Boost your immune system, fuel and nourish your body this winter with a hearty, healthy homemade soup.
Butternut Squash is one vegetable in particular that flourished in my garden this last year. I am still picking some end of year produce and have been overjoyed with the harvest from the last year. Not only is it incredibly healthy and pairs well with other fruits and veggies, but it’s perfect for this season.
After a weekend of snow and ice, I am craving the cozy clothes, fire pits and warm comfort foods. During this season, I often crave chili, stews and soups. I welcome you to check out my Healthy and Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew here. Whether you’re making a warm batch of Healthy Homemade Bone Broth Recipe or gathering ingredients to create your own comfort food, you’ve come to the right place to nourish your body with seasonal eating and simple recipes.
Today I am sharing one of my favorites….
Creamy Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
I love squash this time of the year and it aligns with the many benefits of seasonal eating. Winter is a great time for a variety of squash dishes.
Butternut Squash dishes up a ton of benefits:
Supports a healthy immune system
Aids digestion and gut health
Supports healthy blood sugar levels
Contains disease fighting antioxidants
Loaded with vitamins, potassium, magnesium and fiber
Add all the ingredients to a large soup pot over medium heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir well. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can blend the soup in batches in a high speed blender and serve. Enjoy!
Do you have a favorite butternut squash dish? I’d love to hear!
As we welcome a time change and brighter longer days, we are seeing nature come out of hibernation. Transitioning from winter into sunny spring energy. Spring often brings play, more activity, energy and creativity. Yet, we are experiencing a seasonal shift that goes against the grain. Due to currently being in the pandemic, we are experiencing heightened anxiety, depression, exhaustion (mentally and physically) and uncertainty.
Now more than ever, it’s important for us to be proactive with our health, joy and wellbeing. It’s important for us to support ourselves (and others) with the season but also give grace if we need to slow down, rest and bump up added self care.
The past year may have brought a change in lifestyle, health, family, social dynamic and more. We saw a rise in isolation, lack of community and family connection, added stress, health (mental and physical) concerns and a rise in coping strategies.
With the spring season shining her beauty upon us this month, we are given a “fresh start” and clean slate to make change. The perfect time to do some “spring cleaning.” This is not a time to usher in shame, guilt, questioning worth or getting stuck in the muck of limiting beliefs or toxic thoughts. It’s a time for forgiveness, compassion (for self and others), growth, transformation and healing.
In the fall, much like the trees, we released what no longer serves us. Slowing for rest and restoration through the winter season. Now is our time to bloom and rise. With the rise, it’s beneficial to look at the root- the root cause of things that could be holding us back. Where can change be made? Where can some spring cleaning be implemented?
The spring season is all about embracing change. Though change isn’t always comfortable, it’s needed for growth. Spring is also about the liver, our primary filtration system. A huge part of the body responsible for filtering toxins. Toxins can come in many forms from the foods we eat, the beverages we consume and the medicines ingested. Toxins are also in the products we use and in the environment around us. The liver can become tired and sluggish if it’s not supported and nourished. With spring being all about supporting the liver, this is a perfect time to “clean house.”
In addition to the liver, the kidneys can be damaged due to too much alcohol, toxic overload and medication use. Both the liver and kidneys are an important part of the body and deliver a support system for optimal health and wellbeing.
Reflecting over the past year and how you’re feeling presently, do you feel like you’re running with your check engine light on? Is your detoxification system feeling overloaded?
Spring is giving us grace to evaluate and address proactively what we presently need. Spring is about planting and weeding out the old. So, I welcome you to reflect and assess what you feel you need to weed out to plant new seeds.
Start with some small action steps such as movement outside, grounding in nature, nourishing with healthy seasonal foods, getting rest when needed and staying hydrated. Embrace the joy of the season with creativity and those child-like feels you used to experience during this season. What brings you joy and excitement? Get creative, have fun and keep it simple!
With the liver being the ruler over spring, it’s the “root” of life’s ultimate action. Some healthy foods and herbs to support the liver are beets, dandelion, licorice, milk thistle, broccoli, cabbage, dark greens and garlic.
Movement is another method for supporting your health and naturally detoxifying the body. With the body wanting to embrace more activity, this is a great time to get outside, play, workout and ground in nature. Both the body and mind will benefit.
If you’re feeling like you could use some additional support, detoxification and a simple strategic plan with a supportive and fun community, I welcome you to check out my upcoming Roots to Rise Spring Reset. I’d love to have you join us next month! To learn more: Roots to Rise Spring Reset
Ladies, there is no better time to Spring Into Sexy! Y’all ready to Spring with me? Let’s GROW!!!
When it comes to slaw, you may think of summer foods, pulled pork and heavy meals. Though I do love a good pulled pork sandwich and some creamy coleslaw (one of my weaknesses), there are other seasons and healthier ways to enjoy this side dish.
With the crisp air, fall foliage and fall foods flooding the farmers markets, we are offered a bounty of seasonal produce and opportunities for nourishing foods with the fall feels.
Though I will miss the smell and taste of fresh tomatoes off the vine and other summer goodies, I am really loving the abundance of fall foods in the garden. Foods like beets, kale, sweet potatoes and cabbage. Local orchards offer an abundance of delicious apples and some pears, depending on your area. Many of these items can be included in your slaw recipe if you’re looking for a creative variety.
Included in this dish is one of my favorites- red cabbage. Cabbage is packed with healthy nutrients and delivers an abundance of health. It’s been shown to reduce inflammation, support digestion and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Kohlrabi is an incredible superfood and one that’s loaded with antioxidants (help remove toxins in the body). It’s a cousin to Brussels, kale, broccoli and cabbage. Not only is it healthy and high in nutrients but it’s low in calories too. A veggie that you may find at many fall markets.
Crisp apples have similar benefits as cabbage but they also help support brain power and have been shown to support gut health. Sometimes I add in Asian Pears as well if they are in season. They are a great source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C and potassium. They also help support lung health and function. Apple cider vinegar and lemon are some of my favorites for supporting detoxification and cleansing in the body. Speaking or resetting and cleanings, if you’re feeling a need for it in your body (and mind), I welcome you to check out my upcoming Reset. Link: Fresh for Fall Reset
OK… back to this tasty recipe…
This slaw recipe is a fall staple and one I make often during the season and beyond. With cabbage and apples in full swing, it’s a great time to eat with the season and enjoy the colors of health. This dish pairs well as a base with some pulled chicken or protein of choice on top. You can add crunch with pumpkin seeds or enjoy it alone.
This recipe is super simple, easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time. The ginger and additional ingredients give it a little kick and fun taste. I welcome you to try the recipe as is or double it up and save some for later. This is a great dish for entertaining too!
Spicy Fall Slaw
1 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced
1 large kohlrabi, peeled and thinly sliced or grated
Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Massage the vegetables using clean hands to help the vegetables wilt. Adjust the seasoning to your tastes. Allow the slaw to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving. If using, top with Microgreens before serving.
I love summer cooking because there is such an abundance of produce, a variety of flavors and healthy ingredients that pair well to make simple meals. This week, for “Farmer’s Market Friday” (on Facebook), I am spotlighting one of my favorites. An ingredient grown every summer in my garden and found at many farmers markets…. zucchini. There are several ingredients you can substitute like summer yellow squash, peppers and 8 Ball Zucchini. Similar to my recipe seen in Frederick Lifestyle Magazine and City Lifestyle Magazine from last summer. Recipe: Stuffed 8-Ball Zucchini
If you’re looking for a super simple summer side to accompany your summer vegetarian dishes or pair with your gilled meat, this is another one of my “super simple summer favorites.” Simple Skillet Zucchini and Squash. Have fun with the produce, get creative and see what you like best with these yummy summer goodies.
Zucchini packs a powerhouse of healthy nutrients. It’s high in antioxidants, supports digestion and heart health, has shown to strengthen vision and has been linked to weight loss. It may help reduce blood sugar, strengthen bones and support thyroid function.
Originally from Italy, this tasty ingredient is often found combining Italian flavors, sauces and cheeses. Today I am sharing a healthier spin on this delicious dish. This recipe can be modified in many ways to your liking and palate.
Optional: Sometimes I add in fresh chopped peppers to this dish. I also sometimes add in fresh chopped herbs in place of the dry seasoning. Chopped fresh parsley can be added as a finishing garnish too.
NOTE: If you prefer non-meat options, you can substitute quinoa, chickpeas, beans, extra veggies and other cheese option.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a large baking dish or cast iron pans with additional oil.
Cut ends off of the zucchini and discard or compost. Cutting lengthwise, carefully slice each zucchini in half.
Using a small spoon or melon baller, carefully scoop out the seeds. These can also be disposed of or saved to add back into the sauce.
On the stovetop, heat a pan to medium heat and add the oil. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes. Followed by the garlic. Combine and cook for an additional 30-60 seconds while stirring to avoid browning.
Add in the meat and seasonings. Stir to combine. Cook the meat mixture until brown and cooked through.
Once the meat is fully cooked, add in the sauce and stir to combine.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 5 minutes.
Carefully fill your prepared boats with the saucy meat mixture. Top with shredded cheese.
Bake boats for 25-30 minutes or until zucchini is tender and cheese has a golden brown.
If desired, garnish with fresh chopped parsley and micro greens.
Summer produce is coming in hot this summer and we are seeing the bounty at the farmers markets and in our gardens. For those who planted gardens, you’re probably seeing a lot of squash and zucchini filling your garden. This is a go-to dish that I often make during the summer months.
I love this dish because it’s easy, full of delicious flavor, healthy and includes many summer garden staples that are flourishing right now. Have fun playing with different veggies and herbs. For me, I like to include fresh garlic, onion, peppers (any variety) and tomatoes. If you like a little heat, you can add in different kinds of hot peppers. Fresh herbs are great for health and detoxification. I love to use basil with this dish but you can also add in parsley, oregano, etc.
Zucchini is a healthy addition to meals as it provides antioxidants. It’s been linked to reduced inflammation, support heart health, improved vision and may help with weight loss. Add in more color of healthy veggies and you can have a powerhouse plate of health and flavor.
1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 yellow squash, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 teaspoons Italian herbs (or fresh herbs)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional garnish: Fresh basil
In a large skillet over medium heat, warm oil. Add the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
Add the zucchini, squash and peppers.
Add in the tomatoes and stir occasionally to avoiding browning or burning.
Sprinkle the herbs of choice and blend ingredients.
Cover and cook the blend on low (stirring from time to time).
The squash and zucchini will be tender and lightly crisp.
Garnish with fresh basil and serve.
Note: If you’re planning to freeze this dish, combine ingredients and cook for only a few minutes. Allow the dish to cool completely and freeze for later use.