People often have thoughts that eating healthy means eating solely salads and green smoothies. This is not the case! You can still be comforted by warm dishes, and eat a little lighter, by making easy changes to your diet. For example, if you don’t eat a plant-based diet, you can switch to vegan meats to lower the fat and cholesterol in your meals. So, today, I’m showing you how to do this with a delicious Butternut Squash Bacon Soup, made with Sweet Earth Foods Benevolent Bacon!
If you need further convincing to try this Benevolent Bacon, check out these stats, per serving:
- 75% less fat than animal bacon
- 57% fewer calories
- Only 120 grams sodium
- 10 grams of protein
And that doesn’t even count the positive environmental impact!
And honestly, it just tastes good. The hickory sage seasoning is bold, the seitan-based bacon crisps nicely when fried, and is easy to prepare. For this Butternut Squash Bacon Soup, I roasted squash with onion and bacon pieces, then paired it with a seasoned broth and butter beans for extra protein, fiber and creaminess. Then, topped it with pan-fried bacon, following SEF’s package instructions and ta-dah.. All-in-all, there are about 10 ingredients!
Another great thing about this product, is that it is easy to find. I saw it all over the country when I was on my book tour! But, you can use their store locator to see what’s closest to you. (I have 6 stores within a 3 mile radius that sell it, woohoo!)
Now, onto the Butternut Squash Bacon Soup!
Happy New Year, Everyone! (I can still say that, right?) It’s nice to be back from a holiday semi-break, and to have a bright and shiny blog post for you. Today, I’m talking about Ashley Melillo’s newest book, Blissful Basil, which is also the name of her beautiful blog. Plus, we get the benefit of trying out and sharing her recipe for Buckwheat Green Apple Cranberry Avocado Salad!
What peaked my interest in this book was not only the beautiful “plant-powered” recipes and their accompanying photos, but how Ashley also talks about her mental health. Something I don’t mention on here, almost at all, is how I have Anxiety Disorder. In the scheme of things, I’ve only had tangible issues with anxiety for a short amount of time (about two and a half years); but wow, has it changed my life.
There are times when my brain goes on a frenzy, like a runaway train where the conductor is yelling everything that could possibly go wrong at any given moment. And if it’s really bad, I’ll get that feeling a few times a day for weeks. All that to say, I love how Ashley talks about her battle with anxiety and how eating better and living a more healthful life has helped her immensely. In this book, she gives you tips on what to eat, how to stock your pantry, and interspersed between the recipes and photos are personal anecdotes.
Reading Blissful Basil reminded me that while anxiety sucks, I can do my best to help myself, at the very least. It doesn’t hurt that Ashley’s photography is stunning, and the dishes are vibrant and enticing. If you’re looking to be inspired by whole-foods recipes, this book is a great one!
Now, back to the Buckwheat Green Apple Cranberry Avocado Salad! The description nails it when it talks about the good balance of sweet and savory, all complimented by creamy avocado. This salad is hearty, but also very refreshing. Perfect for the new year!
The food-centered holidays may be over, but it’s still cold and I’m craving hearty food. Only now, I’m leaning towards something with a better nutritional profile than say, Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. I need some salt to balance out the immense amount of sweets I’ve made in the last week or so! This Savory Tomato Cobbler really hit the spot, while not going too overboard.
The idea came from a cobbler-type dish that I threw together for Christmas Day dinner at my cousin’s house (you may have seen it in my Instagram stories). A can of vegan chili, another can of vegan fire-roasted soup and some added greens with extra spices, topped with homemade biscuits. The biscuit topping is a variation of the recipe I have for the Biscuit Nacho Bowl in Vegan Bowl Attack!.
This time around, I thought I’d change it to something like a grilled cheese with tomato soup, but a bit different. The savory tomato filling is made up of fire-roasted tomatoes, white beans (cannellini) for protein, greens and Silk’s Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk for some low-fat creaminess. Plus, some dried basil, oregano and red pepper flakes for extra punches of flavor.
Next, the drop biscuit topping is fluffy, with a crunchy outer-crust, filled with fresh chives and vegan cheddar shreds. Mmm.. The textures and tastes of this dish are SO good! Another great thing about this Savory Tomato Cobbler, is that it comes together pretty easily. So, it’s perfect for serving at a potluck or for a family dinner.
Even though it’s not totally necessary, I served my cobbler with a vegan sour cream, made with raw cashews and again, the Silk soy milk. I love how versatile unsweetened non-dairy milks are! You can find Silk near you using their store locator, and follow their newsletter for coupons and product updates.
Now, to the recipe!