Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
Welcome to November, the season of “Happy Thanks”.
I see a colorful expression of abundance in the produce aisles as the mixture of late summer/fall fruits and vegetables graciously share space next to each other. To me this is nature’s crescendo of a year well lived. A celebration of sorts.
I started to feel the pull towards gratitude in September this year. Perhaps you have been keeping up with my monthly gratitude projects. I started a new one this month and you can read about it by going to my FaceBook page. Each day there are blessings around us and if we train our eyes to look for and see them they are literally everywhere. Just take the Firestick cactus. I think it’s absolutely amazing how that plant turns the most vivid red orange in the fall and winter. It reminds me that from small things one day great things come. There is so much good and yet it’s easy to get caught up in what isn’t. Luckily November is here and our society joins in on the celebration of blessings. If you are on the fence about starting a gratitude project now is the time. You will be able to capitalize on the momentum of the people around you as each of us becomes energized by the Thanksgiving season.
Remember that from small things one day great things come. With the pace of life today it’s all too common to feel impatient and hurried. Instant gratification is the new normal. Making changes to your habits, your thoughts, and your routines takes practice but it all matters. No matter how slowly your progress may seem, your body is taking note of every small positive change you make. Natural Medicine is running right alongside nature. It goes in accordance with the laws of nature and because of this it is helpful to gauge your health in seasons. Am I healthier than I was last season? Have the seeds of good health that I planted last season come to sprout? Do I need to focus more on my health this season? These are just some of the questions to ask yourself during this time of year as you reflect.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” –Lao Tzu
One of the big changes that I made this year was to stop eating pasta. All kinds of pasta, wheat pasta, quinoa pasta, rice pasta, corn pasta, any grain based pasta. Pasta was a staple in our home when I was growing up. I could always count on coming home from church on Sunday to a big Italian meal of pasta, bread, cheese, meatballs, sausage, peppers and family. Lots of family, if no family was available to invite over my mom would invite our neighbors. For most of my life pasta was ingrained in my family traditions. Pasta represented so many things to me; it was love, it was comfort and it was home. Later in my life when I got to medical school it was really hard for me to admit that most likely it was pasta, and cheese, and bread that had contributed to much of my illness and suffering. Today, so much more information has come to light about food and nutrition that it is possible to supplement nature’s bounty in place of everyday spaghetti.
I didn’t purposely say to myself one day, “No more pasta.” I didn’t force it or create a rule about it. Eliminating pasta just started to happen slowly once I shifted my mind. I was able to shift my mind by reminding myself that I could be getting an additional serving of vegetables at a meal if I substituted pasta with a vegetable alternative. From there it became a game. I would win the game by seeing If I could get at least three servings of vegetables at each meal.
I now use spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, and cucumber noodles to take the place of spaghetti in my life. In the recipe below you will notice that it has three servings of vegetables. This recipe is packed with nutrition and it is something you can feel good about long after you leave the dinner table.
Wishing you and the people you love a bountiful Thanksgiving Season Filled with Blessings!
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta:
2 chicken breasts – grilled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup coconut cream
5 cloves garlic crushed
½ teaspoon sea salt
5 leaves fresh sage
1 cup chopped beet greens.
2 tablespoons olive oil
Parmesan cheese – optional to sprinkle on top of your dish.
If you are not feeling adventurous or do not have a spiralizer, you can substitute a pasta of your choice into this recipe. Pre-cook the pasta and set it aside. Then mix it in towards the end of the recipe.
Spiralize the zucchini into noodles and set aside OR Cook your pasta according to package directions and set aside.
In a sauce pan add olive oil and crushed garlic. Heat until garlic begins to brown.
Then add sea salt, pumpkin, and sage stir together.
Add coconut cream and mix well.
Add the zucchini noodles and cover for about 7-8 minutes. (If you are using pasta you only need to stir through and cover for a few minutes because it is already cooked.)
Add the cooked chicken breast and the chopped beat greens Stir through, turn off heat, and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes and then serve.