We are at the tail end of the Winter Squash season but if you can find a butternut squash you need to make this soup. I was in Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods the other day and both still have butternut squash in stock. My daughter Katy made this recipe first and she said I needed to make it. She was right as it is filling and fabulous. I had to tweak it a little with the addition of about 4 cups of chopped kale to up the nutrition a tad and help us get in some of our daily greens. We just might be fighting over who gets that last bowl of deliciousness.
The recipe called for kidney beans but we also used a can of black beans. Like most soups its even better the second day making it one of those perfect leftover meals. You all know how much I love leftovers – those easy heat and eat meals make me happy!
Butternut Squash and Bean Chili
- 1 large onion, cut into medium dice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) petite-diced tomatoes
- 4 cups bite-size diced butternut squash
- 2 cans (15 to 16 ounces each) kidney beans, drained or black beans, pinto beans or a combination of you favorites
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1 can (13.5 ounces) light coconut milk
- 4 cups chopped organic kale
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion, white and green part – optional
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro – optional
Spray a dutch oven with non stick spray and heat it over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes – add a little water if needed to keep them from sticking. Add garlic, chili powder, paprika, and thyme; sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Add tomatoes; stew to reduce slightly, a couple of minutes longer. Add squash, kidney beans, broth, kale and coconut milk; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until squash are tender and flavors blend, about 30 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in scallions and cilantro if using; let stand to blend flavors, a few minutes longer. Serve, garnishing with extra scallions and cilantro if desired. Since I added kale we skipped the cilantro and green onions.
Yield: approximately 12 cups (I forgot to write it down but I think it was about 12 cups. You can always measure out how many cups you get or divide the finished soup into 6 bowls
Serving Size: Approx 2 cups
Recipe adapted from Butternut Squash and Kidney Bean Chili from Three Many Cooks blog.
*Estimated Nutritional Information
Per Serving; Calories 242, Fat 5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 768.3mg, Potassium 282.4mg, Carbohydrates 40.6g, Fiber 9.8g, Protein 10g, WWPP 6
*The nutritional information and WW PP values posted on Nutmeg Notebook are my best estimates based on the brands of products I use and the software programs used to calculate them. If you rely heavily on the nutritional information and WWPP values I encourage you to double check the values given, using the brands of products you use. If you find big differences feel free to email me or leave me a comment letting me know.
As many of you guessed we are moving towards a more plant based diet. Yes, even my meat loving hubby Tom is on board and loving this new way of eating. About a year ago I saw Dr Joel Fuhrman on the Dr Oz show. I read the Eat To Live book and although I was intrigued with what I read we were in the midst of planning Katy’s wedding. The timing wasn’t right to be making big changes to our food plan. Then of course after the wedding I was dealing with my foot issues, surgery and recovery. Again not a good time to switch up the food plan. It was however the perfect time to read books about healthy eating. Then one day not too long ago my daughter texted me and said I needed to turn on the Dr Oz show and listen to Dr Fuhrman talk about his Super Immunity book and food plan. The timing was right!
The past few years I have been on a quest to clean up our “diet” or food plan. We started eating more organic produce, organic dairy and organic animal products. So why make any more changes? Even with a healthy food plan my LDL cholesterol levels have been creeping up the past two years do to genetics. I haven’t felt really healthy since well before I had surgery. Sleepless nights, chronic pain and fatigue have taken a toll on my body and my spirit. The weight gained while being laid up for 7 months has been slow to come off. My doctor agreed to hold off on prescribing statin drugs and let me try more dietary changes to see if I can lower my cholesterol naturally and I hope to prove to him that I can do just that! I do believe that we are what we eat and that food can be used as medicine.
What is it?
“Flexitarian” is used to describe a diet or a person who eats a “mostly” vegetarian diet, occasionally including meat or animal products. Dr Fuhrman coined his food plan as a nutritarian diet which is a plant based high nutrient dense diet. The food plan includes lots of vegetables with an emphasis on green vegetables, beans, onions, mushrooms, nuts,seeds and whole grains. The less processed and more natural the food we choose the higher nutritional value it contains. Ninety percent of our new food plan comes from the previous list of healthy foods and that leaves room for 10 percent to come from animal products if we choose to do so. Animal products include all types of meat, dairy, fish and eggs. Healthy fats like nuts, seeds and avocados are favored over oil – yes even olive oil is used sparingly because it is calorie dense with little nutritional value.
Animal products are used sparingly
Instead of building a meal around “meat”, animal products can be used as a topping or a garnish to enhance the dish. I won’t lie, it kind of makes your brain do a flip when it comes to meal planning in the beginning. It’s a good time to be fearless in the kitchen and try some new recipes and be open to a new food plan. Almost everything I have made has been amazing! Oh there have been a couple things that won’t get an encore but the good stuff has been really good. Amazing soups, vegetarian bean burgers, lentil loaf, delicious salads, green smoothies, oatmeal berry bars and stuffed peppers have delighted our taste buds. I honestly don’t miss the meat. Hubby Tom is doing great and enjoys his 10 percent of animal products. One day after eating a lunch that included some chicken he requested a vegetarian meal for dinner – I nearly fell off my chair!
We have been eating this way for just over 3 weeks. We have both dropped some weight – 5.6 pounds for me and around 8 pounds for hubby Tom. We are sleeping better and seem to have more energy. That would be a success in my book!
If you are curious about a vegetarian, flexitarian or nutritarian diet and the benefits they offer I encourage you to read some of the books shown above. There is so much scientific research to support eating a plant heavy diet. There is a ton of information on the internet about eating a plant based diet. You can read more about the Super Immunity Diet on the Dr Oz site here. Visit the Forks Over Knives website or watch the video on Netflix. The Engine 2 Diet is also a plant based food plan and offers many recipes on their web site. If you are a Weight Watcher follower there is even a group of Vegetarian’s who are eating a nutrient dense diet while counting points. Check out their posts on the WW Message Boards under Vegetarians.
I am not a medical professional, jut a blogger sharing her adventure as she strives to become as healthy as she can be through lifestyle changes. I encourage you to discuss any dietary changes with your personal physician and get their consent.
I have wrestled with how or if I should even continue blogging. I know that many of you may stop following the blog as my new food plan may not appeal to your sense of taste. That will make me sad as I have made so many friends through the blog. For those of you who are curious about how this all works out I have decided to continue blogging about my adventures into the plant world! I will be posting some delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes with a sprinkling of recipes that include animal products. We served a wonderful chicken dish on Easter Sunday along side an amazing salad with a nut based home made salad dressing. Dessert was a moist and delicious yet healthy chocolate cake that was rich in nutrients and enjoyed by all. You are going to love these recipes!
I hope you will enjoy my new culinary adventures and garner some healthy food and nutrition tips that you can incorporate into your own food plan. There will be future posts about the nutritarian food plan as I share what I am learning about how what we eat is directly related to our health.
To your health!
Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.
Would you like to know more about the flexitarian / nutritarian food plan?