It was once said that, “One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love” (Sophocles). There is no other emotion that can bring with it such happiness and equally as powerful sadness. Though, without this we really would never experience the wonderful joy of what it is to truly love, even if it may mean the chance of heartbreak. Without love we really aren’t truly experiencing life at its fullest. Sure you can be happy and living a wonderful life but what kind of life is it without loving and being loved in return? In the twisted world we have come to call our own there is so much hate and sadness that surrounds us everyday from worldly events to even our own personal struggles. Those personal struggles are often the seed of our own capacity to love. As humans we have the ability to make a choice when something negative occurs in our lives, we can choose to express acceptance and then find peace within that or we can choose to express anger that can grow into hate. It’s really not always as simple as choosing but the greatest part is that we do get that choice. When we experience heartbreak we also have the opportunity to choose. Regardless of the events leading up to it the end choice is the yours, heal up the cracks in your heart with love or heal them with hate. It’s not always easy picking one or the other but being able to accept what is and find peace within that makes the love option an easier one. I used to be one to choose the negative side when something went awry in my life. It was the easy route to protect myself from further disappointment. It became a constant blame of others and even myself for why things went wrong. By planting the seed and then continuously feeding it with negativity led me to suffer from within. My heart felt like it was wrapped up so tightly in this blackness that I wasn’t capable of forgiving anyone, not even myself. It took a long time for me to learn to accept what was and use love instead as a means of freeing myself from pain. I had to emotionally unwrap myself from all of the negative feelings I had come to rely on to be able to create space for acceptance, peace, understanding, love and ultimately freedom. I’ve come to be grateful for what is and accept what’s out of my control with a positive mind. In the end, to be able express love from even the darkest of places is the most freeing gift of all.
If there’s one thing that I do love it’s pumpkin, if you haven’t already been made aware based on my recent posts to social media. This beautifully bright vegetable is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that aid in eye health, bone health and protect against certain cancers. Since it has only thirty calories in one cup it makes a great ingredient in low calorie and low fat cooking. This versatile veggie works in everything from savory to sweet. A few of my favorites, aside from this dish, are pumpkin pie, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin bread, cookies like my Easy Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies and even a Pumpkin Smoothie. Don’t forget when you carve your pumpkin to save the seeds and roast them up! They’re just as good for you as the veggie itself and loaded with fiber, healthy fats and protein! So go crazy and pumpkin everything!
Pumpkin and Mushroom Risotto
Serves: 2/Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 c brown rice (I used Trader Joe’s Sprouted California Rice)
- 8 oz baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 c sweet onion, chopped small
- 1/2 c pumpkin purée
- 1/4 c asiago and parmesan cheese blend
- 1 tbsp dried thyme + additional to garnish
- sea salt + pepper to taste
- In a medium pot, cook rice as directed.
- While rice is cooking, in a small sauté pan over medium heat, cook the onions and mushrooms until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender then remove from heat and set aside.
- When rice is cooked, add in pumpkin, cheese, tablespoon of thyme, sea salt and pepper and mix to combine.
- Gently fold in mushrooms and onions until thoroughly combined and cheese is melted.
- Serve garnished with additional dried thyme.
Nutrition (per serving): 250 calories/ 28g carbs/ 10g fat/ 17g protein/ 2g sugar