My “Souper” Weekend (WIAW)

Wowee do I have a lot of pictures to share with you today!

So let’s skip the fluff and get right to it.

It’s time for another WIAW hosted by the lovely Jenn of Peas and Crayons. Go check out her blog for even more wonderful WIAW posts from some pretty awesome bloggers.

This weekend, as you know, was an extra long one with Monday off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Extended weekends are the greatest. I got to spend a lot of time with my family, cooking, and a little bit of shopping thrown in. Grocery shopping that is…

wiaw-souper-weekend-nut-butter-shelves

Since starting GAPS in December, both of my parents have now joined me in whole foods living. My dad is currently a few stages ahead of me on the Intro Diet, while my mom started right onto full GAPS because she doesn’t have any digestive issues to begin with. Both are feeling great and are really embracing this new lifestyle. I am seriously so proud of their effort to eat clean. Their eating habits have changed dramatically since I wrote this WIAW post entitled Me Vs. Them.

whole-foods-mom-pizza

Another positive to having parents on GAPS is that now we eat some of the same food. On Friday when I came home my dad had a bowl of chicken and vegetable soup simmering on the stove to share. That is the first time in over six months where I have been able to eat the same thing as my parents for supper. It’s quite a surreal feeling.

wiaw-chicken-veggie-soup

Also, on this whole foods journey I’ve introduced my dad to some awesome food. Like squash! At first he couldn’t stand it… Ya. I know. Who is this man?

Well, eventually he came around. He’s still not much into spending a lot of time cooking though, so I knew I had to figure out a quick, painless way to cook squash that he could do during the work week. Sure, he could have microwaved it, but we all know that microwaving isn’t the safest method of cooking. And slicing takes way too much effort…

So, with a little searching on pinterest, I came up with a method that is relatively pain-free:

How to Cook Squash in the Oven Painlessly

wiaw-souper-weekend-oven-acorn-squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole squash, any kind
  • 1 oven
  • 1 pan

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place whole squash in the pan and bake for 1-2 hours.
  3. Check after 1 hour with a knife. When it goes clean through, it’s done.
  4. Cut in half and then scoop out the seeds.

Note: For squash that you can cube, bake on the lower end of the cooking times. For squash that comes off the skin easily and is soft enough to puree, bake closer to the 2 hour cooking time.

Hmm… Super easy, right? I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner? No peeling or slicing, and the seeds are so much easier to remove after the squash is cooked.

After I let the squash cool, I store it in a Pyrex container in the fridge. As I’m scooping and cutting, I tend to snack on a lot of squash (maybe too much sometimes? Hehe). My favorite way is to just slice butternut squash into wedges and eat. They kind of remind me of chomping on orange slices as a kid.

wiaw-souper-weekend-butternut-squash-slice

Over the weekend I also made another batch of Cauliflower Rice Risotto with some of the butternut squash that I cooked.

wiaw-souper-weekend-rice-risotto

I let the risotto cool in the fridge again, then I topped it with some crock pot chicken and sweet peas.

wiaw-souper-weekend-risotto-chicken-peas

Other than food I also got to go to one of my brother’s basketball games. That was probably the highlight of my weekend; my brother is over six foot, so he is pretty good at stuffing players and blocking shots.

Last week I shared a picture of my dog Lilly, but my other pets got jealous. Now it’s their turn!

It was pretty cold over the weekend, so my dad let our larger, outside dog Riley in. We enclosed our kitchen with chairs so that he wouldn’t make a mess of the rest our house, but he was perfectly content with visiting with everyone and getting petted. He is such a sweetheart!Β I tried to get a good picture, but he just wouldn’t sit still.

wiaw-souper-weekend-riley-collage

Scout also wanted to get in on the action. She’s such a little diva. As soon as we emptied one of our paper bags from Whole Foods, Scout hopped right on in and started messing around. Cats just LOVE boxes and bags. She actually let me carry her around in it for a while.

wiaw-souper-weekend-scout-collage

And let’s not forget Apollo, my brother’s cat who he dubbed “Introvert.” He’s not exactly a people person…

wiaw-souper-weekend-apollo-collage

Let’s see, what other pictures do I have to share with you all?

How about this awesome shot I took while I was doing a load of jeans on Saturday:

wiaw-souper-weekend-jeans

Or this picture I took of a sunset on the way to my brother’s game:

wiaw-souper-weekend-landscape

A successful experiment on my mom’s part.

She experimented in making some homemade dressing made from lemon (or orange?) juice, olive oil, and salt. One half she used plain, and the other she mixed with some homemade yogurt. For a snack she dipped a few organic romaine lettuce leaves into the two dressings. She was very impressed, especially with it being GAPS legal.

wiaw-souper-weekend-lettuce-dressing

And a not so successful experiment on my part.

I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate protein powders into dessert for my brother to try. He can use all of the bulking up he can get with basketball! Last time it went over well, but I guess this time I made one too many substitutions when making these no-bake cookies. I personally think it would have tasted awesome, but he’s very very picky.

wiaw-souper-weekend-no-bake-single

Of course, since it’s WIAW, I should probably include some of my regular meals lately. Just because I’ve been eating a lot of soup, doesn’t mean I don’t make up some delicious combinations!

At home for a snack I cooked up two sliced carrots and shredded chicken in a little broth until tender. I drank the broth on the side (it’s so sweet and delicious from the cooked carrots) and I topped the carrots and chicken with a little coconut oil and sea salt.

wiaw-souper-weekend-carrots-chicken-broth

At school today I peeled and cooked yellow squash “noodles” in chicken broth. I topped the squash with a large strip of chicken, sea salt and rosemary. After I took this picture I also added a nice big drizzle of olive oil.

wiaw-souper-weekend-chicken-broth

To round out this incessantly long WIAW, a little warmth for this sub-zero weather that we’ve been experiencing up around here:

wiaw-souper-weekend-tea

Peppermint tea.

wiaw-souper-weekend-tea-packet

——————————————————————————————-

Questions for you:

What is your favorite health food store? I’m all about Whole Foods and Earth Fare!

Have you ever tried cooking a squash whole? Do it. Now. You’ll never go back. Promise.

How do you capture good pictures of your pets?

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51 thoughts on “My “Souper” Weekend (WIAW)

  1. That is awesome that your family is learning to eat clean with you πŸ™‚ Family support is the best! Mm and whole foods would probably be my favorite natural food store…always love a trip there

    • It really is a blessing. It was one that I had been missing for a while, and honestly, I thought I’d never get that feeling back! Now I just need to convince everyone to make a sit down meal at the table together… Okay. That’s officially my goal for the weekend πŸ˜€

    • Now we just need to convince my junk food-loving brother! Hmm, he may be a bit harder πŸ˜‰

      I’v heard good things about Wegmans, we just don’t have any around us. Kroger’s has a really good organic section though.

  2. Wow…what a beautiful sunset! πŸ™‚ I love squash, but Ive never cooked one whole before…i’ll have to try it out!

    xoxo from Trinidad

    • I tried to convince my dad to stop. We live out in the middle of nowhere so it wouldn’t have mattered! Oh well, it’s just a little blurry on the bottom.

      You’ll definitely have to let me know if you try it. It takes cooking squash to a whole new level πŸ˜€

  3. I’m really glad your family is starting to eat the way you do. That’s such a great motivator! My favorite health food store is Fresh Market, although I don’t usually leave with healthy food….

    • Never heard of Fresh Market before. I wish we had some kind of health food store around us. We had to drive over an hour to get to Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Earth Fare.

      And health food stores definitely have some tasty, not-so-healthy food πŸ™‚

  4. Love the star cookie cutter πŸ™‚ my favorite health food store would have to be the farmers market or erwhon in Los Angeles!! I’m obsessed with my pets and have just as many pictures of the, as I do myself :-). Love and shine courtstar

    • Thanks! The star baking pan was a Christmas present awhile ago from my mom. It’s gotten a lot of use πŸ™‚

      The farmer markets around here are always at the wrong times, but this summer I should make an extra effort to go to at least one. I think I’d love them.

      I love taking pictures of my pets. This was just an off weekend I guess. Next week I’ll have better ones πŸ˜€

  5. I have never cooked a squash whole–but it sounds much easier than peeling and chopping it like I usually do:) I love all the pictures of your pets; they are quite adorable:) We have two dogs, and they are actually quite good at posing for the camera. Therefore, I have been able to get some decent pictures of them…It isn’t always easy, though!

  6. Look at that nut butter shelf…that is amazingggg! Thats what I love about visiting the U.S haha we just dont get that in the UK 😦 theres no really big health supermarkets either – other than in London :(. boo hoo.
    I normally cut my squashes in half to roast them..will definitely have to try it whole!

    • πŸ™‚ We even share recipes now. Such a complete turnaround from last year! And I just love the risotto. I told my dad he could try some, but now that I think about it, I ate it all before he could even taken a bite. Haha.

  7. Wow, that’s so cool your parents are taking part in clean eating! Go them!

    Adorable pet pictures. I’m glad your dog got to be inside, away from the cold.

    And that sunset picture is GORGEOUS! It doesn’t look blurry at all! πŸ™‚

    • He was super peppy the whole time, like “I can’t believe I get to be INSIDE!” Haha. It was actually a little sad- Because he’s outside we don’t see him as much. After having him in the house though, he’ll definitely be coming in more often.

      And thanks πŸ˜€

  8. I roast WHOLE squashes EVERY three days! I am so obsessed, it’s not even funny… In fact my mom almost gets mad at me (good thing I don’t live at home anymore)… LOL! But really, I bake around 15 pounds of spaghetti squash every 3 days! I used to bake 10 pounds of butternut squash for the week, not sure why I haven’t done it in awhile, but I need to jump right back on it NOW! LOL!

    Oh and my FAVORITE health food store I think is DEFINITELY Whole Foods! I love all the pre-made food and eating loads of samples, Ahh ha ha ha! πŸ˜‰

    • I’m currently obsessed with squash. Since I can only eat cooked vegetables and meat on this healing protocol right now, squash is my main source of carbohydrates.. And fun! It’s like the fruit of the veggie world! So sweet and tasty. I actually have a spaghetti squash at home waiting to be cooked! Can’t wait til Friday to use it up.

      I agree. Whole Foods is awesome!

  9. Cauliflower rice risotto – I’ve got to try that! I love shopping at Trader Joes and Fairway – TJ for my gluten free goodies and Fairway because they have the largest organic produce section I’ve ever seen, and the best cheese counter in the world!

    • You really should try it, and let me know how it turns out. So easy!

      Fairway sounds awesome. Too bad they’re almost all in NY 😦 May have to go there one day just to see their organic section! Haha.

  10. It’s so cool that your parents are cleaning up their diet with you. It definitely makes things a lot easier when you can share meals with others!
    My cats do the same thing! As soon as an empty bag or box appears they waste no time hopping right in!

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