Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Butternut Squash-Mango Soup and the Best Smoothie Ever

I'm still home sick, going on day 5, and I am starting to get B-O-R-E-D. I blame Dragon Lady. Why not? On Day 1 and Day 2, while I was trying to convince myself that I was going to get better quick, I made banana bread, butternut squash-mango soup, and cleaned the house in between coughing fits.

Yesterday, apart from going to the doctor's, I was too sick to do anything creative, although I forced myself to reclean the apartment and do the dishes - it had to be done, lying around waiting for myself to de-phlegm in a mess was making me feel worse. Today, I think I feel slightly better, although this might just be positive thinking on my part. All I've managed to do today is lie on the couch - did I mention it's a love seat? - and watch copious amounts of TV. I've almost exhausted HBO, a rare feat. I should, no doubt, be commended.

I thought I would share my butternut squash-mango soup recipe. It's very healthy, tasty, and loaded with anti-oxidants. Under normal circumstances, if my body had not been invaded by a covert army of special ops super-germs, I'm positive it would have done the trick and kept me healthy. Next time germs, next time.

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Butternut Squash-Mango Soup:

1 Butternut Squash
1 Sweet Potato
1 Mango
1 tbsp Ginger (grated fresh or dash of powder)
1 tbsp Garlic (minced)
1/2 small Onion (chopped)
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
Dash Salt
Dash Pepper
1 tsp Rosemary (dry or fresh)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Madras Curry Powder
Sprig Cilantro (optional garnish)

Cut squash in half, remove seeds, cover with saran wrap, microwave for 10 minutes, or until soft, then remove insides and set aside. (Optional: bake squash in oven until soft, then remove insides and set aside). Brown onion, garlic, and ginger in large, deep pot sprayed lightly with olive oil on low heat. Cube squash, sweet potato, and mango, and add to pot (leave aside 1/4 of finely diced mango cubes). Add enough water to cover vegetables. Add cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, rosemary, curry powder, and cinnamon. Simmer until vegetables are soft. Puree contents of pot in blender (this is the key, and makes soups creamy without cream - hurrah!). Place pureed mixture back in pot on the stove and watch out for splatters. Add remaining mango cubes, and season to taste. Serve with cilantro garnish and rosemary crostini. If not sick, this soup goes nicely with red wine. Enjoy!

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While I'm at it, allow me to share with you all my recipe for the best smoothie ever. I hate all the sugar, fructose corn syrup and junk that all of the chains toss into smoothies. I also am not a fan of milk (it tastes heinous and it supports the veal industry), so I opt for low calorie, healthy protein packed soymilk; chocolate, of course. The trick is to not add ice. Resist the urge! Ice adds nothing, as the frozen fruit make the smoothies cold, and all it does is water down the flavor. Here's my recipe:

Healthiest, Most Delicious Smoothie Ever:

Frozen fruit
Frozen banana (optional)
Chocolate soy milk
Orange Juice (optional)

Place frozen fruit in blender and add enough soymilk/OJ to almost cover the fruit. Blend thoroughly until the mixture creates a smoothly flowing whirlpool in the blender. Pour in a tall glass. Yum.


Frozen fruit: Years of painstaking practice have shown me that raspberries work best, give a lovely dark pink color to the smoothie, and taste fantastic. Bananas are terrific, and I sometimes use only frozen bananas and chocolate soymilk if I'm craving chocolate. Frequently I mix a whole bunch of different frozen fruits together. You should play around and create the combos you like best.

Additions and Subtractions: I used to make my smoothies only with frozen berries and chocolate soymilk, something I learned from my stepmom. They're great like that, but recently I started adding OJ, and I think the orange gives the smoothies a nice zingy flavor. The smoothies are creamy as is, but on occasion, if I'm in need of a calcium boost, I add a small yogurt to the mix, plain or flavored.

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So far today, I've had two scrambled eggs, a smoothie, and some green tea, and am now in need of other get-well ideas. If you have any (pescetarian-only, of course), please send them my way. I think I might be up to trying them out tonight or later in the week.

Hope you enjoy the recipes!


Bean said...

It sounds to me like you need some Nypon Soup. Have you tried the probiotic Kefir with Special K or your healthy grainy stuff.

Tracy said...

Hope you feel better soon. In the meantime, drink smoothies to your heart's content!

frankengirl said...

Hey, thanks for the linkage, Ms. Buttercup and Ms. Bean! Come over and speak out, if the whim takes you.

And I hope you feel better, Buttercup!

Take care,

Dr. Eric Flescher (dreric1kansas@aol.com) said...

well its 2008 and I found your recipe while looking for mango butternut squash recipes after I saw an Iron Chef america batter last night.Yours is a little more complicated and adds sweet potato so sooner or later I will try it. My wife will probably think it has too many flavors etc but I always like to try new recipes.