Vegan Pumpkin Peanut Soup

Vegan Pumpkin Peanut SoupI don’t know how the thought came to me, but one day I realized I desperately wanted to make a pumpkin peanut butter soup. Thankfully, such a thing exists and I found a number of recipes.  The recipes I found all had butter.  Why?  I have no idea.  The original recipe I tried was also super boring so I looked for more, stole some ideas, and added some a little sugar n’ spice to make it extra nice.  The vegan soup that I ended up with is absolutely delicious and please both me and my meat-eating boyfriend.  Enjoy!

Vegan Pumpkin Peanut Soup

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 medium sweet potato

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth, natural)

1/4 teaspoon curry powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

1-2 teaspoons maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Chop the sweet potato, steam in a steam basket over boiling water until soft (about 10 minutes).  Peel the potatoes.  Allow to cool slightly and be careful though; those are some hot potatoes! Puree the sweet potatoes until smooth.

Step 2: In a large pot, melt the coconut oil over medium low heat. Stir in pumpkin, sweet potato puree, and peanut butter.

Step 3: Slowly add the water.  Season with curry powder, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now eat up and love that Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and healthy fat and fiber!

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Lettuce in My Soup

I’m a greens girl, always have been, always will be.  I’ve always been the only one of my friends Lettuce and potato vegan soupwho picked up Kale, Swiss Chard, or Escarole on a regular trip to the grocery store, and I’ve been teased about it for years.  I like my greens raw, juiced, sauteed, baked in casseroles, really any which way. So you can imagine my delight when I was introduced to a blended LETTUCE soup.

Don’t be scared;  the soup is actually simple and mighty delicious.  I heard about the recipe through one of my Pilates clients and couldn’t wait to try it. I actually searched the internet for a similar recipe before I made her version and found that a “green leaf” blended soup isn’t actually all that common.  I finally found a recipe that I was eager to try with romaine lettuce, potatoes, broth, and leeks.  The soup takes about an hour and a half to make because the potatoes need to simmer for quite a while, but it’s worth it.  The soup is thick and warming yet feels fresh and extremely healthy.  There is no heavy cream or butter or flour used to thicken the soup so it’s just plain good for you.

The recipe is from The New York Times and can be viewed in its entirety here.  I highly recommend giving the recipe a try, or exploring different ways to get your greens in soup.  My client’s recipe is similar but uses tons of scallions instead of leeks; I can’t wait to try that next week!

Be well, Buffalo.


Pole Dancing Class: Variety Is the Spice of Life

For people like me, who aren’t die-hard runners or devout Yogis, the best way to stay happy and healthy is to keep it interesting and try a variety of workouts.  Maybe you’ll find something that you fall in love with and do it forever, maybe not, but you’ll most certainly have a lot of fun and work up a sweat along the way.  I love Pilates and I do it often.  I also enjoy yoga, weight training, dance and barre classes, and hiking.  What’s really amazing though, is taking the time to try something I’ve never done before, like pole dancing.

pole dancing buffalo

Yes, that’s right, pole dancing.  The class, at Pole Play on Hertel Avenue, is a great time whether your goal is to get a little sexy and have fun or gain strength and work up a sweat.  I had a lot of fun shaking my booty and practicing how to be confident and sexy.  I could have done without the tidbits about what a man thinks is sexy, but I understand why that had to be said in a class that’s based on the sport of exotic dancing.  What I could NOT have done without though was the fun music, laughter, and bad a** feeling of climbing up that pole.  I’m hooked on the sensation of clutching the pole and working my abs, arms, and legs to climb up the pole, balance, and spin down.  Was it hard to get up the pole?  Yes.  Did I look pretty doing it?  No.  But did I work hard and feel the burn?  Absolutely!

In the class I attended we learned some sexy dance moves, climbed the pole, learned a few balances on the pole, and danced to fun music. And that’s just the first class.  I challenge you to Youtube competitive pole dancing and not be impressed.

The hour long class flies by and this may just be because I have a dance background, but nothing about the environment felt intimidating at all.  If you can let go, have fun, and strive to climb the pole you’ll get a great workout and feel sexy and confident when you walk out the door.

Working out in the winter can get monotonous and uninspiring so if you’re looking for something to spice up your fitness routine, I highly recommend a pole dancing class.  Seriously.