This month has been so much fun with all the holiday parties, brunches, school events and gatherings with friends of family. Lots of comfort food too and unfortunately a little bit too much sugar, alcohol and treats.
This salad was made out of a craving. A craving for crunch. A craving for raw vegetables. A craving for a simple lunch. A craving for something nutritious and easy in the middle of dark December.
Ah, fall and winter, a time to snuggle up in your cozy socks, watch movies, enjoy endless cups of tea and…be miserable with a slightly new variety of the cold or flu virus. No thanks!
Getting a cold is not an inevitable consequence of the fall or winter and the start of flu season. If you follow a few simple precautionary measures you can reduce the likelihood of catching a cold or the flu. And if you’re in the unfortunate position of already having a cold, these suggestions will help you get over it quickly!
Come over to my house on Halloween and you’ll get one of these silly toys instead of candy!
I think my children start talking about Halloween just after their birthdays in July. Seriously. First of all, they start planning the costumes and then of course their eyes roll in delight at the thought of all the CANDY.
What is a healthy mama to do during one of the UN-healthiest holidays of the year?
It’s getting cold outside, the evenings are drawing in and this is the week that America celebrates Thanksgiving. At this time of the year, it’s natural for us to turn to rich, heavy, comforting foods. With the sugar craziness that starts at Halloween and finishes after New Year’s, many of us throw out our diet and nutrition goals and forget about healthy food options and our good intentions from the summertime.
Don’t worry, here are some easy tips that you can use throughout the entire holiday party season that will keep you healthy and won’t have you starting all over again with unrealistic health goals on January 1.
This fall, I’m officially in love with squash of all kinds. I love roasted rainbow slices of delicata squash, butternut squash soup and of course my old favorite acorn squash. Squash is such a versatile and easy fall vegetable and there is no reason to be intimated. In fact, you don’t need to peel squash at all when roasting. Just cut it in half, drizzle over some olive oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper and roast until soft. Roasting squash is kind of a miraculous event – you can’t even imagine that something so hard could turn into something so sweet and caramelized in the oven.
Even though I’m not vegetarian and look forward to my Thanksgiving turkey every year, I have many vegetarian friends and clients and they are always looking for an extra special dish for the holidays rather than being left with all the vegetable side dishes. Personally, I’m moving away from eating meat with every meal to having meat once in a while for a little extra flavor so this roasted acorn squash would be perfect for anyone – vegetarian or carnivore come Thanksgiving or Christmas Day. You can experiment your own spice mixture and add some holiday pizzazz with some cranberries or pomegranates too. Of course, you could add in a little ground pork or turkey into the stuffing mix but I think this is perfect just as it is.
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Cranberries and Pomegranates (serves 2 or 1 hungry vegetarian)
1 medium acorn squash halved lengthwise and seeds removed
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
8 cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cup mix of cooked wild rice and brown rice – preferably cooked in vegetable or chicken stock instead of water
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper – to taste
1 tablespoon cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
- Heat the oven to 450°F.
- Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place cut side up on a roasting tray. Drizzle over a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until just a little soft for about 30 minutes.
- Saute the onion, scallions, mushrooms and celery in the butter. Stir occasionally and cook on low heat until the onion is translucent and the vegetables are soft for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the thyme and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in the rice, chopped walnuts and cranberries.
- Remove the squash from the oven and add the rice filling to each half.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.
- Place squash back in the oven and roast for a further 25 minutes until the squash is completely tender.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle the fresh parsley and pomegranate seeds over the top. Serve warm.
Happy New Year! I hope that this year is filled with health, happiness and fun for you and your family.
Do you feel as if you have been overeating since Halloween? Have you made some health and wellness resolutions for 2014? Need to lose a few pounds but don’t quite know how to do it? Want to quit caffeine, sugar, gluten or meat and need help? Want to begin the New Year with great health and a fresh start?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my healthy followers!
If you are worried about packing on the pounds and staying healthy this festive season, read my tips below for help.