Miso Butternut Squash Soup

Soup & Salad | February 3, 2016 | By

This is one of my favorite fall/winter/spring soups! It’s just so easy to prepare and is loaded with all good things (vitamins A, E & C, fiber, magnesium, and potassium). Butternut squash tastes sweet when cooked and this soup is no exception. I highly recommend buying the squash already peeled and cubed so you don’t end up losing a finger trying to slice it open! You can top this soup with your favorite herbs and toasted pumpkin seeds. It’s hearty, filling, and healthy!

Miso Butternut Squash Soup
 
Author:
Serving Size: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons yellow miso paste
  • Handful of chopped fresh herbs (like thyme)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs for topping (thyme or cilantro)
  • 2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds for toasting
  • Drizzle of crème fraîche for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add in the squash and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, yellow miso, and herbs. Bring to a boil and cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat and puree using either an immersion blender or standard blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Add toppings when ready to serve.
  3. To make the toasted pumpkin seeds: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Add raw pumpkin seeds to a sheet pan in a single layer, do not overlap. Spray pumpkin seeds with canola cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, making sure to check them and toss the seeds periodically so they don't burn!
Notes
When pumpkin seeds start making a popping sound in the oven they are starting to toast. Watch carefully at this point and toss periodically.

Seared Tuna Salad with Miso Dressing

Soup & Salad | January 27, 2016 | By

I love salad for dinner (or lunch!). This is a fantastic, tasty meal that has “healthy” written all over it! And, it’s so easy to prepare. If I’m making seared tuna for another meal, like my wasabi seared tuna recipe, I repurpose the tuna for this dish. Leftovers anyone? Why waste a beautiful fish? Add a glass of white wine and now you’re talkin’ tuna!

Seared Tuna Salad with Miso Dressing
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 fresh tuna steak, ahi or yellow fin
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 package cleaned mixed greens
  • 1 cup undressed broccoli slaw from package
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ sliced red onion
  • 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
For the Dressing
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • Dash of pepper
Instructions
For the salad
  1. Pat the tuna dry and brush 1 tablespoon of canola oil on all sides. Sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of tuna. Heat a small cast iron skillet to medium high and sear tuna on one side for 3 minutes and the two minutes on the other side. Remove and cool. Tuna should be nicely seared on the outside and rare pink on the inside. After cooling slice tuna on the diagonal and set aside.
  2. Mix together the field greens, broccoli slaw, carrots, and red onion. Toss lightly with miso dressing (recipe below). Top salad with sliced avocado and tuna. Place a mound of cilantro on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
To make the dressing
  1. Whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, miso, ginger, lime juice, garlic, honey, and pepper. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Toss salad with dressing.
Notes
To toast the sesame seeds: Place in a skillet on the stove over medium heat and dry toast it until light brown. Don't overcook.

Tom Yum Soup with Chicken & Shrimp

Your palate will be singing with this traditional Thai seafood soup! Known for it’s spicy and sour flavor, and fragrant spices and herbs, shrimp is usually the main ingredient. I’ve changed it up a bit with the addition of chicken. But any seafood or protein will do. This soup is a staple in most Thai restaurants and I’ve taste-tested quite a few. My version is a healthy alternative to Tom Yum soup made with full-fat coconut milk. Make sure to read the ingredients before ordering when dining out. Or, just make this easy, healthy version at home!

Tom Yum Soup with Chicken & Shrimp
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 stalks lemon grass, white soft insides only, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 Thai chili peppers, seeds removed and sliced
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • Zest from ½ lime
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (red chili paste)
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 4-5 button mushrooms, sliced very thinly
  • Handful of snow peas
  • 1 small can water chestnuts, drained
  • ½ pound boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced very thinly
  • ½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 5-6 large basil leaves, chopped
Instructions
  1. In a small pan, heat oil and add lemon grass, ginger, onion and chili peppers. Cook until just soft. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine chicken broth, lime juice, lime zest, fish sauce, sugar, and kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove kaffir lime leaves. Add in sambal oelek, tomatoes, cooked vegetables, mushrooms, snow peas, and water chestnuts. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add in chicken and shrimp cooking until just done, about 2 minutes, taking care not to overcook. Ladle into soup bowls. Top with fresh basil to garnish.
Notes
Can be served over rice noodles. Sambal oelek and kaffir lime leaves (fresh or dried) can be found at specialty Asian markets and select grocery stores.