Immunity-boosting soup perfect for some cold weather comfort while preparing your body to fight the bugs going around! Creamy, delicious, and fresh tasting. Click for the recipe and pin for later!

Immunity-Boosting Butternut Squash Soup

It is cold and flu season and I am resolving to have none of it! I have a master plan that includes lots of hand washing, diffusing some immunity boosting essential oils, and nourishing my body! My friend Jackie over at Stick Insectz asked me if I would collaborate with her in an effort to create a small collection of soups that will keep your immune system working at its best. Out of that sprung this immunity-boosting butternut squash soup!

Many of these foods are included because they are high in vitamin C and a variety of other vitamins. This recipe includes butternut squash, lemon juice, and apples.  Most colourful fruits and vegetables will be great for your body just because they are packed with vitamins.

You will also notice that there are three different roots that are used in many ancient and traditional medicines: turmeric, garlic, and ginger. These particular foods have long been used for health and therefore are being included in this soup. The wonderful part about many of these foods is that they not only help your body stay healthy or battle illness but also complement each other’s flavours.
 Immunity-boosting butternut squash soup perfect for some cold weather comfort while preparing your body to fight the bugs going around! Creamy, delicious, and fresh tasting. Click for the recipe and pin for later!

Substitutions:
Other broths such as turkey or vegetable will taste good in this soup however chicken broth is considered the most helpful for your health.
It is also possible to substitute the butternut squash for another type of roasted orange vegetable such as a different winter squash (pumpkin, acorn squash, hubbard squash, buttercup, etc.), sweet potatoes or even carrots. The important part is to roast it prior to blending to ensure the soup is sweet and smooth.

Garnish:
Feel free to add a few chopped parsley leaves and a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper to the top to brighten the colour of your bowl.
I highly recommend garnishing your soup with apple noodles. It is not a requirement but definitely makes you feel fancy! If you’re wondering, what are apple noodles, you can read more about the amazing kitchen tool you can use to do that right here!
A dollop of goat cheese or plain greek yogurt will add a nice tang to contrast the sweet soup if you eat dairy.
Feel free to add a few chopped parsley leaves and a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper to the top to brighten the colour of your bowl.

Suggestions:
A fun twist to this soup would be to include some additional curry flavoured spices if you like some spice to clear your sinuses!

Disclaimer:  This post is not sponsored and all recommendations contained here are my own. Little Home Cookbook uses affiliate and referral links, which allow me to receive a small commission if you decide to purchase through one of my links.

Immunity Boosting Butternut Squash Soup
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Ingredients

  • 1 whole onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 apples (peel on, seeds and core out)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp grated ginger

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350oF
  2. Peel butternut squash.
  3. Cut off the bulb of your squash and cut that portion in half to remove seeds and guts.
  4. Peel and cut onion into eighths.
  5. Peel garlic.
  6. Place the squash bulb, onion and garlic on a roasting pan and put in oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. (Or pour into a soup pot and use your immersion blender).
  8. Feel free to add some water to rinse the creamy mess left in your blender into your soup to make it a thickness you enjoy.
  9. Add your garnish of choice and enjoy your immunity boosting food filled soup!
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Chickpea Cauliflower Curry

Hello, friends! Fall has arrived in all of its glory. I was hoping for a warm and sunny fall, but I guess I shouldn’t expect much from this winter desert. Most of Alberta got snow this weekend and it is lingering on the ground. Because the cold weather is sneaking up, it’s time to share one of my favourite comforting foods. Even though I declared my undying love for soup when I wrote about my Curried Shrimp Noodle Soup, that’s not what we’re talking about right now. Don’t be disappointed, though, this Chickpea Cauliflower Curry recipe shares a similar flavour profile with that soup.

A delicious creamy coconut chickpea cauliflower curry that is vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free. It is packed with flavour and a perfect simple and hearty dinner time meal idea. Click the image to see the full recipe or pin to save for later.

I have a thing for curry because it is bursting with  flavour. You may be thinking that curry and hot sauce are the same because they are spicy, but I beg to differ! A good hot sauce is traditionally created with aged chili peppers and vinegar. Curry paste is created with a blend of chili peppers, garlic, ginger, coriander, lemon grass, and other great spices. The combination of so many different spices and aromatic foods create the complex, delicious flavours.

I’m adding a bit of a disclaimer here to let you know that I don’t make my own curry paste. I have tried it and it was delicious. I don’t regularly make it because, in my opinion, it took too much time. If you are feeling ambitious, I’ve dropped a super easy recipe here for you to check out which would work well with this recipe.

Have I scared you with all of my talk about the curry spice? Fear not! The coconut milk in this dish mellows the heat of the curry paste. I want to dig deeper into how to deal with too much spicy heat in your food later. For now, trust me when I tell you that fatty foods help soothe your tongue when something is too spicy.

A delicious creamy coconut chickpea cauliflower curry that is vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free. It is packed with flavour and a perfect simple and hearty dinner time meal idea. Click the image to see the full recipe or pin to save for later.

Try this chickpea cauliflower curry and tell me what you think! If you think this might be too spicy (it won’t be if you can tolerate some spice) try halving the amount of curry paste and add the equivalent amount of curry powder instead.

What are your favourite hearty dinner-time meals?

Chickpea Cauliflower Curry

15 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium chopped yellow onion
  • 1-2 tbsp red curry paste (use 2 for more spice and 1 for less)
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 540ml (19oz) can chickpeas
  • 3 cups chopped bite size cauliflower pieces (approximately half a head)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 diced red pepper
  • 1 cup chopped spinach

Instructions

  1. Cook rice according to package instructions
  2. While rice is cooking, prepare vegetables.
  3. Add coconut oil to a frying pan on medium heat
  4. Add chopped onion, curry paste, and minced garlic and ginger to the melted oil.
  5. Saute vegetables for approximately 5 minutes until onion is clear.
  6. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Add them to the pan.
  7. Add the chopped cauliflower to the pan with coconut milk and fish sauce. Allow everything to simmer for 8-10 minutes on low.
  8. Finally add red pepper and spinach for 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted.
  9. Add a layer of rice to the bottom of your bowl and top with curry mixture.
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A delicious creamy coconut chickpea cauliflower curry that is vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free. It is packed with flavour and a perfect simple and hearty dinner time meal idea. Click the image to see the full recipe or pin to save for later.

Hunger isn’t really about what you want. It’s about what your body needs. This is why now, instead of craving a cupcake or French fries as a snack, I will literally crave something like a smoothie or a protein bar. (Seriously, I wouldn’t have believed it either). My body actually craves different things now because it’s about what my body needs not what my brain thinks it wants! Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to become some sort of mindless robot who eats only for the purpose of sustaining their body. You can still enjoy eating and enjoy tasty food.

Hunger Pains: What You Want or What You Need?

I am so excited to share today’s post with you. A blogging friend of mine, Jenn Baxter, is sharing her story about her path to healthy eating and how it has changed her life. I connected with Jenn a couple months ago and I was so thrilled to find someone who shares so many of the same convictions as I do. Leave a comment below and tell us about what your goals for healthy living are. 

I haven’t always had the best eating habits.

Ok… let me rephrase that. I used to be a straight-up junky eater.

My main “food groups” were pasta, sugar, frozen meals, pizza, and sugar. Yes, I know I said sugar twice. That’s because when you’re eating cupcakes from the local bakery 2-3 times a week and ice cream every single night, I think sugar has earned its place as a food group twice.

I NEVER bought produce… the only fruits and veggies I got came out of a can or a bag. And even then, it was only once in a blue moon.

Usually, dinner consisted of some type of concoction that came out of a bag and got heated up in a skillet in less than 10 minutes! Or pasta and sauce or a frozen pizza… you get the gist.

There wasn’t much cooking going on (even though I actually am a pretty decent cook!) and most of the time, convenience ruled over nutritional value.

It wasn’t really until 2012 when I started to have a lot of GI issues that things began to change.

Around October or November of that year, my GI system decided to take a vacation without giving me any notice and up and left its job. Meaning, it suddenly stopped moving things along and no matter how many pretty prescription pills or miraculous “cures” I threw at it, it stomped its feet and remained stubborn.

It’s not like stomach issues were new to me or anything. I’ve pretty much had a love/hate relationship with my GI system since I was about 20 years old. Mostly… I loved to put food in it and then hated how I felt afterward.

But this was different. In fact, this was the complete OPPOSITE of what I was used to my whole life. So I knew something was wrong.

I had the dreaded colonoscopy that December and passed with flying colors. Which meant, I went home yet again with no real answers and still feeling miserable.

And then other symptoms began to stack up… a mysterious pain in my left side, debilitating fatigue, headaches, dizziness, shakiness, vision impairment, heart palpitations and more. I felt like my body was literally falling apart on me.

I went through a million doctors who all wanted to do the same thing (Let’s put her on antidepressants! That’ll do the trick!) until I finally saw a naturopathic doctor who had some sense in his head.

Turns out, I wasn’t crazy and all of my symptoms were courtesy of leaky gut syndrome and advanced adrenal fatigue.

Now, that’s a whole other story for another day, but basically, my body was kind of falling apart on me. But not just for the heck of it. It needed some serious changes and it needed them QUICK!

So, in addition to lifestyle changes like getting more sleep, taking naps, earthing, meditating, doing reflex exercises and drinking tons of water, I also made some serious changes to my diet.

For six straight months, I was on an extremely restricted diet that my naturopath prescribed, called the “Repairvite Diet.” It was basically clean meat, vegetables and low-glycemic fruits and that’s it. It’s easier to tell you what I could eat than what I couldn’t eat, but basically, anything outside of those three things was off limits.

Now, for someone who barely cooked at all and rarely had fresh produce in the fridge, this was a HUGE change. And I’ll admit, I was pretty lost in the beginning. I think I had a chicken breast, a sweet potato, and steamed broccoli every night for the first week because I had no clue what else to make.

But luckily, I found a menu planning service online shortly after that, which catered to special diets and I was able to get lots of healthy recipes delivered straight to my inbox.

I survived the six months and even after I came off of the diet, I continued to be gluten free and mostly dairy and sugar free. Translation: I will still have cheese once in a while and although I may try to have something sugary on occasion, my stomach usually can’t handle it and I always regret even giving it a try.

Which brings me to my point (finally).

I used to love sugar. And I mean LOVE sugar. And yet, here I sit today, barely able to make it past a few bites of something that I would have devoured in the past.

Why?

Because my body got the reboot that it so desperately needed.

See, we were never made to consume half of the crap that we eat these days – the sugary treats, the salty snacks, the pre-packaged dinners, the genetically modified “foods.” We were made to eat real, whole foods in their natural state.

Yet, when we force all the crap on our bodies long enough, it begins to get used to it. And eventually, start craving it.

That’s why it’s so difficult to go on a diet or lose weight because our bodies are literally addicted to the junk.

But do you know what I realized once I saw that my body no longer wanted the junk? That hunger was never about what I wanted in the first place.

Let me say that again…

Hunger isn’t really about what you want. It’s about what your body needs.

This is why now, instead of craving a cupcake or French fries as a snack, I will literally crave something like a smoothie or a protein bar. (Seriously, I wouldn’t have believed it either)

Or when I go to the salad bar at the grocery store… instead of making a ridiculous excuse for a “salad” that consisted of iceberg lettuce, cucumber, tomato, and cheese, usually with French dressing smothered on top like I used to… I now actually want fresh greens, black beans, beets, carrots and balsamic dressing.

My body actually craves different things now because it’s about what my body needs not what my brain thinks it wants!

Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to become some sort of mindless robot who eats only for the purpose of sustaining their body. You can still enjoy eating and enjoy tasty food.

But the point is, your body will tell you what it wants, if you just give it the chance.

Once you give it enough time to clear away the addictions, the obsessions, and the foods you eat out of comfort or convenience… once you give it a “clean slate” even just for a brief period of time… it can finally breathe a deep sigh of relief and let you know what it really wants (and needs).

And that, my friends, is the best kind of hunger pains.

Jenn Baxter is an accomplished writer in Charlotte, NC, who has been published in numerous print publications, as well as featured as a columnist on Beliefnet.com. Her freelance clients span across the nation, as well as Australia and the UK, in the fashion & beauty, health & wellness, travel and life coaching industries.
In 2015, she launched her website, Live a F.a.s.t. Life, based on her own experiences with clean living, emotional health and downsizing into a 160 sq. ft. tiny house, and released her first book, “Tiny Abundance: My Journey to a Simple, Yet Fabulously Abundant Life in 160 Square Feet,” which is available on her website and Amazon.com. She also strives to help others learn to clean up their homes, their bodies and their lives in her e-course collection, “De-Clutter, De-Tox, De-Stress.”

Disclaimer:  This post is not sponsored and all recommendations contained here are my own. LittleHomeCookbook uses affiliate and referral links, which allow me to receive a small commission if you decide to purchase through one of my links.

 

Hunger isn’t really about what you want. It’s about what your body needs. This is why now, instead of craving a cupcake or French fries as a snack, I will literally crave something like a smoothie or a protein bar. (Seriously, I wouldn’t have believed it either). My body actually craves different things now because it’s about what my body needs not what my brain thinks it wants! Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to become some sort of mindless robot who eats only for the purpose of sustaining their body. You can still enjoy eating and enjoy tasty food.