Frugal Recipes: Hearty Oat Loaf & Soup

Contributed by Courtney Horan, Author of the healthy living blog Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life. Courtney is a former teacher turned personal trainer, who loves blogging about healthy food and fun fitness ideas. You can connect with Courtney through her blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.
Before anything else, as soon as I got home from work today, I housed one of my Chocolate Butterscotch Cheesecake Cookies.  It tasted amazing! :-P
So I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to make for dinner, but I did know that I had a butternut squash which has been sitting on the counter just waiting to be eaten.  So, I consulted one of my favorite cookbooks, Everyday Light Meals, and found a couple winning recipes!  I promise the recipes are at the end, so keep reading. ;)
First, I started off by cubing up the butternut squash, and combined it with 2 sliced carrots, some onion, and vegetable broth.
After simmering for about 20 minutes, I poured it all into a bowl, and threw it in the freezer to cool.  In the meantime, I really got my “culinary” skills goin’ and started making some homemade bread.
Courtesy, again, to my Everyday Light Meals cookbook, I found a Hearty Oat Loaf recipe that looked just too good to pass up!
Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients
Combined together in a happy matrimony. :-D
After spreading the batter into a pan and sprinkling it with some extra oats, into the oven it went!
Fast-forward 40 minutes later, and out popped this scrumptious looking loaf. :-P
Now, please forgive me, but I must take this time to VENT.  I promise I will be quick…
I HIGHLY DISLIKE MY BLENDER!!! It has officially “crapped out” on me, and I am now in the market for a new one.
Ok, I feel a little tiny bit better now…
Basically, Jay and I got our blender for our wedding, and ever since we opened it a few months ago, it never really seemed to work right.  It would take at least 3 tries to finally get my smoothies blended, and the blender jar never really seemed to fit the way it should on the base.  Well, let’s just say that tonight, when I tried using it for my butternut squash recipe, the blade & bottom of the jar decided to stay stuck to the base, while the jar came off…with everything in it!  Luckily, things didn’t get too messy, and I was able to finish…but it must have taken me about double the amount of time to finish everything.  So needless to say, I’m in the market for a new blender!
Alright, back to the good stuff…so what was the recipe you ask??
Chilled Squash and Carrot Soup!
I would have liked for things to get a little “smoother” but at this point, I had pretty much lost all patience with the blender and was starving!
I’m not going to lie, this soup is definitely going to be one of my FAVORITES!!  The flavor of the squash, carrots, & onions all combined together to make a fabulous chilled bowl of goodness.  I would HIGHLY recommend this recipe if you like squash!!
Along with my perfectly chilly soup, I had a couple nice warm pieces of my bread.  And, as if this meal couldn’t get any better, I decided to whip up a little homemade honey butter.  I mixed about 1 tablespoon of softened butter with approx. 1 teaspoon of honey.  This stuff was unreal…I literally had to stop myself from licking the butter knife. ;)
Look at that sweet, melted butta! :)   I still have lots of extra to use on some bread tomorrow…yesssss.
Chilled Squash and Carrot Soup
- 1-1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (about 3 cups)
- 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) vegetable broth (*the recipe called for chicken broth, but I only had vegetable, it was awesome!)
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
- 3 tbsp. fat-free sour cream (*optional – just used for topping, I used maybe 1 tsp for my bowl?)
In a large saucepan, combine the squash, broth, carrots, onion, and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are very tender.  Remove from heat; cool.
In a blender or food processor, puree squash mixture in batches.  Transfer to a bowl, stir in evaporated milk.  Cover and chill until serving.  Garnish with sour cream, if desired.
Hearty Oat Loaf
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp quick-cooking oats, divided (*I only had old fashioned oats, and it tasted totally fine)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
- 3 tbsp canola oil
In a large bowl, combine the flours, 1/2 cup oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, combine the egg, milk, and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Spread batter into an 8- or 9-in. round baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Sprinkle with the remaining oats.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.  Serve warm.
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