Red Velvet Soup

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3 tsp. minced garlic
6 medium beets, peeled and chopped
2 cups beef stock
salt and pepper, to taste*
1/3 cup fat-free half and half

In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté garlic and onions in olive oil until soft but not browned. Stir in beets and cook for 1 minute; stir in stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and continue
cooking 25 minutes or until beets are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool. In a food processor or blender container, process soup in batches until smooth. Return soup to saucepan and gently heat through; season with salt
and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish by swirling 1 tablespoon cream into each bowl of soup.

*additional salt and pepper not included in analysis
Per 1-cup serving: 120 calories, 6 g fat, 4 g protein, 14 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 270 mg sodium

Butternut Lasagna

1 butternut squash, peeled
1 bunch kale or other greens
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
3 TBS olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 TBS chopped fresh sage leaves
1 cup grated Gruyere, Swiss, mozzarella or fontina cheese, for topping.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds. Place the halves face-down and cut in 1/4-inch slices. Remove and discard the stems from 1 bunch kale or other greens. Chop the leaves roughly. Dice 1 large onion and mince 3 cloves of garlic. Sauté the onion in 3 TBS olive oil until soft, then add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the kale and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch baking dish or large cast iron skillet, then cover with an overlapping layer of squash slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the cooked greens over the squash, then make another layer of squash. Spoon 2 cups of diced tomatoes and 1 TBS chopped fresh sage leaves over this layer, then make another layer of squash. Top with grated cheese. Bake the casserole at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until it is brown on top and bubbling.

Pasta with Leeks & Butternut Squash

2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 medium leeks (about 1 cup), cut lengthwise, rinsed well and thinly sliced
1-2 cloves of garlic
Sea salt
1 small to medium butternut squash (about 4-5 cups), halved, seeded, peeled and diced
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup rice milk (or regular milk)
1 pound pasta (we used spirals, but penne, or fettuccine would work well)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Directions: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and a pinch of salt and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add squash and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, 5 to 6 minutes. Add stock and milk and season lightly with salt. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until squash is quite soft, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. While sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook just until tender to the bite, about 10 minutes. While pasta cooks, transfer squash and leek mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. Return to skillet and simmer over low heat 2 to 3 minutes. Drain pasta; do not rinse. Toss with sauce and minced parsley and serve immediately.

Rustic Winter Vegetables

4 cups cleaned and diced winter vegetables*
1 piece thick sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 oz. feta cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl, toss together vegetables, bacon, olive oil, thyme and garlic powder. Spread mixture into a shallow baking pan. Roast in oven about 35 minutes, stirring vegetables every 10 minutes,
until tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle with feta cheese. Serve hot over toasted baguette slices, pasta or crackers

*Choose any mixture of winter squash (butternut), carrots, parsnips, brussel sprouts, turnips, sweet potatoes or rutabagas. Note: vegetable mixture may be cooked ahead of time and reheated prior to serving.

Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
Per 1/2 cup serving: 130 calories, 7 g fat, 4 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 250 mg sodium.

Herb-Roasted Squash and Sunchokes

2 cups butternut squash, peeled, and cut into bite-size pieces
1 lb. small sunchokes, unpeeled and scrubbed, cut in half or quartered
1 medium red onion, trimmed and cut into wedges
1 1/2 TBS garlic oil
2 TBS minced fresh herbs (try sage, rosemary, thyme, or a combination)
Preheat oven to 425. Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and spread on baking sheet. Roast 1 hour, or until vegetables are soft and golden, turning several times with spatula.

Sweet Rutabaga Stir Fry

1 Tbsp. light sesame oil
1 small onion, sliced lengthwise into crescents
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1½ cups rutabaga, cut into strips
¾ tsp. grated fresh ginger
¾ cup apple cider
1½ cups cooked lean beef, cut into strips*
salt and pepper to taste

Set a wok over medium-high heat. Add sesame oil and swirl to coat the inside of pan. Add onion and stir-fry for 3 minutes or until it softens and appears translucent. Add the rutabaga and pepper; continue cooking for 3 to 4 more
minutes. Stir in ginger and cider; bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce heat; cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add beef and continue to cook 5 to 10 minutes more, or until the meat is heated through and the vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*Precooked fajita beef is available at most grocery stores and can be used in this recipe

Serves 4. Per serving: 220 calories, 9 g fat,
19 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber,
650 mg sodium
*This recipe is a Foot Steps to Health recipe providing a serving of fruit or vegetable and is 500 Club approved.

Root Vegetable Chili Soup

1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
4 tsp. mild chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 small rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (11/2 lb.)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (1/2 lb.)
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 small russet potato, finely diced (1 cup)
2 Anaheim, banana, or mild peppers, seeded and chopped (3/4 cup)
1 small red bell pepper, chopped (2/3 cup)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced, optional
1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Chopped green onions or cilantro for garnish
1. Heat large pot over medium heat. Add corn, and sauté 2 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add oil, onion, and garlic, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Stir in chili powder and cumin, and cook 2 minutes, scraping bottom of pan with spatula.
2. Add rutabagas, carrots, tomatoes, potato, Anaheim pepper, bell pepper, jalapeño, if using, and 3 cups water.
3. Bring pot to a simmer, and season with salt. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
4. Add beans and cook, uncovered, 45 minutes, or until soup thickens. Serve garnished with green onions or cilantro.

Creamy Carrot Soup

1 cup chopped onion
¼ cup butter, cubed
4½ cups sliced carrots
1 lg. potato, peeled and cubed
2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium vegetable broth*
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 (12 oz) cans evaporated skim milk
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
In a Dutch oven, melt butter and sauté onion until tender. Add carrots, potato, broth and ginger. Cover and cook over medium heat 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Cool 15 minutes.
Transfer to blender container in small batches; cover and process until smooth. Return all to pan; stir in milk, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until heated through.
*Low-sodium chicken broth may be substituted for vegetable broth for added flavor.

Makes about 10 cups. Per cup: 130 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g protein, 17 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 300 mg sodium

Sweet and Savory Vegetable Soup

2 TBS olive oil
3 cups onion, diced
1 TBS garlic, chopped
3 cups sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 large)
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 large kale leaves, chopped
1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans
4 cups vegetable broth
1 TBS paprika
1 1/2 tsp tumeric
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add onion, garlic, sweet potato, celery, kale and mushrooms. Sauté five minutes.
Stir in spices. Sauté 3 more minutes. Add tomatoes, garbanzo beans and vegetable stock and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Serve.

Pork Chops with Sweet and Spicy Apples

4 boneless pork loin chops (about 4 oz each)
2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
salt and pepper, to taste*
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. butter
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced

Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Place a medium-sized dish in the oven to warm.
Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat; place pork chops in pan and cook 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until done and internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove from heat and keep warm in the heated dish in the oven.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt and pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add butter to the skillet and stir in brown sugar mixture and apples. Cover and cook until apples are tender. Remove apples with a slotted spoon
and arrange on top of chops. Keep warm in preheated oven. Continue cooking sauce, uncovered in skillet, until thickened slightly; spoon sauce over apples and chops.

Serves 4. Per serving: 330 calories, 10 g fat,
39 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber,
125 mg sodium
*additional salt and pepper not included in analysis