September hits and the pumpkin take-over begins in every coffee shop, bakery, and grocery store. The world rushes to the nearest Starbucks to order the first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season and every social media account even slightly related to food starts posting the first of many pumpkin dishes.
But do you know what’s better than Pumpkin Spice? Pumpkins – the real thing! They make it easy to add more vibrant colors to your meals. But it doesn’t stop there, pumpkins are known for their concentrations of vitamin C, B and A as well as their level of health-promoting antioxidants. These vitamins help the body’s immune system by reducing inflammation that can contribute to chronic illness such as cancer and heart disease. It’s some serious stuff!
So knowing that, let’s make this new Fall dinner recipe. It will surely become one of your family’s favorite and you might even find yourself making it year round.
Fall Quinoa and Pumpkin Soup
Cooking time: 1 hour Servings: 8
1 whole chicken
12 cups water
1 medium pie pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 onion, diced
1 cup quinoa
3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups spinach
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup pumpkin puree
Place the chicken in a large soup pot, cover with water, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.
Remove chicken from the water, and let cool to touch. Once cool, remove meat from the bones and shred.
Meanwhile, add the pumpkin, onion, quinoa, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and sage to the stockpot and bring back to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 20 -25 minutes.
Add the chicken, spinach, half and half, and pumpkin puree to the soup, simmering until everything is heated through, about 5 -7 minutes.
Ready to serve!
I hope you’re enjoying the cooling weather and that you find this recipe inspirational to really get you in the spirit of the season.
Happy Fall everyone!
Live to Create.
Just the word can draw up images of deep yellows, bright reds and warm oranges. The trees are changing colours. Mornings are cool and crisp. Sweaters are cozy and meals are warm. Soups, stews, and hot beverages are often sought out during this time. We are preparing for change. For the stagnation of winter.
What do I love about Autumn? Cozy and comforting dishes filled with root vegetables and warming spices. Black pepper, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, garlic, sesame oil and ginger add an element of heat to your dishes. Not only do they add great flavors, they also add some needed nutrients. Let’s explore a few!
Black Pepper: High in micronutrients manganese and vitamin K, black pepper stimulates the secretion of stomach acid to improve digestion and intestinal health. Not only does black pepper help you absorb the nutrients from your meal, the outer layer of the peppercorn stimulates the breakdown of fat cells, keeping you slim while giving you energy to burn. Easy to add to any dish, it goes with anything savory or sweet to boost flavor.
Cardamom: Believed to be the Queen Spice, cardamom is a rich source of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin C. Believed to possess anti-depressant properties, it also helps protect your GI tract, control cholesterol, and keep your teeth healthy. Another neat fact? Cardamom contains some aphrodisiac properties! Stay tuned for our yummy exclusive cardamom energy bars!
Cayenne: You’ve probably enjoyed some cayenne pepper when adding a bit more spiciness to your meal. But did you know that it could dramatically change your health? High in vitamin C, B6, E, potassium, manganese and powerful antioxidants, cayenne can heal an upset stomach, improve circulation, reverse excessive blood clotting, lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. It has also been used as a remedy for toothaches, seasickness, alcoholism, malaria and fever. Research is indicating that it could be used as an effective remedy for headaches and migraines. You can start adding cayenne to your morning hot cocoa, warm ginger tea or kale omelet.
Cinnamon: One of the best things about cinnamon is that it can help stabilize blood sugar. Taken daily, it has also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity; helping those with Type II Diabetes or those who are pre-diabetic. Because cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, research shows that it may boost brain function and can help defend against Alzheimer’s disease. A quarter teaspoon daily is all you need to boost your health.
We are almost into October. That’s right, it feels like yesterday we were struggling with our plans for the New Year, and here we are approaching 2019 – and things don’t seem to be slowing down!
It’s easy to see time slipping by and feel bad about not reaching specific goals or not following through with something you told yourself you’d do.
What I’d like for us to do instead (yes – I’m included in this) is remember that whenever doors close, there are other doors opening. That means new opportunities will present themselves and new goals are there to be attained.
One very quick tip, even if you still want to achieve your previous goal, try writing it down in a different way or think about a slightly different result.
For example, if your goal was to decrease your weight to 145 lbs and you have not met that goal yet, your subconscious will have difficulty accepting that challenge, as it has been difficult to achieve. Instead, try re-framing the goal to make it new and fresh. For example, “I’m going to manage my weight loss through daily physical activity”. Your subconscious will be triggered to find solutions and options for you to reach your goal weight.
One very effective way to hit goals every month, or even every week, is to only focus on the factors you control directly.
What do I mean by that?
The factors behind your goal can be directly or indirectly controlled. An example of an indirectly controlled factor would be your weight. You have zero control over your weight directly – that’s right, ZERO.
You can take steps that just so happen to have weight-loss as an effect, but you cannot make yourself lose 5 lbs by removing it from your body – short of physically having it cut from your body, and even then you’d usually only be making the decision, a surgeon would be the one performing the action.
If you want to take control of the results you’re getting in life, start taking steps that can be controlled directly.
If you want to lose 5 lbs, that shouldn’t be the goal. Your goal(s) should be to run six 30-metre sprints every other day, only eat carbs before and after a resistance workout, and to consume at least 2 litres of water daily.
Those are examples of goals that are directly controllable. The only thing holding you back is you deciding not to take the action. Once you get into the habit of performing these goals, you’ll notice that the weight simply comes off as an effect
Give it a try, take a look at your goals and see how you can control the outcome.
To your success and happiness!
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