Root Vegetables are still available locally…

Roasting root vegetables is our favorite way to eat them. Squash, carrots, beets, yams, sweet potatoes, and turnip are all delicious done this way. I roasted a turnip,

and this red kuri pumpkin this week for the first time.

Both were delicious and so simple to prepare. I peeled and cubed the turnip, I washed and cut open the pumpkin, removed the seeds and then sliced it into about 2 inch strips leaving on the peel. Both were tossed with a little olive oil, sprinkled with some fresh ground pepper and salt and roasted at 375 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. Serve as a side vegetable with any grain or pasta meal and you might even be as surprised as I was to have my family fighting over the turnips:) I will need to make more next time! Enjoy:)

Winter Squash…

Loaded with Vitamin A, dietary fibre and just plain deliciousness, squash is a favorite winter vegetable in our house.  I grew up eating acorn squash mostly. My favorite recipe that I still make today for my family is pretty simple. Cut off the ends and then half it then quarter it. (This is no small feat, it is tough to cut so be careful) Scoop out the seeds. Then mix together about a tbsp of butter or becel margerine with a tbsp of brown sugar, sprinkle in some cinnamon and mix together to form a paste. Then core an apple and arrange thin slices on top of each quarter of squash that has been arranged skin side down on top of parchment paper. Divide the cinnamon butter mixture evenly on top of the apples, add a little water to the bottom of the pan and bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes until soft. At the 30 minute mark baste the juices back onto the squash and add 2-3 walnut halves to each squash. This serves 4.

If you have never served squash to your family and wonder what the different types and uses are click on the link below for reference.  I have also added my favorite Squash soup recipe of all time. I used a combination of Kabocha and Butternut squash for my recipe the last time I made it.  I doubled it and froze it. Enjoy!

Curried Squash Pear Soup

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 medium buttercup, butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1 inch cubes (or a combination of any of the above)

5 carrots, thinly sliced

2 anjou or bosc pears, peeled, cored and diced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric

½ tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger root

1-2 tbsp coarse sea salt

8-10 cups water

In a large saucepan heat oil on medium heat and sauté the onion until it becomes translucent. Then add the squash, carrots, pears, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, gingerroot and salt, stirring to prevent sticking and burning for about 8-10 minutes. Add the water ( I started with 8 cups) and bring to a simmer.  Cover the soup and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. The squash and carrots should be soft but not mushy.  Remove from the heat and blend half of the soup and return it to the unblended soup. Stir and enjoy. OR… if you prefer a smooth creamy soup, blend all of the soup. Serve topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, or a dollop of non-fat plain greek yogurt and fresh ground black pepper.

“The Heart Truth”…

I know….I have said it and have heard it time and time again, “I don’t have time” to fit in exercise. The Heart Truth is a national public health education campaign to raise awareness that heart disease and stroke is the #1 killer of women in Canada.

I had so much fun at the 1st Annual Red Dress Event” held in Kelowna on Saturday. The message: It’s time to re-set our priorities so that we can continue to enjoy the loved ones we spend so much time pouring ourselves out for. I don’t think this message is saying “it’s all about me” in a “me”  focused kind of way, but rather encouraging women to step back and do a survey of their lives. Prevention is what it is all about. Check out this link.

I love lists. I’ve taught my girls to make lists. It has served us well. Whenever I feel overwhelmed the first thing I do is sit down and make a “to do list”. I then review it , prioritize, scrutinize  and re-prioritize. I have learned that I need to schedule things in like exercise as if it was my job and I have to meal plan. These two things alone have made even the busiest times in my life more manageable. 

What do you do when you are overwhelmed with the busyness of life? Have you any tips to pass on to others about how to carve out time for exercise, to eat healthier, to get the rest you need, to take care of yourself?