Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Growing up, every fall my mom would make butternut squash soup, because it was an easy thing to make on a weekend, and it could be frozen and reheated throughout the week. It was a fall staple, cold weather meant butternut squash soup.

butternut squash soup

But now I live in Texas and the weather is never really cold. But since I really wanted butternut squash soup, I had to turn down the AC and pretend I lived somewhere with more than one and a half seasons. This is a super easy recipe, and I used my slow cooker for it, but it could also be done on the stove.

You need:

1 medium butternut squash

2 cups veggie stock

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried/ground sage

1 medium white onion, roughly diced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 cup coconut milk

butternut squash ingredients

Note: You can substitute chicken or other stock for veggie stock and heavy cream for coconut milk if you don’t want to make it vegan.

The hard part of this recipe is cubing the butternut squash. But, you can make it a lot easier by cutting it into quarters, and once you’ve removed the seeds and guts, roast it at 400F for about 20 minutes. Let it cool and chop it up. It should be soft, but not cooked through.

Here’s the easy part:

All you have to do is throw everything except the coconut milk into the slow cooker for about five or six hours, on high. Then when the squash mushes easily and the onions are somewhat clear, grab a stick blender and blend everything up, and then add the coconut milk, blending until it’s all nice and creamy. I garnished mine with black pepper and scallions, but you can use whatever suits you.

Also for anyone concerned and keeping track, here’s the basic nutritional info, based on one serving being 1 cup of soup.

  • Calories: 103
  • Fat: 3.8g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 8mg (varies based on how much salt you add)
  • Potassium: 557.6mg
  • Carbs: 18.7g
  • Fiber: 3.2g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Protein: 1.7g
  • Vitamin A: 297%
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Zucchini is a Perfectly Acceptable Pizza Topping

What’s the distinction between a flatbread and a pizza? Are they just the same thing from two cultures? Does one have sauce and the other doesn’t? Genuine question here. Answer in the comments.

So I had all this zucchini in my fridge because Desiree and Larissa came to visit and we got ambitious and thought we’d grill it sometime during OU/tx (I’m still salty about that game). I also had a bunch of gluten free pizza crusts that I got from Sprouts, so I figure I might as well use those too.

The problem with zucchini is that it is very watery. And whenever I would cook it, it would make everything miserably soggy. After some googling, I figured out that salting the zucchini for a few minutes would draw out the water. So I chopped it up into teeny julienne strips, you can chop yours however you want but I don’t recommend slices, because after it’s been sitting in the salt for a bit, you need to grab it and just squeeze all the water out. I was surprised at not only how much water came out of the zucchini, but also at how well it stood up to being manhandled. I guess I was expecting it to just turn to mush like cucumber, but turns out, zucchini is a tough lil veggie.

In addition to zucchini, I also used some freshly diced tomatoes, chopped mushrooms, minced garlic, and a little it of butter, and topped it all with a sprinkle of cheese. I omitted tomato sauce because I didn’t want to drown out the zucchini, and I was worried about it getting soggy.

flatbread ingredients

My pizza crust came prebaked, and I could have just piled everything on top, but since I wanted a crisper crust I stuck it in the oven for about as long as it took my oven to preheat to 425F, and the spread the butter on it, with the garlic directly on top. Then I layered it, tomatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini, and baked it for about ten minutes so the veggies could cook. Then I pulled it out and sprinkled the cheese on top, sticking it back in the oven for three minutes, just until the cheese was melted.

zucchini flatbread

And guys, it is so good. The salt makes the zucchini not bland, and the crispy crust balances out the texture really well. Without tomato sauce it doesn’t feel super heavy, and not piling on a lot of cheese helps with that too. I’m really pleased with how this came out, and I’m excited to try new things with all the rest of the zucchini in my fridge.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

gf banana bread

Banana bread is great. Gluten free baked goods, however, can be hit or miss. So with every banana bread recipe I’ve found, I’ve had to tweak the proportions of gluten free baking mix and whatnot to fix it. Finally I cobbled together a decent recipe:

Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas (Not overly brown and mushy. Just that spotty yellow that they’re squishy but not falling apart.)

1/3 cup melted butter (unsalted, preferably, but if you’re using salted just omit the salt later)

3/4 cup sugar (this can be adjusted to 1 cup or 1/2 cup depending on how sweet you like things)

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt (omit this if you’re using salted butter)

1 3/4 cup gluten free baking mix (this varies based on the brand, I use Bob’s Red Mill)

Your oven should be at 350F, which is about 176C.

  1. Mush the bananas until smooth. Slowly add in the melted butter, and when it’s all the way combined, add the egg. If you ad the egg too soon after you add butter, the hot butter will cook the egg and that’s gross.
  2. Add the sugar, salt (if you’re using it), and baking soda. Mix it all up thoroughly.
  3. Slowly add the flour until it’s smooth, thick, and creamy consistency. It should be thicker than cake batter, but not dough. It should be like molten lava when you let it fall of the spoon.
  4. Put it in a greased loaf pan, and bake for about 50 minutes to an hour and ten minutes. After 50 minutes you should check for doneness, just stick a knife in the middle and if it comes out clean you’re all set.

Let it cool, and cut with a serrated knife to prevent crumbling.