Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

I made this recipe at Thanksgiving as a starter last year, and it was wonderful once I added a few extra ingredients. So I tried it again as a light dinner last night. I used my father-in-law's new immersion blender for the first time, and I really want one of my own now. If you don't have one, just blend the soup in batches in your regular blender.


1 Tbsp butter
1 butternut squash, about 1 1/2-2 pounds, peeled and cubed
2 large carrots (or about 3/4 cup), peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup whole milk or half and half
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of saffron
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp sage
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Melt butter in a large pot, letting it cover the bottom. Drop in squash, carrots, and onion and sauté for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken broth, bring to a boil. Add the herbs and pepper and mix together, then cover and reduce heat to low, simmering for 30 minutes. Then turn off heat and add in milk and salt.

Blend all together well with immersion blender or regular blender until soup is smooth.

Feeds 6 people.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Low-Fat Yet Delicious Taco Salad

It's been awhile since I've had the opportunity to cook anything new. Life is a little chaotic, with a toddler running around and my husband working nights. But this was made with leftovers and freezer food, so it was incredibly cheap AND tasty!


1 1/2 pounds ground meat (I used a combo of Turkey and beef)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Taco seasoning packet or mix (or if all else fails, throw in a mixture of chili powder, cumin, black pepper, paprika, and garlic salt)
chopped lettuce (about 2 cups)
1 chopped tomato
1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6-7 corn tortillas
1/4 cup cooking oil (Enova if you have it, or Smart Balance)
light sour cream
guacamole (pre-packaged)

Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and turn on medium-high heat. Add ground meat and brown evenly all over.

Then add black beans and spices and mix well together, turning heat to low. Cook about 4 minutes or until all is heated through.

In a separate, smaller pan, heat the cooking oil until steam rises, or about 3 minutes. Then toss in one whole tortilla and fry until golden and crisp. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, then chop them or beak them up into slices or fork-ful bits.

Put meat/bean mix into a large bowl. Then add the tortillas, cheese, lettuce, salsa, onions, cilantro and tomato and mix well.

Set guacamole and sour cream in separate bowls for each person to take as much as they wish as toppings, and serve taco salad in bowls to everyone.

Extremely tasty, and feeds 4.