With Halloween behind us and autumn in full swing, I am really channeling my inner suburban mom and getting into the habit of baking and cooking delicious fall meals. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I am going to need to perfect a side dish to bring to my dad’s house before then.
So, what have I been cooking lately? And how is my financial situation doing? I’m happy to share that I now work a job I love that pays me fairly well, so I don’t have to wait around for the 12th of the month to buy my scarce collection of groceries. It’s been great to have a little bit of extra spending money, so that I can splurge on preparing more home-cooked meals that require a longer list of ingredients. I’m also looking forward to getting back into baking, so be on the lookout for some baking content from me later in the season.
One thing I made this week that I absolutely LOVED was this golden, delicious, mouth-watering butternut squash soup. I love butternut squash soup because it’s 1) easy to prepare, 2) cheap to make, and 3) yields several cups, so you can have leftovers for days. And because it’s such a light soup, you can customize it and pair it with so many different items! Today I paired it with some margarita pizza (my favvvvorite,) but I also love to pair this soup with a salad, a sandwich, or a dinner roll. Butternut squash is also a very low-calorie, fiber rich gourd, so while it fills you up quickly, it won’t make you feel bloated or sick!
I’ve also been making a variation of my favorite salad at home, which is a copy of the Panera strawberry poppyseed salad. I combine any salad base (usually kale/cabbage) with fresh apples, strawberries, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, dried cranberries/strawberries, and cheddar cheese. Then, I smother the salad with poppyseed dressing and mix it all together. It’s definitely cheaper than making a run to Panera every time I make a salad, and when I store it correctly, it stays fresh for days in my refrigerator. This salad is a great option for me when I have to work both of my jobs back-to-back and I don’t have time to cook an entire soup or cook up some pasta. I can make this salad days in advance, organize it nicely into my little dollar store tupperwares, and grab one every morning on my way to work. It definitely gives me the energy burst I need when I’m running from one job to the next in the middle of the day, and it keeps me full for hours on end.
I’ve also been really into skillet dinners, because there are so many great vegetarian options, and if I’m too tired to cook, they can be a great way to get something on the table quickly. My favorite fast go-to dinners are fettucine alfredo or ramen with dumplings, and an additional added vegetable, such as broccoli.
That’s pretty much what I’ve been feeding myself for the past couple of months! If you guys have any recommendations for other dishes I can try this season, drop them below and I’ll test them out.