Ganache


An Announcement (of sorts)

Yes, it’s been a while again. I feel if you scroll past my last few posts, that they are all apologizing for not updating recently. That stops now, but I’ll tell you what’s been happening recently…

At the end of May 2010, I started this little program called Weight Watchers. Heard of it? Thought you had… At first, I was a little stressed over watching everything I ate and “counting points”. It consumed me. After a month or so, however, I became used to this concept, and watching every little bite I took became rather second nature. If you know me at all (which some of you do), you know that my love of food consisted of cooking whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. That was part of my love. I could turn to food on a dime without analyzing and find something comforting and delicious every time. It was failproof. That was, until Weight Watchers.

Let’s get something straight. Weight Watchers was definitely a health decision, not an I-hate-my-body-and-my-life decision. It was about taking something I loved and applying it in a fulfilling, satisfying, healthy way for my family. So, as all loves do, they transformed. It was no longer the giddy, I just made a beautful cake and now I have to eat it myself, kind of love, but rather, the enduring we’ve now been through the fire love. Does that make sense?

So, all that being said, yes, I’m on Weight Watchers. I never wanted to flaunt it. I didn’t want to tag my foods as “healthy”; where’s the fun in that kind of food? But, after much thinking, that kind of food can be fun, I’m still having fun, and that’s where this thing is now headed. The train is going in a different direction, so to speak.

I thought at first of deleting this site altogether. But (confession), I need somewhere to go to access my own recipes. Especially when I’m in the store and need to find an ingredient list for something I’ve decided to make on a whim. Also, taking pictures of food and sharing recipes with you and what food means to me has become a part of me. And, while, I haven’t been sharing too much lately, I have tons of stuff waiting to share with you now that we have this little conversation out of the way. I’m not sure how many people actually read this, but for those of you who do, I hope that it continues to be a resource for you and contributes to your family’s health and vitality.

Onward with the food!

There’s nothing more I love during fall than butternut squash. It’s delicious. Sweet and savory at the same time, and pairs perfectly with those fall flavors. While it’s still rather warm here in Memphis, the official first day of fall is only a day or so away, and that deserves a little celebration.

I’ve also been rather intrigued by Indian foods lately. While I’ve never had a full-blown Indian meal, I’ve been experimenting with curry in different things. What better a dish to make than something that combines both these? I turned to my favorite cooking person, Ina. In her back to basics cookbook, she features a curried butternut squash soup. With a few tweaks for flavor and keeping health in mind, here’s my version. Hope you enjoy!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted from Ina Garten, from the Back to Basics Cookbook
5 WW points a serving

INGREDIENTS:
1 3lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed into one inch cubes
1 sliced yellow onion
2 honeycrisp apples, peeled and cubed into one inch cubes
5 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
3 cups low-sodium, low-fat chicken stock
1 cup apple juice, unfiltered (like Simply Apple)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp gound cumin
1 tsp sweet curry powder
1 tbsp fresh sage (or 1 tsp dried)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place squash, apples, onions, and garlic in a bowl. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine, divide between 2 lined baking sheets, and roast at 450 for 40 minutes, until browned and very soft.

2. In a dutch oven, place remaining tbsp olive oil, heat over high heat. Add curry powder, cumin, and sage, and fry spices until fragrant, constantly stirring to prevent burning. Remove from heat, add apple juice to deglaze the pan, incorporating all the spices into the liquid.

3. After vegetables are done roasting, and have slightly cooled, add half the vegetable mixture to your blender. Pour over apple juice and spice mixture. Blend until smooth. Pour back into your dutch oven. Next, add other half the vegetables to your blender and the 3 cups of chicken stock. Blend until smooth, and add to the dutch oven. Place dutch oven over medium heat. Stir the soup until well incorporated and warm and bubbly.

4. Serve. Could garnish with a little yogurt or sour cream. Serves 6.

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[…] long been a fan of butternut squash. I’ve used it in chicken pot pie, soup, and here, in […]

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