By Coach KB
I am not one for keeping with tradition for tradition’s sake, especially when it comes to the food served at holidays and special events. Cake isn’t my favorite so I chose cookies and ice cream for my wedding. Consequently, my friends have to get a little more creative with my birthday candle arrangement. And please, Lord, when I die, my one request is that no macaroni salad be served at my funeral. Today is Thanksgiving, and while I’m aware that most of you have already prepared all of the food, maybe you can help me answer a few questions. Specifically…
Why exactly do we need to put marshmallows on top of what are already “sweet” potatoes, anyway?
And what exactly constitutes the “salad” part of Jell-O Salad?
Green bean casserole? Enough said.
It is 2015 and by now we should all know that things like heart disease and diabetes exist and are real threats. In fact, I just talked with someone who exercises regularly - 4x/week and is at a completely healthy weight - who just found out he is pre-diabetic and needs to make some adjustments to his diet. He asked me about tips for eating healthily on Thanksgiving. If we could all just agree to break with some of the traditional foods and eat a little differently at the holidays we could maybe even rid our culture of the guilt and shame that comes along with what should be an enjoyable time full of friends, family, and gratitude.
I am thankful that I am healthy and able-bodied and that I enjoy eating foods that are good for me. The thing is, food that is good for you can also taste good. It also doesn’t have to take a lot of effort to prepare. If you need something delicious to bring to the table today and haven’t otherwise planned anything, this simple butternut squash soup is a great option to add some variety. You can bring it along in a crockpot and have it warm all day for your guests. Even though it outside the norm of “traditional” Thanksgiving-day foods, I guarantee it will be a hit!
1 butternut squash, peeled & chopped (you can peel the rind with a vegetable peeler – it’s thin and delicate enough)*
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 quart organic chicken or vegetable stock (I usually use vegetable stock and it is delicious!)
1 tsp. cinnamon plus a dash more for a garnish
1 tsp. sea salt
1⁄2 tsp. nutmeg
1⁄4-1⁄2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional ... but it’s the best option!)
Chopped walnuts as a garnish
2 T coconut oil
Optional – If you are using this as your main dish, add shredded chicken to make it heartier.
Not optional - Always, ALWAYS add greens to your meals.
1) Heat oil in a large stock pot and sauté chopped onion until turning translucent.
2) Add cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and optional cayenne pepper and continue to sauté until onions are translucent.
3) Add the squash and broth and boil until squash is tender.
4) Puree all ingredients with an immersion blender, in a regular blender, or in a food processor until smooth.
5) Garnish with a dash of cinnamon and chopped walnuts (and sage leaves if you want it to look like the picture)
*(... or you can cut the squash in half lengthwise and place flesh-side down on a baking tray with a little water in it and cook on 350 for about 60-75 minutes, cool enough to handle, and scoop out the squash right into the blender/processor with the rest of the ingredients. I did it this way and only used about 3/4 of a quart of broth.)