2 cups acorn squash, cooked
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fat free half and half
½ cup diced onion
2 leaves fresh sage
2 teaspoons maple syrup
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
1 package WASA Hearty Rye Crispbread
Slice open acorn squash and remove seeds. Place sliced side down in an 8 X 8 inch glass dish, cover and microwave on high until tender (approx 10 minutes).
Scoop out meat with a spoon when cooled and set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet. Add onion and whole sage leaves. Sauté until onions are transparent. Remove sage.
Add squash, half and half, maple syrup, and parmesan cheese. Mix well.
Spoon into bowl, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve hot on a platter with crispbread.
TIP: May substitute WASA Oat, Sourdough Rye, Multigrain, or Rye Crispbread. Leftover dip may be stored in refrigerator for to 3 – 4 days.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Nutritional Value Per Serving
½ cup skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoon raisins
4 teaspoons pistachios, shelled and chopped
½ ounce dark chocolate, grated
3 pieces WASA Light Rye
Soak raisins in a bowl of boiling water until soft (approximately 10 minutes). Drain and return to bowl.
Add ricotta cheese, honey and pistachio nuts to bowl. Mix well.
Spoon equal amounts of spread on crispbreads and top with grated chocolate.
TIP: Substitute cottage cheese for ricotta cheese if desired.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Nutritional Value Per Serving
||13% of required daily value
I’m at the BlogHer conference in downtown Chicago mingling with 800 other women (promise I’ll link to some great food and yoga blogs once I process all the info that’s pouring into my brain).
The first day, I decided to get some exercise by walking from the train station to the conference center. I was wearing sandals and carrying a heavy laptop bag. I got lost. One hour and five blisters later, I finally arrived. I was smart enough to take a cab back to the train station that night, but once I made it to the suburbs (where I’m staying with a friend) I had to walk another mile to their house. My friend’s husband, Brad, was with me, and he watched as I limped and cringed.
“Ow, ow, ow,” I said as my sandals rubbed against my blisters.
I slipped off my shoes.
“Ow, ow, ow,” I said again as the sharp little pebbles on the roads and sidewalks cut my feet.
“You’re a yoga blogger!” Brad said.
“What does that have to do with anything?” I asked.
“Some yogis walk over hot coals and stuff,” he pointed out.
Now that he mentioned it, I did recall reading a passage in a book about firewalking at a yoga retreat. Although none of the yoga classes I’ve attended have involved hot coals, we do practice in bare feet. Still, smooth wood floors and soft sticky mats may help strengthen my soul, but they don’t sturdy up the skin on my soles.
Walking home that night, I stepped off the sidewalk and onto the grass. It was long and cool and damp. It cushioned my bare feet and brushed in between my toes. I completely forgot about my blisters as I focused on how nice it felt to observe the world through from the bottom up. It had been a long time since I’ve walked barefoot in the grass.
To some, barefoot hiking is a hobby. Richard Frazine wrote a book about it called The Barefoot Hiker, and Common Ground, a sustainable living magazine, wrote an article about it here.
How often do we take time to feel the crunch of leaves or the slick slime of moss or the powder puffs of dirt through our feet and toes? Not to mention walking barefoot is gentle on the planet. I think I will start taking off my shoes more often, especially outside.
As quoted on this website, Sitting Bull said: “Healthy feet can hear the very heart of Mother Earth.”
The carrots I hold in my hand are fresh from a local garden. They’re dirty and have wild bushy green tops. I wash and peel the carrots then pick up the knife. I have a long way to go until I can maneuver this utensil like those chefs on the Food Network, but I’m getting better. Faster.
I cut the carrots, chop the onion, dice the celery, slice the mushrooms and throw everything into a skillet with water. While the veggies are steam sautéing I boil tri-colored pasta in a medium pot and steam spinach in a small one. I add tomatoes and tomato sauce to the skillet. When the pasta and spinach are ready I add those too, along with garlic and oregano.
My husband, Ron, wanders in the kitchen.
“What’s for dinner?” he asks.
“Italian Skillet Casserole,” I say.
He leans over my shoulder and investigates the simmering dish on the stovetop.
“Almost all veggies,” I point out.
Cooking healthier foods has been challenging in certain ways, but one thing I completely forgot about when I started this new path is that my husband can’t stand vegetables. He’ll eat certain items (broccoli or beans or salad) because he knows they’re good for him, but he would prefer them as a side dish, not the main dish.
But it just so happens that his company is having a Vegetable Challenge this summer.
So perfect timing.
I scoop out the meal into two bowls, light some candles, and sit down.
It’s delicious, and I look at Ron to see what he thinks. He’s pushing a piece of onion, a hunk of tomato, and a mushroom slice to the side. “I can eat them when they’re small, but these big pieces…” he shakes his head.
“You need to retrain your taste buds,” I suggest softly.
He’s a good sport so he takes a huge spoonful, onion chunks and all, and gives it a go. He likes it. This truly is one of the tastier dishes I’ve made, and when I’m done I push my bowl aside and lean back in the chair.
“Hey, what’s that?” Ron says, peering into my bowl.
“Nothing,” I say.
“Uh-huh,” Ron nods, smirking.
Okay, okay. So I really do consider myself a vegetable lover, but I’ve always struggled with cooked carrots. There is small pile of them left. I guess we both have some retraining to work through.