After a decadent, spendy summer– full of exercise, mind you– Boyfriend and I found ourselves back in the kitchen with a new resolve to improve our cooking skills and preserve our bank accounts.On a chilly fall night a few weeks ago I realized we had some butternut squash and garnet yams on the verge of going bad, so I decided that the best thing to do was toss everything into a pot, then puree it all in the blender. (I have been loving my Breville Hemisphere Control ever since I got it this summer, and although it makes quick work of fruits and veggies for smoothies this was my first time using it for a creamy soup…luckily, it worked like a champ!)
This soup fed us for a whole week and never ceased to be delicious. And it couldn’t be easier!
Easy Fall Mélange Soup, aka Vegan, Gluten-Free, Butternut Squash-Yam-Apple Mashup
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cups butternut squash – peeled and cubed
- 3 garnet yams -peeled and cubed
- 1 large apple (I like honeycrisp) – cored, peeled, and quartered
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- To taste: Ground ginger, thyme, sea salt, and black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot or saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Let simmer until veggies are tender and soft, i.e. easily pierced/smashed with a fork– took about 45 minutes for us.
- Remove from heat and ladle pot contents into blender (in whatever size batches your blender can handle).
- Re-season, if necessary.
Score! Five more weeks until I hit the half-year mark of consistent weekly workouts.
My Foursquare-monitored exercise streak continued today as I checked into Dance New Amsterdam for 90 minutes of Mind Body Dancer Yoga. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this class, which is supposedly geared toward dancers (if the name didn’t make it obvious enough). Perhaps we’d spend half the class in Dancer’s Pose. Or get berated for not being sufficiently bendy. Thankfully, it was actually just a nice, flowing vinyasa class with a solid mix of Sun Salutations, standing poses, twists, etc. Because of the hot weather today, the last half hour of class included some cooling pranyama, restorative poses, and a generous savasana. Yum.
My favorite thing about the class was that the flow felt steady and safe, not frenetic– we weren’t throwing ourselves from plank-to-chaturanga-to-up dog-to down dog over and over again. Another observation: despite the crowd being young, fit, dancer-y, and 100% female, I picked up on none of the weirdly competitive vibe that is unique to the NYC yoga scene. Zero. Everyone was just very much in their own world, doing what they needed to do. Kind of like in a dance class…duh.
After class, Boyfriend and I met for tapas at La Oficina Latina in Nolita, where I enjoyed a split second of accidental awkward eye contact with Adrian Grenier. You know, from Entourage, and that Melissa Joan Hart movie Drive Me Crazy from way back in 1999. I’m pretty sure he’s been in other stuff, too, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what. Conclusion: he’s pretty mega handsome, in a scruffy way. And he belongs to my coworker’s food co-op!
We then went on a quest for vegan dessert, and having missed the window for visiting Babycakes, we ended up at a hippie-ish place called Whole Earth in the East Village. Now, they supposedly have amazing vegan pumpkin pie, but I decided to ignore everyone else’s rave pie reviews and ordered a vegan triple-chocolate brownie. BIG MISTAKE. I’m highly doubtful that three(!) kinds of chocolate actually made it into the brownie, because it tasted mostly like cardboard and despair. It was one of those vegan baked goods that really tasted, well… vegan. But really, I should never say that, because I’ve had amazeballs vegan cookies, cupcakes, muffins, etc. So using “vegan” as shorthand for “disgusto” is hereby outlawed from my vocabulary. It was a shitty brownie, end of story. Next time I’ll listen to everyone and get the damn pie.
Anyway, I was disappointed to have blown $4 on a crappy dessert, and then we tried to hit up Lula’s for some dairy-free ice cream but were shot down as they’re not open on Mondays. So we went home without any treats, and I cried. And then we watched Sunday’s Mad Men and I cried for real. If you’ve seen the episode, you’ll know what I mean, I think. Maybe. I also kinda cry a lot, so who knows?
But I digress!
Tomorrow I’m trying a new workout. I’ll be visiting Pure Barre up near Columbus Circle, because my Tuesday dance class was canceled, my favorite Pilates teacher is all booked up, and I didn’t want to play the waitlist game with Physique 57 after accidentally canceling my reservation and losing my spot. (I’m also still too scared of spinning to use that Flywheel credit I bought on a whim the other week. Will my “preemie lungs,” as Boyfriend puts it, explode from all of that cardio? Will my butt fall off after sitting on a hard, narrow bike seat for 45 mins? These are the things I worry about.) Wish me luck!