90 Days of Getting Back to ME--Update

Well....I'm sick....again. I know what you're all thinking: maybe it's the healthy stuff that's making me sick. But truthfully I haven't really changed my diet much and I'm not starving myself. It really is just having a kid in preschool for the 1st time.  She brought home ANOTHER nasty cold.  So, no working out again for me (and if you know anything about me then you know I'm not all that upset about it ;-) ). Somehow, even though I've been sick now for about a month, I've managed to lose 5 lbs. All I can think is how much I would have lost if I hadn't been sick so often. Oy. :( The REALLY disappointing thing is even though I'm sick I haven't lost one bit of my appetite.  I say, if I have to be sick BRING ON THE STOMACH FLU!  I mean seriously!  Give me a break here. I've had 3 colds in 45 days and the whole "starve a fever, feed a cold" is getting a bit old here.  Where's the good, old-fashioned, nasty stomach flu when you need it??  So unfair.

I do love fall and with it all the fresh changes in food.  My favorite vegetables of the year are winter root vegetables so I was so excited to be able to make a huge batch of homemade butternut squash soup for the week.  John is also going to be making a vegetarian chili this week so I've included both recipes below.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP These measurements below will make enough to feed a family of 3-4 about 2 times. These measurements are also guesstimates, as I rarely measure anything and usually everything I make is just right from my head, like this recipe. I also only peel my veggies a little bit or not at all. There are a lot of nutrients in skins, even on carrots. So if you can get used to it, just learn to clean your veggies very well, but not peel them. Also--I use rice milk in my recipe because (1) we don't eat a lot of dairy and (2) it's naturally a little sweet so it adds to the sweetness of the squash. As a topping, if you want one, you can use a dollop of greek yogurt (or lowfat sour cream) and sprinkle on some sliced almonds or chives.

2 medium butternut squash 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks 1/2 yellow onion, chopped 1/2 leek, sliced thin 4 garlic cloves, cut off tops and place in a small pouch of aluminum foil with a little evoo 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped evoo 3-4 cups rice milk 3-4 cups veggie broth

Preheat oven to 350. Slice squash lengthwise and scoop out gook and seeds and discard. Brush on some evoo and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and put in oven for about 45 minutes. Toss all other veggies in a little evoo and salt and pepper generously. Place all on another baking sheet (put the pouch of garlic right on top) and put in oven at 350 for an hour stirring occasionally.

When squash is done, scoop all of it out of the skin and put in a food processor. Add about 2-3 cups milk with 2-3 cups broth (you may have to do this in batches). Turn it on and puree till smooth (just about 30 seconds to a minute). Just watch the consistency. If you want it a little thinner just keep adding milk and broth interchangeably. We like ours a little thicker to make it more stew-ish. Once that's all done pour it all into a pot and add all the rest of the veggies. Squeeze out the insides of the roasted garlic and stir it all, heat it all thru. Check to see if it needs anymore seasoning. Scoop into a bowl, add topping if you want and serve it with a big chunk of crusty bread for dipping. YUM.

VEGETARIAN CHILI 1 28oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes 1 small can of tomato paste 1 onion, peeled and chopped 1 green pepper, chopped 1 red pepper, chopped 1 1/2 cup celery, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 can kidney beans 1 can black beans 1 1/2 cup water 5 tbsp or more of chili powder salt/pepper 3 tbsp oregano 1 tbsp olive oil

Heat olive oil and put in garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, add onion. Cook for about 5 minutes and add the rest. Cook veggies for about another 7 minutes (I like to cook my veggies on medium-high heat because I like mine blackened a bit for flavor). Add seasonings and stir. Cook another minute. Add paste and cook another minute. Add water and tomatoes. Break up tomatoes with fingers, or if you don't want the extra work, just use a big can of diced tomatoes. Stir in beans and cook for about 2-3 hours on low heat.

Serve with cornbread or a big hunk of crusty bread. You can also top this with a dollop or plain greek yogurt or sour cream and chives. YUM! Just make sure to season to taste. Some people like a lot more chili powder. You can also add a can of beer instead of the water. Gives it a more robust flavor. John also likes to throw in a few handfuls of cashews at the end to add a little crunch but if you're watching your calories then skip them!

Next update on Tuesday!