Butternut Squash Soup

The days are becoming shorter with the temperature steadily dropping. Let's look on the bright side, it's soup season. Soup is a great way to warm up and fill up. Try to avoid cream based soups, as you will soon find that this will pack on the pounds. Instead, choose vegetable based options that provide fiber for satiety, along with tons of nutrients to keep your immune system strong.

Butternut Squash Soup has always been a favorite of mine. I used to frequently pick up a bowl from Josie's Kitchen on the Upper West Side. Since I moved to Brooklyn, it is a little difficult to access my beloved soup. Instead, I decided to make my own.  A member of the gourd family, butternut squash is a power food that is low in fat, high in fiber, packed with potassium, vitamin c, vitamin b6 and folate.  It hits the spot for those winter cravings for comfort foods, as it is naturally sweet. This specific recipe uses apples, giving it an extra kick of goodness. 


4 pounds whole butternut squash (~2 medium), halved lengthwise & seeds removed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)

2 medium Granny Smith apples

1/2 medium yellow onion

8 fresh sage leaves

2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

2 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,



1. Heat the oven to 425°F

2. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on aluminum foil on a baking sheet

3. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves.  Season with salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

4. While the squash is roasting; peel, core, and cut the apple into medium dice

5. Cut the onion into medium dice

6. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan

7.  Add the apple & onion

8. Add sage, season with salt and pepper

9. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

10.  When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool 

11. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan, along with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.

12. Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

13. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash (about 15 minutes)

14. Remove the pan from the heat  

15. Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth

16. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed

17. Yum in the tum



Black Eyed Pea Dip With Roasted Broccoli

I'm a long time fan of hummus, but I wanted to change things up with black eyed pea dip. According to Southern folklore, black eyed peas represent wealth and prosperity. Who doesn't want some of that? Instead of dipping with typical crackers or bread, roasted broccoli is a healthier, less carb ridden accompaniment. 

I decided to use fresh beans, soaking them for 6 hours, then boiling for 40 minutes. You can either use fresh or canned. This recipe was inspired by my new Nutribullet--but a blender or food processor will work just as well. 

Ingredients for dip: 

1 1/2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (or 1 15-ounce canned black-eyed peas) 

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large clove garlic chopped 

1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon

ground pepper

salt as needed (depending on preference)


1. Put aside a few black-eyed peas for garnish 

2. Place peas in bowl

3. Add parsley, lemon juice, oil, garlic, tarragon & pepper.

4. Process until smooth 

5. Taste to add seasonings or salt

6. Transfer to bowl & garnish with the extra peas


  • I had to add about 1/2 cup of water to the dip while in the Nutribullet for a smoother texture
  • IT IS SO GOOD! I'm mmmm'ing all over the place. 


Ingredients for Roasted Broccoli: 

1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) broccoli florets

4 tablespoons olive oil 

3 minced garlic cloves

juice from half of lemon

black pepper



1 Preheat the oven to 450°

2. In a bowl toss the broccoli florets, minced garlic, olive oil & lemon juice 

3. Place the broccoli florets on a greased baking sheet

4. Roast for 35 minutes or until nicely browned 



It's Tofu Time!

I'm on a tofu kick!  Made from soybeans, tofu is a high protein food that can be cooked in a variety of different ways. My older sister, Marisa, let me borrow her cookbook from People's Food Market, a vegetarian co-op located in the Ocean Beach area of San Diego, CA.  The following recipe is a rendition of People's "Italian Style Nuggets," a satisfying and flavorful way to make tofu. 



2 packages of firm tofu

1/4th cup of olive oil

2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon oregano

1/4th teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon black pepper



1. Preheat oven for 375°

2. Cube tofu and place in 10 x 12 inch baking dish

3. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a separate bowl

4. Pour the ingredients over the tofu

5. Mix well

6. Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes

(for crispier nuggets, bake for about an hour & a half)



Check back soon for more tofu recipes!