Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Tonight for dinner, I made Pumpkin Soup!! I searched the internet for a healthy recipe and had a lot of trouble. I didn’t want a recipe that called for heavy cream or a ton of other ingredients. Thankfully, I found one that I was confidently able to tweek to my liking. The recipe called for Chicken Broth, Pumpkin Puree, Onion and Garlic Powder, Thyme, and Milk. I intended on including the milk because it was only 1/2 Cup, but I ended up forgetting to put it in (haha, oops!). But the soup came out awesome! And I made a few changes. So if you’re looking for a healthy pumpkin recipe that doesn’t call for any milk or cream, here it is!

^ this is the Chicken Broth and Pumpkin Puree that I used for the soup. Here’s my Pumpkin Soup recipe:

  • 3 Cups of Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cups (or 1 can) of Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Garlic Powder (can add Onion Powder, too!)
  • Chopped Onion (I just measured this by eye)
  • Salt and Pepper (I added a little salt because my broth was low sodium; if yours isn’t you probably won’t need it)
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice!! (my favorite ingredient–I did this to taste)

So, I chose (by accident) to not include any milk or cream in this recipe. Next time, I’d like to try it out with the milk but itΒ really isn’t necessary. I was so happy with how this turned out, and my roommates said it smelt amazing; one also tasted it and demanded the recipe at once! Of course that made me really happy πŸ™‚ To go with or without milk is 100% up to you, and I can assure you either way it will turn out good!

Procedure:

  1. Put Chicken Broth, Pumpkin Puree, Chopped Onion and Garlic Powder in pot and whisk together
  2. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer for 30 minutes
  3. Add Salt (optional), Pepper, and Pumpkin Pie Spice-all to taste-and whisk well into soup

*Note: If you choose to include the milk: Add 1/2 Cup of Milk into the soup after it has been brought to a boil, right before you let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.

All done! It came out great; I was so happy with it. And adding the pumpkin pie spice is what really topped it off, so please don’t skip that step! Hope you give my recipe a try and enjoy! I’ll be back soon with more Fall recipes! xoxo

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Cocoa Powder!

Remember all that great info on cocoa? (If not, check it out in “Food and Drinks to Know About”) Well this weekend I bought Natural Unsweetened Cocoa powder at the grocery store to add to my protein shakes and meal shakes. I do not add sweetener because I love the taste of cocoa and only use 1 or 2 tablespoons. Moreover, I don’t really think you need it-especially if there’s other naturally sweet stuff in your shake.

Anyway, it’s great! I’ve never used straight cocoa powder before and was so happy that I finally bought it, because I have been thinking about it for months now. AND it’s only 10 calories per tablespoon–the wonderful taste of chocolate for only 10 or 20 calories? That’s awesome! For a post-workout meal, I like to make a shake from Natural Edge Meal Replacement (I have vanilla cause it’s good by itself and easy to alter, depending on what I want). Yesterday, I mixed 2 scoops of meal replacement, a little milk, water, some spinach, and two tablespoons of cocoa powder–it was delicious and perfect refueling after my run. So, if you like chocolate and have ever thought about incorporating cocoa powder to any selection of things (it’s great for so many drinks and foods and a better choice over other options because it’sΒ REAL), I highly recommend it! Give it a try and enjoy!

P.S. I know I never posted about the baked apples, but I DID make them and have pictures. I have been busy with school, but have a short holiday starting tomorrow afternoon, so I will come back and post sometime tomorrow!

Squash Ravioli, Stuffed Tomatoes, and Roasted Potatoes

Tonight, I made probably the best meal I’ve ever made: Squash stuffed Ravioli, Tomatoes stuffed with Garlic Cheddar Cheese and Basil Pesto, and Roasted Potatoes, Pepper, and Oregano. I got everything at Indian Ladder Farms, where Chris and I went Apple Picking this afternoon; everything was all-natural, no preservatives, and delicious! The tomatoes and potatoes were grown from the farm and the rest was sold in their shop. Everything they have is great quality and wholesome, so it’s an extra treat to grab some food you can bring home-especially dinner ingredients-after apple picking.

It certainly wasn’t the lowest calorie dinner, but I went on a run this morning and we had a super long day on our feet, so I think of it as refueling πŸ™‚ And it was all wholesome, good quality, all-natural food, and that’s what is most important to me.

I prepared the tomatoes and potatoes first, because they needed to be baked for 30-45 minutes. Here is how I prepared them:

1. Tomatoes: Preheat oven to 375 (it is best to grease your pan with coconut oil)

  • Wash tomatoes and cut off the tops
  • Clean out the middle (the pulp and seeds) with a spoon and discard (or eat if you’d like)
  • Then, I put about a teaspoon of pesto into each tomato and coated the inside as best I could-sides and everything
  • Next, I added the cheese-I had a big block so I just cut it into small pieces until it filled the tomato (I used Garlic Cheddar cheese)
  • Last, I topped it off with another scoop of pesto
  • Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes (I read online 45 minutes but mine started to split around 25-30 minutes, so I took that to mean that they were done)

2. Potatoes: Can bake with tomatoes at 375; coat pan with coconut oil

  • Wash and cut potatoes into cubes or small pieces (Chris did this to help me out)
  • Scatter across pan
  • Season as you like (I used black pepper and oregano)
  • Bake for at least 45 minutes; or until you see the edges browning (I did 45 minutes, but they honestly could have gone longer if we wanted them to)
  • Toss in Olive Oil after roasting

And my final step was the ravioli and sauce. I bought both of these packaged, so I just cooked the ravioli in boiling water for 15 minutes and heated up the sauce. Again, the ravioli were Mini Squash Stuffed Ravioli and the sauce was Marinara Sauce from the Birkshires! Both were incredible.

This dinner had a lot of parts, but was actually very easy to put together and clean up. The ingredients were particular as well, but maybe it will inspire you to make something similar!

Apple Picking!

Today, Chris and I went Apple Picking at Indian Ladder Farms πŸ™‚

Indian Ladder Farms!

I absolutely love this place. This was our 2nd time apple picking here, and it was better than I remember. We go apple picking first, put the apples in the car, and then go shop inside. Today, I bought all my ingredients for our dinner (which will be in the next post), sweet apple cider, pumpkin bread mix, almond butter, and black raspberry preserves. I want to bake something next weekend on the 22nd, since it’s the first day of fall, so I decided on pumpkin bread when I saw it in the shop. And tomorrow, with the apples that we picked this afternoon, I am going to make baked apples and use them in a creative way that I found on Pinterest…so come back tomorrow to see what it is!

Freshly Picked Apples!

I had one of the apples when we got home because I couldn’t resist, and it was one of the best apples I’ve had in my life. It was crisp, not too sweet and so fresh. If you like apples, I highly suggest going apple picking sometime this season-it’s fun and you get the most delicious apples!

Need a Little Motivation?

Good morning! Do you need a little motivation this morning? Whether it’s to get up and move, finally embark on a healthier lifestyle, get to work, or whatever it is that you have to do, keep this awesome quote in mind:

“A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” -Jim Watkins

I’ve seen this quote so many places but came across it just now on Women’s Health. I thought it was a great way to start the day and wanted to share it with you! Have a great day, xoxo

What’s Your Muscle Type?

Hey everyone! So, I decided to deviate from the usual food post and thought it was time for some fitness info. I have been thinking about this for quite sometime but didn’t know what would be good to post. Luckily, I came across something awesome today (yes, via facebook)! Facebook has gotten to know me very well, and my page suggestions now revolve around natural/organic food and running. And this was how I found Active.com-a great website for training tips, races, healthy eating, and more!

Photo: Google Images; ATHLETA

What intrigued me, specifically, was a link to a muscle type quiz. I run a lot and am currently training to up my mileage and thought this would provide me with some great information that could help me tailor my training to what my body will benefit from. I found out that I have 60% ST fibers and 40% FT fibers and that my best race would be an 800 Meter (what I ran in high school for Track & Field!) and the mile. Also, that my training should focus more on interval training. And that’s exactly what I did today. I ran about 3.2 miles (5k distance) on Β both Sunday and Monday, so today was a great day to throw in some interval training! Do you like to run? Do you know your muscle type? Take the quiz and find out! You may learn something new about your body and ways to improve your training πŸ™‚

And remember, do what you love; just stay active. That’s what is really most important. Keep your body moving. Here’s another picture/ad from ATHLETA that I just love because it is so positively motivating:

Photo: Google Images; ATHLETA

Power to the She and power to you!

A Chance to Participate in the Fight Against MS

Hey everyone! Next month, my brother-in-law, Tim, will be participating in the 2012 Bike MS New York City. The cause is very close to him because one of his brother’s was diagnosed with MS almost ten years ago.Β If you have a chance, please take a moment toΒ read his personal page and possibly make a donation, if you can. He has already raised $1,310.00, thanks to some amazing people!

Here is this link to Tim’s Page

and here is the link to the National MS Website

Maybe if you’re from New York, you can sign up to ride, too! Together we can do amazing things. Thanks, xoxo