I was recently introduced to the concept of "dinner in a pumpkin" by a friend of mine. Holy cow, I have found my new favorite meal! I mean, is there a more appropriate meal for autumn? The prep for this meal can be fairly easy or more complex, depending on what you want to make of it. Essentially, you mix up the filling, cut the top off and clean out a sugar pumpkin (aka pie pumpkin), fill the pumpkin, put the top on and bake until the filling is hot and the pumpkin is tender. Then, as you scoop out the delicious filling, you also scoop pumpkin flesh! Yummo, right?
I love recipes that upon eating the original (or cooking it), I can already imagine the options! This is definitely one of those recipes!!
The pumpkin I was served was filled with rice and red beans, cream of celery soup, and green beans. I believe there was a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice as well. It was delicious, mixed with the cooked pumpkin!
This recipe is a great way to get your veggies, but there is room for meat too. So it really can be a very healthy meal for anyone.
I just made an autumn veggie version – I roasted cubed butternut squash, yam, carrot, celery, onion and kale with a little olive oil and curry powder. Once the veggies were tender, I added a sprinkle of cayenne & cinnamon, some cooked brown rice, and I moistened it up with a box of butternut squash soup. I also added some veggie sausage to spice it up a little more. Let me tell you, this is amazingly delicious!
It’s a pretty simple formula….veggies of your choice, rice, meat (if desired)and soup to moisten. If you have a big family, stuff more than one pumpkin.
I can foresee many other autumn inspired versions…maybe add some wild rice and craisins to the mix...or a Mexican version using black beans and corn and salsa instead of soup. I even have a large acorn squash that I will use next time instead of the pumpkin.
What would you put in yours? Well, what are you waiting for? Go give that a try!!
Enjoy your next dinner...in a pumpkin!!
...by reaching habitually for my phone. I knew I was addicted, but I didn’t realize exactly how bad it was until I made the decision to honestly monitor myself. A moment when there is a lull in the conversation, I reach for my phone. I’m waiting in line, I reach for my phone. I’m sitting outside relaxing, I reach for my phone. I crawl into bed, I reach for my phone. I get out of bed, I reach for my phone. I’m walking, I reach for my phone. Red light, I reach for my phone. You get the idea, right?
Your first thought may be “so, you weren’t doing anything else anyway”….but that is not true.
During the time that I was monitoring my addiction, I also had several days where staying connected was NOT an option. During these days I enjoyed the peace of just sitting with my thoughts and of mindfully enjoying my surroundings. Conversation pauses were not filled with petty facebook updates, they were filled with listening and contemplation. During all those times when I mindlessly reach for my phone, I miss out on enjoying the here and now.
So where does this leave me? No, I’m not giving up my phone; yes, I still have a facebook account and yes, I do have to keep connected to business emails. However, being aware of my daily actions allows me to make conscious choices. Now, every time I reach for my phone or even when I sit down with my computer, I’m mindfully choosing to do something…not just mindlessly filling time that I could be enjoying.
Are you looking to feel a little more connected, a little more grounded, a little more mindful? Join me in my effort to treat my phone like a useful tool, not an addiction! Are you up for it? Only good things can happen!
Tracy Martorana is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Meditation Instructor and Herbalist...hoping to inspire you to live your life from a place of Holistic Wellness.