Category Archives: Butternut Squash

WIAW #7: Beta-Carotene

Good morning!  And welcome to another edition of WIAW: What I Ate Wednesday.

(Or I guess it really should be WIATPW:  What I Ate On Tuesday Posted On Wednesday. 😉 )

Breakfast

sweet potato yogurt bowl

Yet another delicious yogurt bowl in my belly this morning: mixture of roasted and mashed sweet potato, Greek yogurt, vanilla protein powder and cinnamon, all topped with the new-to-me Reginald’s Bourbon Pecan Peanut Butter I ordered a couple weeks ago.  Tasted a bit like sweet potato pie, only for breakfast and healthy too!  This might just call for a recipe…

Mid Morning Snack

AM Snack

Odwalla Sweet & Salty Almond bar, plus a side of carrots.

Lunch

lunch

A large mug of leftover Butternut Squash Bisque topped with sundried tomatoes, chopped pistachios, and a huge goat cheese round hiding in the center.  After warming up the bisque, I dunked the goat cheese down in the middle so it would melt into the rest of the soup.  Soo creamy and delicious!

Afternoon Snack

Wrap2

Mini turkey wrap and an orange.

Wrap

I never know how long I can keep deli meat in the fridge before it starts to turn bad so I generally err on the side of caution and try to use it up almost immediately.  There were a few slices of herb roasted turkey breast left so I wrapped it up with avocado, romaine lettuce and mustard in a mini whole wheat tortilla.  Perfect little snack wrap!

Dinner

BBQ shredded chicken and red bell pepper strips for dinner.  I also had a little mug of butternut squash sou me over until Dave got home.

dinner

I followed this same recipe in the crock pot, only using BBQ sauce instead of Buffalo.

Beta-Carotene

While I was writing this post, I realized that nearly everything I ate yesterday happened to be orange…. sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, oranges and more.

As someone who frequently reads up on the health benefits of food and is interested in the nerdy nutritional stuff, I remembered that carotenoids are responsible for the orange coloring in fruits and vegetables and that orange foods typically contain a higher concentration of the antioxidant, beta-carotene, but beyond those two things, I couldn’t really recall much else.

So I did a little research and thought I would share my findings!

  • Carotenoids are antioxidants containing the natural pigments found in fruits and vegetables and generally, the richer and/or brighter a food is in color, the higher the concentration of carotenoids.
  • The type of carotenoid most responsible for the orange and yellow pigmentations is beta-carotene providing hefty doses of Vitamin A.
  • Vitamin A strengthens bones and tooth enamel, supports healthy skin (think less acne, wrinkles, dry skin), fights against cancer, boosts your body’s immunity, and helps absorb other essential nutrients into your body.
  • Foods rich in beta-carotene:

orange-fruits-and-vegetables

That’s all I’ve got for now, but orange ya glad the week is halfway over!?! 😉

Butternut Squash Bisque – CPC #6

Whenever a restaurant offers butternut squash, sweet potato, or pumpkin soup, I always order it.  I love the thick, creamy consistency, as well as all the flavors it has to offer.

butternut ss2

I wanted to recreate restaurant-style flavor but lighten it up a bit without all the added heavy creams and sodium.

butternut squash ing

I used a Cooking Light recipe for Butternut Squash & Parsnip Soup but after tweaking the ingredients a bit and giving it a taste, I had to rename it a “bisque” from it’s velvety, smooth, creamy texture.

bss4

Although a bisque is traditionally enriched with creams, I didn’t feel this one needed it.  The base is slightly sweet with a touch of warm spices and the addition of goat cheese, pistachios and sundried tomatoes really brought it up to the next level.

Butternut Squash Bisque

Butternut Squash Bisque

Adapted from this Cooking Light recipe

Ingredients:

1 medium butternut squash, peeled & seeded

2 small apples, peeled

4 medium parsnips, peeled

2 red onions, chopped

1/4 tsp, plus 1/8 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 1/2 cups water

2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp coriander

Optional toppings: goat cheese, pistachios, sundried tomatoes

Directions:

1.  Chop squash, apples, parsnips and onions into large chunks (about 1-2 inch cubes) and place into the crock pot.

soup raw veggies

2.  Stir in 1/4 tsp salt and the next 3 ingredients.  Cover and let cook for 4 hours on high (or longer on low setting, maybe 6 hours) until vegetables are very tender.

soup cook

3.  Divide into 3 or 4 batches and puree in a food processor until smooth.  Be very careful not to overfill since the veggies are hot and may burn if splattered.

soup blend

4.  Add mixture to a large bowl and stir in remaining salt, paprika, cumin and coriander.

soup blend2

5.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with crumbled goat cheese, chopped pistachios and chopped sundried tomatoes.

butternut and parsnip soup