Starting Monday, Ben & I will be joining our gym's call to partake in the "Lean & Green Challenge." Before I divulge into what it entails, let me say that I can already imagine the expression on your face as you continue reading. And I'm actually looking forward to it (in some respects). It is a Paleo eating style, which means we will be eating as Paleolithic people. You got that? Okay, well, it means we only eat lean meats, vegetables, limited fruit, nuts & seeds and good fats (olive oil, coconut oil, nut oils, nut butters, etc). That means we will not be eating any grains (containing gluten and gluten-free), dairy, sugars, or legumes (yes peanuts are a part of that).
I, of course, prefaced it with what we can eat, because most people upon hearing what we can't eat automatically ask, "Well, what CAN you eat?" The next question, "Kamille, why are you doing this? What does this mean with baking?" Good question! Ben and I have been looking at our Family Mission (reading this great book) and our top priority is getting our family healthy. Ben joined Jogo in March, me in August, my mental health turned for the worse and we want more from life. Friends & co-Jogomates have testified the goodness of doing Paleo. How aches, pains, intestinal problems, weight around the gut, etc went away after following a Paleo food lifestyle (Robb Wolf), along with regular cardio-exercise. So really, I would have to ask myself, "Why wouldn't I join the "L&G Challenge?"
And about baking...well, to be quite honest, I haven't really wanted to bake much these days. Maybe it's a mixture of exercise, lack of time, demands of family? And maybe I'm just burnt out. What I am excited about is loving my family in these next 30 days by preparing & cooking food that will be good to their body, help me menu plan (for once anyway) and most likely have a tighter rein on the food budget. Plus, we have a 1/2 a cow in our deep freezer, so here's to using it. One of my recipes is this soup, which puts a twist on an Autumn classic. The coconut is subtle enough, which is why I didn't use a whole can (but you certainly could) and plays on the creaminess known to the butternut squash. The ginger adds bite & spice to make it come a bit alive. Stay tuned as our family embarks on this adventure, and hopefully share a recipe or two:)
A Year Ago: Simple Meals & Juxtaposition
Coconut Ginger Butternut Squash Soup (printable recipe)
If you want to substitute the water for warm chicken broth, go right ahead, because it would add a greater depth of flavor to it.
2 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 small onion, roughly cut into large dice
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
3-5 cups water
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp finely grated ginger
Garnish options: olive oil, kosher salt, red pepper chili flakes, cilantro
Preheat oven to 425. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place butternut squash & onion on parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, mix around with hands, sprinkle a bit of salt on top. Roast for about 30-35 minutes, check the squash (a fork should pierce right through).
Add the roasted squash & onions in batches to the blender. Add 1/4 cup coconut milk and about 1/2 cup of water. Put a towel on top of the lid to avoid getting burnt by the steam. Blend until completely pureed. You most likely will need to add more water along the way. Continue doing this, until all the squash/onion mixture is pureed; as well as, the coconut milk is gone.
Transfer the puree to a large pot and bring up to medium heat. Add more water, 1/2 cup portion at a time, until you get the consistency you prefer. Add ground ginger & freshly grated ginger (using a microplane zester). Add salt to taste. If you need a bit of acid, then squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lime--taste and if you think it needs the other 1/2--go ahead and add it.
Ladle into bowl, drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, along with red pepper chili flakes, some cilantro and a pinch of coarse salt.