Butternut Squash Soup

img_1796While you may not think of Butternut Squash Soup in the category of Italian, part of being Italian is using everything that can be grown to strengthen and grow your own family. A garden is part of life and for my great-grandparents who were the first generation to come to the United States, the garden is what got them through the year and able to feed large families.

For the very first time last fall, I planted our family garlic. Garlic that has been passed down for generations. You know it first by it’s color-it has a purple shell on it- and then by it’s scent. It is a sweet garlic that doesn’t have the usual bite that most garlics can give.

Anyways, back to the soup at hand. If you do a random search for Butternut Squash Soup, garlic is not a typical ingredient you will find. Maybe it’s because we expect this soup to be buttery and sweet. Maybe it’s because the rest of the culinary world doesn’t think that garlic doesn’t need to be a main ingredient in everything. Or maybe it’s just a tradition.

But I’m about to break that tradition. I love garlic in this soup. I think it gives just the right balance and if you’re like me and don’t enjoy things too sweet, you’ll appreciate the addition. I hope you enjoy this soup during the fall months and that it brings you joy…after all…food is not just about consuming calories-it’s enjoying the flavors life has to offer.

Ingredients:
32 oz chicken broth
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 cups 90-100 calorie almond milk-lower calorie count is much more watery (keep some extra on hand)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium clove of garlic
3 small Yukon gold potatoes
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
Pinch of Thyme
Pinch of Nutmeg
2T. Butter/butter substitute
Pinch of Salt

Make the Soup:

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent.img_1793
  2. Add carrots, celery and butter nut squash.Sauté for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes, chicken broth, almond milk and salt. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add Thyme and nutmeg. Stir, cover and lower heat, letting soup cook for 25 minutes.
  5. If you have an immersion blender, blend your soup! If you don’t have an immersion blender, scoop soup into a blender to blend all of the vegetables together.
  6. Your soup is ready to serve!

Gluten and Dairy Free Crab and Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

IMG_1594Alfredo is always something that has held a special place in my heart. Though it is not a recipe that I learned from my family, it’s still something that I ate often during childhood.

Anytime we went out to eat, I would beg to go to an Italian restaurant just so I could get Fettuccine Alfredo. Some people like mac and cheese, but I prefer Fettuccine Alfredo. The combination of salty sweet that the cheeses make is delicious and I think it really is an Italian comfort food.

I have the same amount of love for seafood as I do for Fettuccine Alfredo, so crab and shrimp just make the experience all the more better. As usual, I didn’t make my friends a separate sauce, so when they said, “If you hadn’t told me it was gluten and dairy free, I never would have known,” I knew it was a home run.

If you’re not into seafood, just leave that part out and you’ll enjoy a delicious Fettuccine Alfredo.

Ingredients (this makes enough for about 1 & 1/2 pounds):

  • 1 cup of dairy free butter
  • 6 small to medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • 2 cups of original almond milk
  • 2 Tb of cornstarch, mix with 1 T warm water right before use
  • 1 compressed cup of daiya mozzarella style shreds
  • 1 cup of Go Veggie! grated parmesan style topping (break the lumps)
  • 1 pound of shrimp, uncooked
  • 2, 6-oz cans of crab, drained
  • 1 & 1/2 pounds of gluten free fettuccine, cooked al dente
  • Additional pinch of parsley for garnish

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute, but don’t let the garlic brown.IMG_1590

Add the parsley. Let cook another minute.

Add milk to the pan. Once mixture starts to bubble, add the cornstarch/water mixture and whisk continuously for two minutes.

Add both cups of cheese to pan, continuing to whisk so that it becomes an eveIMG_1591n, smooth mixture.* (It may get a little stringy for a bit, but it will smooth out!)

Once your mixture starts to bubble again, add the shrimp** and the crab. Stir the sauce every 30 seconds until the shrimp have become nice and pink. This can take anywhere from 8 to 14 minutes depending on how hot your sauce is, so watch for the pink in the shrimp.

Once the shrimp have turned pink all the way around, your Alfredo sauce is ready! Mix with the fettuccine and sprinkle with some fresh parsley for garnish. Mangia!


*If you don’t want to add the seafood, let the sauce bubble for five minutes while stirring and then your Alfredo is ready!

**If you are using cooked shrimp, first add the crab to the sauce and let bubble for five minutes while stirring. Then add shrimp until heated through and you’re done!