Time and again, I have stressed the importance of meal-prep, but I can understand how the idea to prepare all or most of your meals in advance can be overwhelming. By trial and error, I have learned that preparing a few meals is better than preparing all meals. It is less tiring and allows you flexibility to eat what you fancy on a given day instead of always sticking to whatever is prepared in the fridge.
Every week I create a rough meal plan, so we can grocery-shop accordingly. As for the preparation, it gives me peace of mind to make my breakfast and lunch for weekdays. I don’t worry as much about dinners because either Noor or myself can do a grocery run before coming home to create one of our many easy dinner favorites like this quinoa fried rice.
On cool autumn days, I love to indulge in soups with a side of bread or salad. My favorite autumn soup has to be butternut squash. Over the years, I have made various versions of this classic. My current favorite is filled with the creaminess of coconut milk and the richness of chicken broth. It is a powerhouse of vitamins and healthy fats that keep you full until dinner.
Today has been a slow Sunday for me. The most I have done is washed towels and prepared this soup for the week ahead. The soup may seem complicated to prepare, but since most of the work is done in the oven, you can set a timer and return to your lazy day. While the butternut squash was roasting in the oven, I cuddled up in blankets and read my current book: Lessons from Madame Chic.
Without boring you with any more details of my day, here is the recipe. Definitely give it a try with toasted bread slathered with butter, oh my heavens.
- Butternut Squash (1 piece)
- Olive oil (2 tbsp)
- Salt and pepper (as per taste)
- Onion (1 medium)
- Garlic cloves (4, minced)
- Italian seasoning (1 tbsp)
- Red chili powder (1 tsp)
- Chicken broth (400ml)
- Coconut milk (250ml)
- Water (250ml)
- Preheat the oven to 425F/220C and line an oven-safe dish with parchment paper.
- Meanwhile, slice the butternut squash in halves vertically and deseed it. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over on the inside of the squash and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the butternut squash face side down in the parchment lined dish and roast for 45 minutes.
- When the squash is completely cooked through, let it cool. Then scoop out the squash flesh and discard the skin.
- In a pot, slice the onion and sauté it until golden brown.
- Add the minced garlic and spices to the onion and cook until fragrant, about two minutes.
- Now add the squash flesh and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, water and coconut milk and bring to a boil. If you like your soup thick, do not add water. If you like your soup slightly runny, then add the water as well.
- If you have immersion blender, blitz the soup into a creamy consistency. Otherwise, blitz it in a normal blender once it has cooled.
- Divide your soup in lunch containers and store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to two months. You will have yourself a nutritious and delicious on the go lunch!
- To add crunch, top with pumpkin seeds, walnuts and/or pecans.