Cooking with Genuinely Julie

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Cooking with Genuinely Julie

We're very excited to welcome food writer Genuinely Julie as a contributor to the Speakers Club! Julie is not only a fabulous chef, she is also a laryngectomy patient.

Julie tells her story

In 2006, at the age of 18, I was diagnosed with an advanced stage IV laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma. In March 2006 I underwent total laryngectomy surgery, and in April I began chemotherapy and radiation treatment. I received three rounds of intravenous chemo, plus six weeks of radiation therapy. This was the most challenging portion of my treatment. I was fitted with a tracheoesophageal voice prosthesis (TEP); however, due to scaring from radiation treatment, my body rejected the prosthesis and I was unable to use it, and eventually it was removed.

Although challenging, I have learned to adjust to my new circumstances and now speak with a very quiet whisper. I'm also very familiar with the swallowing and dry mouth challenges and potential nutritional deficiencies faced by many laryngectomy patients, so I try to focus on creating recipes that are healthy and nutritious, yet flavorful and easier to swallow.

I have been in remission for 10 years and I am now a researcher, educator, recipe creator, and holistic health and wellness blogger, with a passion for life and healthy living. I enjoy yoga, meditation, reading, cooking, dancing, nature, animals, travel, and spending time with family, friends, and pets: pup Oscar, and kitty Calvin. Through my experiences and education, I have become passionate about holistic, naturopathic-centered approaches to health and wellness. This has inspired me to start a blog, genuinelyjulie.org, which is dedicated to inspiring, educating, and motivating others to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

Now, Julie shares one of her favorite recipes!

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

1 med. butternut squash, peeled cut into approx. 1" cubes
1 medium white onion, diced
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
1/4 cup olive or coconut oil
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
3 tbsp. raw honey or real maple syrup (optional)

Method:

  • Heat olive or coconut oil in a large soup pan over medium high heat. Add onions and saute about 5 minutes or until starting to soften. Reduce heat to medium, add minced garlic and ginger; continue to saute about 3 minutes more, stirring often.
  • Add carrots, sweet potato, cinnamon, and nutmeg into pot, stirring to combine and saute about 2 more minutes. Add butternut squash and vegetable broth so that vegetables are covered to the top with liquid (add a little water if needed) and season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium high.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until all veggies are soft. Turn off stove. Using an immersion blender, puree soup in pot until thick and smooth in consistency.
  • Gently stir in coconut milk and, if desired, honey or maple syrup, for a little more sweetness. Season with extra salt, pepper, and cinnamon to taste, if needed.
  • Enjoy!

Notes:

  • Special equipment: Immersion blender. Alternatively, soup can be transferred to a regular blender to puree and then poured back into the pot. However, allow soup to cool a bit first if doing this for safety as it will be very hot.
  • This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.