Going Meatless for #Elf4Health


Happy Monday! And Happy First Day of Elf4Health!!

Today is the start of the 2013 edition of Elf4Health. Last night I “met” my elf for the first round, Tracie! Tracie is training for her first half marathon in February, and now that it’s gotten cold in upper New York she’s having to do most of her training on the treadmill (oi vey!). But I know she’s going to rock it!

The first challenge is to have a Meatless Monday. It’s exactly how it sounds: make all your meals meatless. Breakfast is pretty easy for me, as this morning all I wanted was something warm so I heated up some oatmeal after CrossFit. Lunch was a quick peanut butter and jelly sandwich with some cheesy broccoli I found in the freezer.

Now, for dinner. I’ve had a butternut squash laying around for a while, so I decided I wanted to try making butternut squash soup in the CrockPot. It’ll be served with a salad and homemade biscuits.

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Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium butternut squash, peeled & cubed
Freshly diced yellow onion (I only used a couple slices, since M isn’t a bit onion fan)
1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled and cubed
32 ounces low-sodium veggie or chicken broth
Cinnamon, nutmeg, salt & pepper to taste

  1. Prepare your slow cooker (I spray olive oil before placing the ingredients inside)
  2. Peel & cube the butternut squash and apple, dice up the onion and place it all in the slow cooker
  3. Pour the broth.
  4. Cook in the slow cooker. 6-7 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high
  5. Once everything is soft, use an immersion blender (or do what I did, carefully transfer  contents into a blender, in batches, and puree) to blend everything.
  6. Once thoroughly blended, add your spices to your taste. (I just added a little of everything, and then let everyone make it their own (do they like it extra sweet? Or a little more pepper?)
  7. Serve and enjoy!

I served this with some homemade whole wheat cheddar biscuits, adapted from an easy recipe I found online.

Whole Wheat Herb & Cheddar Biscuits

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup cold milk (I used fat free)
Italian spices to taste
Shredded cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 450* F. Prepare an ungreased cookie sheet and set aside.
  2. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and Italian spices with a whisk or fork.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces and mix those pieces into the flour. Continue until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Pour the milk and mix all together.
  5. Drop the batter onto the cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. With about 4-5 minutes left in baking sprinkle some shredded cheese on top each biscuit.

Here are a couple more Meatless Monday options, including what I made for last year’s Elf4Health:

Your turn: What’s your favorite Meatless Monday meal?

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10 thoughts on “Going Meatless for #Elf4Health

  1. Yum! Saw this on the Elf 4 Health FB page and had to hop over to see the recipes. Love butternut squash soup but have never put an apple in. Will have to try it 🙂

  2. Pingback: Cheesy Potatoes | The Great American Feast

  3. So you don’t have to cook the butternut squash before you put it in the crock pot???? Mind. Blown. That’s why I never make it. The prep work to bake the squash then scoop the squash then blend the squash is just so much work. But I can have my crock pot do it! I wonder if you could do the same with sweet potatoes? I need to get myself an immersion blender. My mom might have one that she doesn’t use. I would also transfer everything to the food processor and it rarely goes well.

    I’ve also added prosciutto, which obviously doesn’t work for Meatless Monday, but I like the saltiness combined with the sweet. I’ve also added plain goat cheese, which could give you the salt sans the cured meat.

    • Nope, I didn’t cook the squash before I cooked it! 😉 I just used a sharp knife to cut the squash (I cut the ends to make it flat), then peeled, then cut in half and then scoped the seeds. Then I cubed it afterwards. It was pretty easy. The squash was already a little soft, but not bad.

      • I just saw this response today. I have the squash in the crock pot right now. I’m excited to see how this turns out. Peeling and cutting was way easier than cutting, scooping, baking, scooping, and blending.

  4. Love the addition of apple in the soup. I will be trying this recipe out soon! Also the photograph with the horse is beautiful.

  5. Pingback: Creamy Roasted Broccoli Soup « Brooklyn Locavore

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