs. of fresh Cuttlefish
14 oz. fresh Peas, shelled
1 Onion
2 Garlic cloves
1 cup of Tomato sauce
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to taste

Clean the cuttlefish (I got mine cleaned), rinse under the sink and then slice in small strips.
Slice onion and garlic coarsely and add to a saucepan with the Evoo, once golden add the cuttlefish, peas and tomato sauce.
Turn heat to low add the salt and allow to cook for about 30-40 minutes. If you need you may add water.

Now you may eat.

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.

 

Pomodori Ripieni (Stuffed Tomatoes)

This is a traditional roman dish that is vegan, vegetarian and oh so delicious!

It’s a simple, quick summer dish to make and it even tastes better the next day. I know it might sound crazy that this would be a summer dish but it really just is.
So, if you find yourself with little time or rushing around with not enough time to dedicate to the kitchen I would say that this dish was designed specifically for you.
I wanted to share this recipe because even if it’s not something that I invented or something so known, it’s actually a very healthy and fast meal for either lunch or dinner. The original recipe calls for wedged potatoes to be baked along with the tomatoes but I left the potatoes out and made myself a side salad and or veggie dish. I really hope that you like as much as we did.

Here goes. Enjoy!

Pomodori Ripieni 3

Ingredients:
Serves 9

  • 9 Large Tomatoes
  • 9 Tbsp. Rice
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • Few leaves of Basil &/or Parsley
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Rinse the tomatoes and slice the top off and set them aside to then use later to cover the tomatoes with.

Grab a medium sized bowl and with a spoon carefully scoop out pulp of tomato into it. Place tomato face side down and continue process until all tomatoes are done.
Now blend or chop up the pulp of the tomato and return to bowl. Add the garlic chopped finely to the bowl along with the evoo, basil, salt and pepper.
Now add the rice and mix all ingredients well, allow to sit for atleast 1 hour and 1/2.

Preheat your oven to 200°C (380° F).

Grab a baking dish drizzle some evoo and then place the tomatoes inside face up. Scoop rice inside each tomato and once completed top the tomato with the tomato tops you set aside.

Bake for an hour. And then you can either leave them to cool for the rest of the day or you can eat them right away. Either way I think they are delicious.

 

Homemade Gluten-free Gourmet Crackers

I am a cracker fanatic. Anything that is a crispy, crunchy and made with flour or should be made with flour is my friend.

Over the years I have stopped buying these delicious crackers if they are made with white flour, yeast and any ingredients that I can’t pronounce and I love eating the crackers that are made with spelt, or kamut flour with maybe some extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and maybe some rosemary, flax, or other similar ingredients. Trust me they taste a million times better than regular old crackers that have all this processed crap in them.

I shy away from gluten free because generally the replacement ingredients for the flour and binders are just more crap and sometimes high in sugar. This of course isn’t all of them you can find some really great Gluten free products but you do have to read the labels on gluten-free products because just cause they are gluten-free does not mean that they are healthy.
I like Elana’s Pantry and her recipes for all things gluten-free are pretty great. I came across this recipe that I thought looked interesting and I really had an itch to try it because it seemed so simple and I love almonds so why not. I am curious and always up for a good ol’ recipe that stimulates my taste buds. Well the outcome was great.  But I have to admit that I did non like the taste the egg left, the almond flour tends to absorb the taste of anything you cook it with….it tasted a bit eggy to me so I decided to make a few changes and I must say they are delicious. You should try them too!

I think these would be great served with a cheese board or even with some charcuterie or served with some preserves or even peanut butter and honey…you choose either or, but this Monday is Memorial Day and I’m sure as hell eating these. ‘Nuff said. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!
Ingredients:
Makes about 20-24

  • 1 1/3 cup Almond Four
  • 1tbsp. ground Flax/Chia seeds
  • 3tbsp. Water
  • 1tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1tbsp. Rosemary, freshly chopped
  • Sprinkle of Sea Salt

In a small bowl combine the ground flax/chia with the water. Let sit for 3 minutes.

In a large bowl combine almond flour, rosemary and sea salt and mix ingredients.

Add Olive oil to the flax & chia, mix and stir into the Almond flour mixture.

Roll the dough in between to pieces of parchment paper until about cracker thickness (so thin)

Remove the top piece of parchment paper and cut into 2 inch squares.

Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes. Until lightly golden.
Allow to cool completely.
Variations:
  • Use and egg instead of the flax and water
  • You can incorporate 1/4 cup sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds
  • Replace rosemary with turmeric, cayenne, and any other spice you would like.
  • Hey go ahead and add something that you might like, shaved parmigiano  or black pepper. Try anything!

 

Healthy Guacamole for 5 de Mayo

Avocado is something that I grew up eating simply because my Mom loves it so she used to try and incorporate it in many of our meals and since a very young age I’ve just enjoyed eating it.

When I moved out at 17 I got away from it for a while because here in Italy it wasn’t so easy to find up until recently, (where pretty much every grocery store will have it), but also because it’s a little pricey and at that age I wasn’t going to spend a €1.50 on one.
I then moved to the States (as you all know) and while there I rediscovered it by going out to eat at Mexican restaurants and shopping at the grocery stores where I found it everywhere and for great prices.
Being an Italian with a vast and inquisitive palate when I lived in the United States I would only really enjoy eating out if it was Sushi, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Peruvian, Spanish, Organic and/or Vegan. I didn’t find any authentic Italian restaurants and while I’m sure there are some that are legit they will never compare to eating here in Italy, so why bother. I explore the world because I like the to get to know it and not to find Italy in it. I love all cultures and I like to enjoy their food as well.

I’ve been lucky my husband and I found some amazing Mexican restaurants and one of the things I enjoyed most was the chips and salsa and/or guacamole. I love guacamole. The only thing I find is that sometimes it has too much onion, or other ingredients and what I most like about guacamole is the avocado mashed with cilantro and lime with just a hint of salt and lots of cayenne.
So, I’ve decide to make it at home and while now we live in Italy and 5 de Mayo is no more, we still make a Mexican dinner on that night just so we too can celebrate and enjoy this cuisine that really does not exist in Italy at all.
Here is my take in a very simple dish that can really make your day!

Ingredients:
Serves 3-4

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 tbsp. of Cilantro, fresh
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt to taste

Halve the avocado, remove pit and place pulp in a medium bowl. Lightly mash with a fork until consistency is chunky but smooth.
Squeeze the lime and add juice, slat and cayenne pepper to the avocado and mix.
Chop the cilantro and add to avocado mix thoroughly and serve.

Valentine’s Day Recipe: Gluten-Free Coconut Pancakes

Today I wanted to write about the lovely Valentines Day coming up and give you a healthy recipe that you could make for breakfast.

I think most of us don’t really celebrate Valentines Day anymore or somewhat think that it’s overrated?! I know if you’re single you probably hate this day because you feel like you have no one to celebrate it with.

If you are in a new relationship you are probably stressing or really planning this day out, from what present to give (if any)? where to go? what to write on the card? what chocolate to buy? or no chocolate? what to wear? lingerie? dress? how to make it romantic? etc…

If you are in a long relationship or married for 5 years or more you probably haven’t given this day much thought or maybe just planned to drink a glass of wine and have a nice dinner?!

I agree with a lot of you. I don’t think that you need to wait for this day to show love to someone and I also don’t think that just because it’s Valentines Day you have to go through all this. But I do think that it is a nice excuse to just stop and take time out of your day to really show your partner that you love them!

I know that love in a relationship is a given; but sometimes it’s nice to do a nice gesture of love than to just say “I love you bye, see you tonight after work and oh you decide what you wanna do I’m up for anything.” I look at it as a day that I have to put my Husband above all else. Not that I don’t already everyday, and not like he asks me, but if I can’t try to go out of my way once a year to sit and have a no rush catch-up conversation, coffee on the phone checking FB or Tweeter, see you tonight with our fave show; then I am really missing out on giving love on the day to show Love!

I’m not saying any of the above things aren’t nice, trust me I enjoy doing each and everyone of them and do do them. But sometimes we need to keep love alive. Do one thing different.

  • If you never eat out on Friday night and generally do Saturday’s switch it up and go out Friday night (seeing that that’s Valentines Day).
  • If you don’t have lunch together and usually stay in the office go out with him for lunch that day. Or meet up at a bakery and share a dessert or a coffee.
  • If you don’t have breakfast together because one of you leaves earlier than the other, either wake up earlier and have breakfast with each other or better yet leave him or her a card or note by the coffee machine.
  • Have a card sent to his or her office a couple of days before so that it gets there for Valentines Day.

Do something that is different and sweet and shows that you are not forgetting them and that no matter what life has going on you are always thinking of them. It’s fun, thoughtful and years down the line you’ll be happy you never stopped showing your love.

The reason I am posting this recipe is because it’s a romantic gesture to cook breakfast! Most times you cook breakfast the night before, or just grab something to eat on the way to work or at work. Valentines is all day so why not start it out at breakfast and get your mood on for the rest of the day. This way if he has dinner planned you have breakfast planned. We’ve all done the ‘I’ll cook dinner tonight’ or at least have planned the end of the day. So do something different. It’s not anything fancy but it’s the thought that counts.

And the best part is that these are healthy and light; so don’t worry about the fact that you are going to eat out or have a more indulgent dinner because these are just perfect to keep you full all-day long and to keep you looking sexy in that outfit you have planned.

Happy Valentines Day Mythineaters!!

Ingredients:
Makes about 6 small Pancakes

2 Eggs, whole

2 Egg whites

3 tbsp. Coconut oil

1 1/2 tbsp. Honey

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. Vanilla

3 tbsp. Coconut, Shredded unsweetened

1/2 cup Chia and/or Flax seeds, ground

1/2 tsp. Baking powder

Whisk together eggs, egg whites, coconut oil, honey. Add salt, cinnamon, vanilla, coconut and chia/flax mix well and then fold in baking powder.

Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Heat some coconut oil in a griddle over medium heat. Spoon batter onto griddle and allow to cook until top of pancake starts to get holes and then flip. and cook for another minute.

Serve with whatever topping you like.

P.s. the batter will be a bit more liquid the regular pancake mix. Don’t add anything else even if you are tempted too. They’ll be perfect when they cook.

Variations all tried and tested:

  • Substitute almond flour for the coconut.
  • Replace 2 eggs with a banana
  • Add berries or choco chips to the batter if you want.