Monday, November 1, 2010

Kabocha, Pumpkin, Curry and More Curry

Soup Sunday
We really don't celebrate Halloween, but a pumpkin soup did seem appropriate. I had a can of pumpkin puree and some kabocha squash that was calling my name. So our Halloween dinner was a Kabocha and Pumpkin Curry Soup.

Kabocha & Pumpkin Curry Soup
Ingredients:
1/2 Kabocha squash, cubed (skin on is fine)
1/2 red onion, diced
15-16 oz low-sodium vegetable broth 
1-2 tbsp minced garlic
1 package extra firm silken tofu
1 can pureed pumpkin
1 can lite coconut milk
To taste: salt, pepper, red pepper, turmeric, curry powder, parsley, nutmeg

Directions:
In large soup pot, saute onions, kabocha, and garlic until begins to soften (about 5 minutes. Add in vegetable broth and spices and allow to simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes until kabocha is soft.

Transfer to a blender, add in half can of coconut milk and begin to puree. Add in tofu and continue to puree until smooth. Transfer back to pot and add in remaining coconut milk and pumpkin. (I did add small bit of water to coconut milk can to rinse and get all the milk out). Allow to simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes.
 

I served with tempeh bacon and toasted pumpkin seeds for some added texture.

Running & Weights to Help a Meh Monday
It was so hard to drag myself out of bed this morning to get to work. I was so mentally checked out on Thursday prepared to be off both Friday and Monday. It was a rather stressful morning at work for me as well. Not the way to kick off the week.

I decided to go for a 3-mile run at lunch to try to blow off some steam and kick the funk out. Jason even agreed to go with me today. I half expected him to not be up for it. It was starting to cloud up. The humidity is up and the temps are around 64 degrees, but there's a damp chill in the air. So it wasn't a sunny, gorgeous day out like we've been having (probably another reason for my funky mood). But the run did help some. It was nice to be outside away from "things."

After work I hit the weights. I went with biceps/triceps. I did super sets similar to last week. I did try to increase the weights this week as well.

SS#1 - 3x6
Dumbbell biceps curls
Overhead triceps extension

SS#2 - 3x8
Hammer curls
Lying triceps extensions

SS#3 - 3x10
Preacher curls
Double-arm kickbacks

SS#4 - 3x12
Alternating curls
Weighted triceps dips

I'll admit to being less than enthusiastic about getting started on the weights. But once I got going, it felt good, so I'm glad I went for it. I actually had a pretty strong workout.

Leftovers on Monday
We had some soup leftover from last night but not quite enough for dinner for two. So Jason suggested re-purposing it and turning it into a Spicy Kabocha and Pumpkin Curry Tofu.

Spicy Kabocha and Pumpkin Curry Tofu
Ingredients:
Sauce
1/4 diced red bell pepper
1/4 diced green bell pepper
1/4 diced yellow bell pepper 
2 small carrots, diced
2.5-3 cups leftover Kabocha and Pumpkin Curry Soup (or any pumpkin soup)
2-3 tbsp PB2 (or natural creamy peanut butter)
1/4 cup water or broth (depends on soup consistency)
2-3 tbsp red curry paste
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 package frozen peas

Tofu
1 package extra firm tofu, pressed for several hours, cubed
Unflavored almond milk (to consistency, maybe under 1/2 cup)
1 tbsp curry paste
2 tsp garam masala


Directions:
In large bowl, whisk together ingredients for tofu marinade then fold in tofu and allow to marinate at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place marinated tofu on prepared baking sheet and bake until firm and crisp flipping at least once, approximately 45-50 minutes.

In large non-stick skillet, saute carrots and bell peppers until begin to soften. Stir in soup, adding liquid to desired consistency. Stir in remaining ingredients up to the peas. Allow to simmer and thicken approximately 20 minutes. Stir in the peas at the very end and turn off heat, then add in the tofu.

I served this over brown rice.
 

This really turned out well and could very easily be made with a pre-made butternut squash soup (the kind you see at Whole Foods often). I will say that I thought the re-purposing leftovers would be faster somehow. I still felt like I spent a good deal of time in the kitchen. Apparently I need to get a better grasp of how to use leftovers for more efficient meals ;-)