The most scrumptious cream of butternut soup and a special grilled cheese

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It’s been so grey this winter, it’s hard to not feel a little down when the sun goes awol. Kind of wish I had the means to hop on a plane and head south…! So to combat the grey skies I’m cooking with colour! This creamy delicious butternut squash soup brought a smile back, at least for a short moment! Be sure to scoop out the seeds and use them as well, nothing should go to waste, plus they’re delicious!

Cream of butternut squash soup

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed, seeds removed and reserved

1 medium onion

Enough stock (I used chicken) to cover veggies

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon grilled sesame oil

1 1/2 teaspoons hawaiij spices (recipe below)

1 can cream of coconut, reserve 1/6 for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro leaves and sliced green onions for garnish

Sauté onions in olive oil until soft and translucent, add butternut, spices and sesame oil and sauté until well blended. Add stock and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until squash is tender. Add to blender with coconut cream and blend on high until smooth. Serve and garnish with reserved coconut cream, green onions and cilantro.

Grilled cheese

1 large slice of country bread

2-3 slices of aged cheddar

Red curry paste

Cilantro

Sliced green onions

Butter

Spread a thin layer of the curry paste on the bread, garnish with the sliced green onions, cheese then cilantro. Cut in half and close into a sandwich, butter both sides and grill in hot pan with a weight to brown well. Check and when bread is golden brown turn over and repeat.   Enjoy with your soup for a delicious meal!

Hawaaij

Hawaaij is a Yemenite spice mixture, varying from home to home, much like the curry mixes in India. This is a blend that Melissa Yeh shared on her blog, My name is Yeh

2 tablespoons ground ginger

2 tablespoons ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Roasted pumpkin or squash seeds

1 cup seeds rinsed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

dash of ground chipotle

Blend all ingredients and spread on a lined baking sheet. Cook in a 350º oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Will keep at least one month stored in an airtight container. Enjoy sprinkled on soups or as a snack!

Happy New Year & hit reset!

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I hope the start of this new year has been good to you, I certainly feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders! I can’t say I truly enjoyed 2016, too many challenges for my liking. Death of a family member, death of toxic friendships, work ups and downs…. I’m happy to press the reset button and start fresh, which is what I’ve been doing as far as food is concerned. January usually sees most of us lighten up to balance the holidays’ enjoyments and I’m no exception! So I’m sharing a vitamin powerhouse smoothie for your winter vitamin starved cells!  I was inspired to use this hawaiij spice mix from The First Mess’ Baked apple oatmeal recipe, I just can’t stop making this recipe it’s so delicious!

 

Blueberry, beet and hawaiij spices

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Recipe

1 cup blueberries

1 cup dices, cooked beets

1 cup iced tea or kefir or milk alternative

1 teaspoon hawaiij spices

Instructions

Put all ingredients into blender and blend on high until smooth, adjusting spices as needed.

 

Enjoy!