Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Writing Deadlines, Cold Climes and Comfort Food @LDBlakeley #Recipes

Holy Smokes! How is it already February? I barely blinked and January is GONE. 2017 is shaping up to be one seriously busy year.

I think I now officially have nearly a half dozen WIPs on the go (that's a bit redundant, isn't it? Like saying ATM Machine. I digress.) And those are just the stories being actively written. My folder of plot bunnies and bullet-pointed story ideas is a whole ‘nother beast. And since I have a short story deadline creeping ever-steadily, I’ve decided to hunker down on this frosty February the First to get with the word making.

In the meantime, let me share with you a couple of my favourite warm-you-up from the inside recipes.

It’s like a hug in a bowl. Seriously. Oh, and this recipe makes 4 hearty 1.75 cup servings. Why arse around with stingy portions, right? This is comfort food, after all.

300g  carrots, chopped
400g butternut squash, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
10 mL (2 tsp.) curry powder (hot)
5 mL (1 tsp.) ground ginger
900 mL (1 tetra pack) reduced sodium chicken broth
250 mL (1 C) plain light Silk soy milk (I've made it with almond milk too & it's delish)

  • Add olive oil, carrots, squash, garlic, curry & ginger to pot with half of the broth (you can use veggie broth as well; I just happened to have chicken on hand)
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the squash & carrots are soft (15 – 20 minutes)
  • Quite a bit of the broth will have evaporated by the time your veggies are cooked, so go ahead and pour the rest of the container into the pot
  • Remove pot from heat & puree with a hand blender (or, you can let it cool a bit and pour it into a standard blender for the same results; I just find it to be far less hassle with the hand blender)
  • Add in the soy milk et voila! Serve warm & topped with cracked black pepper
Carrot & Butternut Squash Soup @LDBlakeley
Calories: 129 | Fat: 3 g | Sodium: 268 mg | Carbs: 23 g | Fibre: 6 g | Protein: 7 g

Believe it or not, this bad boy isn’t as decadent as you might think. I cobbled the recipe together based on a few others I’d seen and, with a few substitutions, managed to cut the calories and fat almost in half. Serves 12.

Apple Filling
5 large Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
125 mL (½ C) Splenda
15 mL (1 tbsp.) whole wheat all-purpose flour
5 mL (1 tsp.) ground cinnamon
2.5 mL (½ tsp.) nutmeg
15 mL (1 tbsp.)  lemon juice
60 mL ( ¼ C) water
250 mL (1 C) Smuckers No Sugar Added Caramel Sundae Sauce
30 mL (2 tbsp.) chopped pecans

350 mL (1½ C) whole wheat all-purpose flour
125 mL (½ C) Irresistibles brown sugar blend (or brown sugar Splenda)
250 mL (1 C) quick cooking oats
250 mL (1 C) applesauce

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • In a medium bowl, toss apples with Splenda, flour, cinnamon, lemon juice, and water
  • Spread apple mixture evenly into a 23 x 33 cm (9 x 13") pan
  • Drizzle caramel sauce, then sprinkle pecans over apple mixture
  • In another bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar blend, oats, and applesauce
  • Spoon mixture evenly over apples
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes (apple mixture will bubble and topping will be golden brown)
Pecan Apple Crisp @LDBlakeley
Calories: 230 | Fat: 2 g | Sodium: 46 mg | Carbs: 54 g | Fibre: 5 g | Protein: 3 g

Incidentally, Breyer’s Smooth & Dreamy Half-Fat Vanilla Bean ice cream goes beautifully with this (in case you were at all curious.)


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