Oct 032011
I had such a wonderful weekend.  How was yours?
I got some new earrings at the farmers market and I liked them so much I updated my profile pic (plus it’s been a while as I’m no longer a brunette!)
Aren’t they fun?  They are actually rooster feathers.  (And was assured that no birds were harmed in the making of these earrings.)
I hadn’t taken any year 3 birthday photos of my daughter in August so I finally got around to doing so.  The weather was so perfect.
Here we are walking out to the dock where we take the birthday photos every year.
Also, I visited my farm last Thursday and, though my CSA hasn’t started back up yet, they already had some veggies!  I got a gorgeous calabaza (which is a sort of pumpkin) and the weather has been so cool and fall-ish that I decided to do another recipe with rosemary.

 I’ll get right in close so you can see all this yumminess.  The best part was that I didn’t step foot in a grocery store.  What I didn’t have on hand I got at either my farm or the St Augustine Farmers Market.

This is a great way to use left over grains or beans and you can cut some time by using frozen, cubed butternut squash and frozen greens as well if you don’t have them handy.  Any dried fruit can be subbed for the cherries so get creative!

Each bite is a new taste and texture; creamy and sweet squash, sweet/tart cherries, crunchy walnuts and pine nuts, tangy mustard.  This came out so well I might just have to make this for Thanksgiving.

It’s super filling from all the veggies, barley and lentils so I put my serving in a coffee cup. Perfect.

Roasted Calabaza and Garlic with Lentils, Barley, Kale,Toasted Pine Nuts, Walnuts and Dried Cherries

Vegan, Wheat Free (for a gluten free option sub quinoa for the barley)
About 8 Cups


1 calabaza squash, about 3 lbs, seeded, peeled and chopped (sub frozen chopped butternut as a time saver)
1 onion, sliced
1 head garlic, top cut off and wrapped in foil
1 bunch kale, destemmed and chopped
1 cup cooked barley (or sub any left over, pre-cooked grain)
1 cup cooked lentils (or sub any pre-cooked beans or canned beans on hand)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
2 Tbsp each pine nuts and walnuts, toasted
2 Tbsp dried cherries, chopped (or sub any dried fruit here)
Olive oil spray
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1/4 tsp each dried thyme, ground mustard, sea salt and celery seed
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 Tbsp each olive oil and agave
1 Tbsp coarse ground mustard


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare 2 pans with olive oil spray.  Add squash and leaves from one sprig rosemary to one tray and onion and wrapped garic to another.  Roast 15 minutes, turn and roast an additional 7.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and the kale, barley and lentils into an oval casserole dish.  Pour dressing over and toss to coat.  Place in oven during the last 7 minutes of squash roasting after the squash is flipped.  (This will wilt the kale a bit to make room for the squash, onion and garlic.)

3. Remove trays and casserole dish from oven and let garlic cool enough to handle.  Squeeze into small bowl the dressing was in previously; chop onion and add to bowl with roasted garlic; mix well.  Spoon roasted squash and garlic/onion mixture into casserole dish with kale and toss to mix.  Place back in oven to blend flavors an additional 5 minutes. 

4. Remove from oven, top with dried cherries, toasted walnuts and pine nuts.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste and mix to combine ingredients.

Estimated Nutrition Facts

About 8 Cups
Amount Per Cup
Calories 131.9
Fat 4.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 134.8 mg
Potassium 261.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.9 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Sugars 2.8 g
Protein 5.9 g

Vitamin A 178.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 9.2 %
Vitamin C 47.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 4.1 %
Calcium 6.1 %
Copper 10.9 %
Folate 8.1 %
Iron 7.9 %
Magnesium 7.4 %
Manganese 33.7 %
Niacin 4.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.6 %
Phosphorus 7.1 %
Riboflavin 4.5 %
Selenium 4.3 %
Thiamin 6.0 %
Zinc 4.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Feb 072011

Today’s Eat. Live.Be. for a better 2011 is how to get out of a rut.

The only thing that works for me is to change things up and simply keep trying. Think about it, any time we start anything new, we go through a honeymoon phase. If it’s a new diet, we are all gung-ho at first, since it’s new. On top of that, it is really motivating to see results. Then the plateau hits, and the weight stops coming off quite as easily. For me, I’m always trying to lose the last five pounds. I love the new weight watcher program but realize that, to keep things interesting, I still need to try new foods. Having this blog really helps because it keeps me excited about trying new recipes and sharing the results.

Take this North African Chickpea Stew. I was able to use the base recipe from Eating Well and change it up to use some of the calabaza and some of the fresh cilantro in a new way, when I could have simply roasted the squash and used the cilantro in salsa. (Not that I don’t still do that. I’m just saying it is great to change it up.) On the down side, it was a bit labor intensive with prepping the squash. But, in the end, it was so worth it to be able to share it with you as well as my friend Suzanne, who belongs to the same CSA, and my friend Justine; my friend that did the Acro-yoga with me. It makes a LOT.  The serving size is 8 but I am sure I could get 10 servings out of it which is why I’m sharing.  I really liked the sweetness of the squash, the nutty crunch of peanuts and the aromatic cilantro.

Speaking of Acro-yoga, this is an example of how to keep the motivation going with working out as well. I already know I love yoga and try to make a class two to four times per week, but it’s the same teacher (unless they have a sub for some reason which is rare) and a lot of times I can anticipate what they will say next. When Justine invited me to try this workshop, I thought, yes! What a great way to visit a new studio; try a new teacher and a new form of yoga. So, on top of trying new forms of working out, you can even change up the way you already do your workouts. If you run, what about getting a running partner; if you bike, try joining a group, or do what I did….check out a new studio, teacher and method!

North African Chickpea Stew
Slightly altered from Eating Well Squash, Chickpea and Red Lentil Stew
Serves 10


3/4 cup dried chickpeas
3 lbs calabaza squash, butternut or acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon saffron, 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 Tbsp PB2 (a powdered peanut butter product), Optional
2 cups water (optional to thin consistency)


1. Place chickpeas in medium bowl, cover with water and soak overnight.

2.Combine the soaked chickpeas through pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.  Cook on low 5 to 6 hours.
 3.Stir in lime juice, peanuts and chopped cilantro.

Nutrition Facts according to SparkRecipes

8 Servings
***5 WW Pts Plus (this is using the calabaza, when I switched to butternut the pts plus value went up to 6)Amount Per Serving

Calories 177.6
Total Fat 5.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 494.9 mg
Potassium 395.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 24.2 g
Dietary Fiber 5.6 g
Sugars 3.4 g
Protein 9.6 g

Vitamin A 58.4 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 13.0 %
Vitamin C 14.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 6.3 %
Calcium 5.0 %
Copper 11.5 %
Folate 21.5 %
Iron 12.2 %
Magnesium 10.5 %
Manganese 28.8 %
Niacin 10.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 5.0 %
Phosphorus 12.2 %
Riboflavin 4.4 %
Selenium 3.7 %
Thiamin 8.3 %
Zinc 7.1 %

Jan 042011

My original idea for this slow cooker recipe came from Heather at Where’s the Beach. She did a wonderful black eyed pea mixture for the new year. I busted out the crock pot and somehow this recipe is what I ended up with. No idea how I went the curry route but nonetheless it came out delicious and healthy!

Curried Chickpea Stew

About 8 hearty 1 cup servings
 ***5 WW Pts Plus
1 large sweet potato, chopped
2 small onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small squash such as calabaza or acorn, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 cans no salt added garbanzo beans, drained
1 can no salt added fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bunch kale, rougly chopped
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 tsp tumeric
1 carton low sodium vegetable broth 
1. Add the sweet potato through kale in the slow cooker.  Mix the curry through tumeric in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly over vegetable mixture. Pour broth over and mix.
2. Cook on low, 2 to 3 hours or until vegetables are soft.
Nutrition Facts
(This is an average.  Amounts will vary with size of veggies)

8 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 196.8
Total Fat 1.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 336.9 mg
Potassium 399.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.8 g
Dietary Fiber 6.4 g
Sugars 2.3 g
Protein 10.2 g

Vitamin A 321.8 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 28.2 %
Vitamin C 72.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 3.9 %
Calcium 9.6 %
Copper 15.7 %
Folate 17.0 %
Iron 11.1 %
Magnesium 10.3 %
Manganese 46.0 %
Niacin 3.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.4 %
Phosphorus 10.5 %
Riboflavin 7.2 %
Selenium 4.6 %
Thiamin 6.1 %
Zinc 7.4 %

Dec 292010
I’m back! I feel like it’s been forever but I just didn’t feel like turning the computer on while I was home. We had such a wonderful, busy holiday filled with family, friends and delicious food.
Friday night we had Christmas Eve dinner at my Mom’s house with fruited rice, sweet potato pie, pear salad, baked apples, (ham and smoked turkey). Christmas day we had dinner at Chris’s parent’s house with a green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, steamed veggie platter with cheese, roast and lots of fabulous Christmas cookies.
How was your holiday? If you celebrate Christmas did Santa bring you everything you wanted? If not, how did you spend the weekend?
I was lucky enough to get all my CSA veggies last Thursday so I got to work making this soup to enjoy before all the heavy holiday meals.
I can’t wait to share some of my recipes with you!
Peel and cube your calabaza or other squash such as butternut or acorn. 

Add about two cups carrots. 

1 cup chopped onion

1 apple, chopped 


Poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder and bay leaves. 

1 carton vegetable broth (4 cups)
About a cup of pumpkin puree.


Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until carrots are soft enough to cut through with spatula.  Puree with immersion blender or pour soup into blender.


Creamy Calabaza Carrot Soup

6 servings
**2 WW Pts Plus
Cooking spray
1 cup shopped onion
1 calabaza squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (butternut, acorn or other mild squash would be perfect here as well)
2 cups carrots
1 apple, chopped
1 carton vegetable broth (4 cups)
Poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder, to taste
2 bay leaves
1 cup pumpkin puree
1. Spray Dutch oven with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat.  Sautee onion until translucent, about five minutes.  Add squash through bay leaves, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until carrots are soft enough to be cut with a spoon.  Stir in pumpkin puree and simmer an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Remove bay leaves and puree mixture with an immersion blender or blender.  Divide between six bowls.
**Delicious as is or sweetened with honey.
**Add white beans for added creaminess, fiber and protein!
Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 70.7
Total Fat 0.8 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 3.3 mg
Sodium 947.3 mg
Potassium 361.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15.6 g
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
Sugars 5.9 g
Protein 3.5 g

Vitamin A 151.7 %
Vitamin B-12 5.6 %
Vitamin B-6 4.1 %
Vitamin C 4.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.7 %
Calcium 2.8 %
Copper 9.1 %
Folate 2.8 %
Iron 5.2 %
Magnesium 1.8 %
Manganese 20.1 %
Niacin 19.8 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.3 %
Phosphorus 11.1 %
Riboflavin 5.4 %
Selenium 5.8 %
Thiamin 1.8 %
Zinc 2.7 %

Dec 142010
Check out this good lookin’ lunch.
Half kale with star fruit salad and half roasted calabaza over fresh lettuce with some fresh organic goat feta from the St. Augustine Farmers Market.
I did my roasted calabaza again but this time I added apples too.  I also toasted the seeds for the kale salad.
Do you watch the Food Network?  Have you heard of the new show Aarti Party?  One of her recipes is this massaged kale salad with mango but I added my own twist by adding star fruit, roasted calabaza seeds from my CSA squash and, for lunch, a few raisins too.
**Check out the vitamin A and vitamin C from the kale and mango in this recipe below.
Massaged Kale with Star Fruit, Mango and Roasted Calabaza Seeds
**5 WW Pts Plus
Serves 4
1 bunch kale, washed, destemmed and chopped
1 star fruit, sliced
1 mango, peeled, seeded and sliced
Handful of toasted squash seeds
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 Tbsp agave or honey
1. Add the kale, half of lemon juice, 1 Tbsp of oil and a bit of coarse sea salt to a large bowl. Massage the kale for about three minutes until starts to soften and wilt. Add the mango and star fruit then set aside while you make the dressing.
2. Pour the rest of the lemon juice, a nice amount of pepper, 1 Tbsp olive oil and honey into a smaller bowl.  Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.  Pour over the kale mixture, add toasted seeds and toss gently. 

Nutrition Info
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 167.6
Total Fat 8.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 640.3 mg
Potassium 498.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 23.4 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Sugars 11.7 g
Protein 4.3 g

Vitamin A 450.7 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 15.0 %
Vitamin C 144.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 14.0 %
Calcium 12.5 %
Copper 16.9 %
Folate 7.6 %
Iron 9.3 %
Magnesium 11.0 %
Manganese 35.5 %
Niacin 5.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.8 %
Phosphorus 5.5 %
Riboflavin 8.6 %
Selenium 2.6 %
Thiamin 8.1 %
Zinc 5.2 %

Dec 052010
In Clean Eating magazine I came across a barley risotto with kale, sun dried tomatoes, butternut squash, pine nuts and ricotta.  The flavors sounded so intriguing together but with putting on my sister-in-law’s wedding shower this weekend I didn’t have time to babysit risotto.  Instead, as time saving measures, I cooked the barley to the package directions and used the leftover roasted calabaza, sweet potato and onion.  Additionally, I prefer 1% cottage cheese to the ricotta so I used that instead with the fresh herbs.  Because of this dish I’m creating a new category on my blog.  “Favorites”. I loved the texture of the chewy barley and nutty crunch if pine nuts, the tangy bite of sun dried tomato and the herbed cottage cheese that added a surprising cool creaminess to the dish.
Barley and Kale with Sun Dried Tomato, Pine Nuts and Herbed Cheese
Adapted from Clean Eating’s Barley Risotto
Serves 4
** 6 WW Pts Plus


1 cup cooked barley
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, rinsed, de-stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup vegetable broth
Coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
2 Tbsp pine nuts
2 cup roasted squash such as calabaza or butternut, I used a cup from the left over Roasted Calabaza and Sweet Potato
1 cup 1% cottage cheese
2 Tbsp fresh herbs (I used rosemary, chives and parsley), minced


1. Spray  a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes; add the kale and chicken broth and season with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat, cover and cook for 3 minutes until softened.  Uncover and continue cooking until desired tenderness.  Stir in the tomatoes, barley and squash.

2. Blend the cottage cheese until smooth, mix in the herbs; top each serving with a dollop of herbed cheese mixture and 1/2 Tbsp pine nuts.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 229.2
Total Fat 4.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 2.3 mg
Sodium 984.6 mg
Potassium 950.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 38.6 g
Dietary Fiber 9.0 g
Sugars 3.7 g
Protein 13.4 g

Vitamin A 587.9 %
Vitamin B-12 5.9 %
Vitamin B-6 24.8 %
Vitamin C 143.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 8.3 %
Calcium 21.1 %
Copper 25.3 %
Folate 16.2 %
Iron 18.5 %
Magnesium 23.0 %
Manganese 72.6 %
Niacin 16.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 7.5 %
Phosphorus 22.0 %
Riboflavin 16.6 %
Selenium 15.6 %
Thiamin 17.0 %
Zinc 9.9 %

Dec 022010
I know I’m a little weird.
I don’t post a lot of delectable desserts or deadly dinners a la Paula Deen to attract the food gawking masses.
And I. Love. Squash.

See?  We have something in common.  Who doesn’t love squash?
This brings me to the calabaza.

The dressing from the kohlrabi and radish salad just begged me to be made again because it was so good.  But how could I use it again and create an entirely different dish?
I decided to use it on the calabaza I got from my CSA and a few sweet potatoes and it came amazing.  Both are a bit sweet and when paired with some onion and thyme it gives it such a holiday flavor.  I had it hot out of the oven and cold over some lettuce and fresh spinach.  It was amazing any which way.I’ve now dubbed squash my favorite food (And sweet potatoes.  They are good too). 

Roasted Calabaza, Onion and Sweet Potato

Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves 6
**5 WW Pts


1 calabaza squash (butternut can be used here as well), peeled, seeded and diced (about 2 lbs)
2 sweet potatoes, diced
2 onions, diced

Herbed Oil:1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbsp poultry seasoning
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp agave (or honey)


1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl mix the squash, sweet potato and onion.  In a small bowl whisk the herbed oil ingredients well and pour over the squash mixture.  Toss to coat. 

2. Pour all ingredients onto a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through; turn oven to broil and broil for 10 minutes or until browned, stirring halfway through. 

Nutrition Facts (Amounts will vary with size of vegetables)
6 Servings

Calories 176.4
Total Fat 9.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 6.1 mg
Potassium 102.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21.7 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Sugars 4.1 g
Protein 3.9 g
 Vitamin A 174.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 6.8 %
Vitamin C 19.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 6.2 %
Calcium 1.7 %
Copper 4.2 %
Folate 1.8 %
Iron 2.7 %
Magnesium 1.6 %
Manganese 10.3 %
Niacin 1.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.7 %
Phosphorus 1.6 %
Riboflavin 4.0 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 2.2 %
Zinc 1.1 %