Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

There are so many ways to be healthy these days, it’s hard to know the best way to eat and live for YOU. I can’t have gluten or dairy, and because I have IBS and tend to breakout, I eat many things that are paleo, vegan, low FODMAP, low or no sugar, and anti-inflammatory. Some of these diets/ways of eating conflict with each other, though, so I have to be careful! I have to find what works for me. It’s taken some trial and error, but I have most of it down to a science. I hope that my recipes help you find whatever your body and stomach might need as well. There are so many people who are in the same {annoying and sometimes painful} boat as I am, but it doesn’t have to feel like you are sinking! Eat bright colors, good fat, good sources of protein at every meal, and organic whenever possible. We can only do what we can do, but as long as you are mindful of what you are putting in your body, and make healthy choices when you can, your body will thank you. Remember: just because it’s healthy, it does not mean you have to give up on good, flavorful food! And, of course, treat yourself if you would like from time to time.

Here is an example of the things I eat during the work week. They are healthy, quick, inexpensive, and satisfying:

Breakfast: banana with a good handful of walnuts + coffee

Mid-morning snack: 1 hardboiled egg + a handful of roasted almonds

Lunch: salad with carrots, cucumber, tomato, butter lettuce spring mix, with canned tuna or salmon and a creamy sriracha dressing OR cold cut roll up with romaine lettuce

Mid-afternoon snack: 1 hardboiled egg or gluten-free beef jerky + berries or cantaloupe

Dinner: one of my yummy recipes like the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup below! + sometimes an ounce or so of dark chocolate + sometimes a glass of wine (or 2…)

I drink at least 60 ounces of water a day, but I try to get more when possible! What do you eat on a normal work day? Do you have any healthy eating tips you can share?

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup {Paleo}

8-10 glorious servings

4 bags (12oz each) cubed butternut squash from Trader Joe’s

2 cups gluten free vegetable broth, NOT low-sodium (Trader Joe’s is the best!)

1 14 oz can light coconut milk (Trader Joe’s is great!)

1 tsp dried ginger

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (this adds some good heat. You can add less or leave out if you don’t want it to be spicy!)

Extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional garnish:

1 package bacon of choice (try to buy one that’s uncured, organic, and nitrate/ nitrite-free!), cooked and crumbled

Instructions:

Pre-heat your oven to 425F. On a cookie sheet spread out the cubed squash and drizzle very lightly with the olive oil. Crack on some salt and pepper and mix together with your hands. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until soft and golden brown, flipping over halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon the easiest way for you. Normally, I like to cook it in the oven on a cookie sheet at 400 for about 15 minutes. Since the squash is already roasting at 425, if there is room, throw it in there for around 10-15 minutes, or until crisp. Or, you could cook it on the stove top or in the microwave. Set aside to drain on a paper towel.

Throw your squash and the rest of the soup ingredients (with a little more salt and pepper) in your Vitamix, regular blender, or food processor and blend until smooth. In my Vitamix, I add to blend it in 3 batches. (Alternatively, you can use a hand blender to blend in a pot.) Pour into a pot and heat until warmed through. Taste and add more seasoning, if needed. I usually add quite a few more cracks of sea salt and pepper.

Ladle into bowls and top each bowl with one or two pieces of the cooked, crumbled bacon. Enjoy!

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