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I looooveee the tall spoons! Totally worth $2/each.

I took this jar of butternut squash soup into work on Monday along with two slices of the olive bread loaf we snagged at the farmer's market last weekend.

Tuesday more of the same but I decided to slice up the bread and toast it in crouton form since I tore the bread up and dropped it in the jar anyway (see below)!

Actually, this batch of butternut squash soup is my first-ever attempt to work with this vegetable. I am so glad I started this blog because I've learned to work with soooo many new foods, including oatmeal, cauliflower, butternut squash, spaghetti squash and pears! Not to mention a renewed enthusiasm for eggplant and zucchini. I bolded butternut squash because the soup still needs work. But I'll post the working recipe for now and discuss future direction.
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I cut the squash in half and cored out all the stringy/seedy middle.
**I reserved the seeds, dried them overnight and toasted them with a spray of olive oil, cayenne pepper and cumin, yum!!**

I baked this guy cut side down at 375 degrees for about 1 hour in a casserole dish with an inch of water. I sprinkled the top with salt before putting it in the water.

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When I was able to easily stick a fork through the skin, I took the squash out of the oven and scooped out the insides using a metal spoon. I don't think it was as done as it should have been, which is what I'm hoping explains the very slightly bitter taste I got. I added 1 cup chicken stock, a pinch of salt, a lot of cinnamon, ginger and at the end, nutmeg (maybe the nutmeg did it?) I keep trying to like nutmeg, but always fail. I processed the squash into a puree.

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Finally, I refrigerated the mixture overnight and in the morning added 1 cup Greek Yogurt (Fage total 0%) and blended again. Result: creamy light orange REALLY pretty soup. Taste? Respectable but could be better. Next time: will cook squash IN chicken broth and nix the nutmeg. 

This made 2 servings at about 150 cal/serving. 2 full jars, meaning just under 2 cups per serving. This is a lot of soup, especially with the bread thrown in. 

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Lunch on Tuesday (looks a lot like Monday's huh?)

What I loooove about the olive bread (when not in soup) is that the olives add enough flavor to it that it doesn't need any add-on to be tasty. No need for butter, cheese, meat, veg etc etc (though Tuesday night's indoor picnic dinner did feature all of those things, minus butter-to be posted soon)


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Finally, my newest cereal fave: Fiber-One 80 calorie Honey Squares. These are sooooo yummy at just 80 calories/cup!



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've been putting 1/2 cup into my Overnight Blueberry Oatmeal Jar (much crunchier than puffed corn!) and taking 1/2 cup in a ziploc baggie to work as a "dessert" snack.

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Time for current events: I had set my goals for our Wednesday conference (with free food) to take a big salad and then 1 sandwich half and no pasta. Well, they didn't have sandwiches, they had Italian food, which was actually easy to avoid. The salad this time was great with chickpeas, tomatoes and craisins (it's all in there, trust me). The dressing was some creamy stuff so I just gave it the barest drizzle. Also, I took a small piece of chicken parm (at 11 oclock there) but scraped off the cheese and about half the breading. I did get this little handful of pasta though. I was pretty proud of myself.

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Then....there was this little half piece of tiramisu. Ok, permissible. Then...dooooom....I don't even know how it happened. A full 6 of those stupid little bite-sized Halloween candies (snickers, twix...) just popped into my mouth, as if on their own accord. Stupid stupid giant basket of candies right by the door of the clinic!! Ugh! That was 300 calories of pure nonsense that weren't even worthwhile. Who has had this issue before?

Anyway, I finished up my night with 6 miles on the treadmill (grr, I was looking forward to a light workout) and a very spare dinner of popcorn, pumpkin cake dessert and a few little snacks and I have ended my day only about 100 calories over my goal NET 1200ish/day. I'm sure the scale will not be impressed tomorrow but then, I guess what I've learned through the blogging process is that I can go up a pound or two (or 5!) here and there but I can always get it back under control by being careful.

Here's a bit of a personal tale, a reward (or a cruel joke?) for those who have reached this far into this entry. As someone who has lost a lot of weight and then watched it all come back pound by pound, I am consistently afraid that every gained pound represents the first in a long slide of pounds back to my original weight. However, I've been keeping the weight I'm at now (a historic low) for about 6 months, give or take 2-3lbs. Still, I don't feel that I have a good sense of control when it comes to high calorie splurges and I take in a LOT of calories overall (usually approximately 1700-2000) for my height (5'2"). This leads to a LOT of exercise. Now, as much as I've said that I hate exercise, I have a lot of energy and it's obvious when I take a day off of the gym because I get edgy and jittery just from my own adrenaline. Unfortunately, I know that over time, my workouts will have to decrease in intensity and I hope that I can keep my calorie counts lower to compensate. I guess we'll see as I keep blogging!

<3 Jules

 


Comments

Serenity
06/17/2011 04:36

first, cudos on your weight loss and maintenance! you are so good about working out when you have gone off track.
the soup looks very good. i agree about nutmeg. i know a lot of people like a little sprinkle in things, but it doesn't work on my palate and i can always tell when it's there. i like sage with squash. hope you get it tweaked to your liking!

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    I'm a recent graduate from medical school and a pathology resident living in New York City. Like most girls living in the city, I've found that a lot of my social life revolves around the regular consumption of high-calorie food and alcoholic beverages. I've decided to start a blog about how I am trying to beat the bulge by eating and cooking defensively between social engagements and how even a busy girl can fit exercise into a busy life.

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