Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

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A delicious and nutritious recipe to help you ground down and find balance. Fall is a season characterized by   movement, air, dryness, and cold.  This warming and sweet recipe helps to pacify and balance these Fall characteristics.  Butternut squash is rich in Vitamins A and C, supporting your immune system as we step into cold and flu season.    Serves 4.  Ingredients:

2 ½ lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks 5 tbsp olive oil Package of sage, leaves picked, half roughly chopped, half left whole 6-7 cups of vegetable broth  2-3 shallots, finely chopped 1 ½ cups of Arborio rice ½ cup dry white wine ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional if vegan) ¼ cup pumpkin seeds Salt and pepper to taste Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 425F.  In a large bowl, toss the squash in 1 tbsp olive oil with the chopped sage; season lightly with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a shallow roasting pan and roast in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes until it is brown and soft.
  2. While the squash is roasting, you can prepare the risotto.  Bring the broth to a boil and keep on a low simmer.  In a deep sauté pan, add 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.  Stir in the shallots and sweat gently for 5-6 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir the uncooked rice into the shallots until the rice is shiny and the edges start to look transparent.  Pour in the wine and simmer until totally evaporated.  Add the broth, a ladleful at a time, stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 minutes, until the rice is cooked al dente (slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle).  The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy.  When you draw a wooden spoon through it, there should be a wake that holds for a few moments.
  4. While the risotto is cooking, add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil to a small sauté pan set over medium high heat.  Gently fry the whole sage leaves until crispy, then set aside on a paper towel.
  5. Wipe off the excess oil in the pan, then add the pumpkin seeds, toast for a 2-3 minutes (until slightly brown and they begin to pop), and remove from pan.
  6. When the squash is cooked, mash half of it to a rough puree, leaving the other half in chunks.
  7. When the risotto is finished, stir in the squash puree, then add the Parmesan cheese (unless you are going the vegan option), salt and pepper to taste, and allow to rest for a few minutes.
  8. Add the roasted squash chunks, crisp sage leaves, and toasted pumpkin seeds just before serving.  Enjoy!

Mother, wife, and yoga teacher, Fernanda is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that embraces exercise, mindfulness, community, and compassion.  For her, yoga is an inward journey to connect to our infinite wisdom.  She is an Oregonian living in Switzerland with her husband, son, and dog, who remind her daily what it means to live a life full of love and joy.



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Brazil's Secret Smoothie: Açai Na Tigela

Brazil is on the map this summer as they are hosting the World Cup so I thought it would be appropriate to write about Brazil’s finest dish: Açai na Tigela. Okay, that is totally my opinion, but that’s because it is delicious! I made this decision after spending a few months in Brazil’s northeastern parts. After discovering this smoothie, I ate one a day. I wanted to eat four.

You have got to really love smoothies to make this one so if you are not ready to take smoothies to the next level, do not read any further. This is for the die hards, the smoothie fanatics, for those of you who would eat smoothies for breakfast, lunch and dinner if it were legal and/or socially acceptable.

This is the real deal. It’s glory in a bowl and will fulfill you from head to toe. It’s got power and vigor. It’ll sustain you for the day and energize you for life. It’ll give you superpowers. Seriously. Plus it contains aphrodisiacs. ¡Hola señor! That’s Spanish, but you know what I mean.

The Açai berry (pronounced a-sigh-EE) is considered a superfood and a powerhouse in the berry family. It’s basically edible gold. But let’s not go crazy on these guys and eat them all day, every day. They come from the Amazon – not exactly local, ya know?

Açai Na Tigela: Recipe

This smoothie is made of an Açai blend topped with granola, banana, nuts, seeds, and honey. Yum yum. It is quite possibly the most incredible thing you’ll ever lay your eyes on. Brazilians love this stuff.

Açai na Tigela means Açai in a Bowl so please, for the love of Brazil, do not drink this smoothie out of a cup or on the go. It needs to be respected for its beauty and appreciated for its bounty. This dish is always served in a bowl and eaten with a spoon. Always.

Ingredients:

  • 100g Açai pulp (I used a brand called Sambazon)
  • 1 handful mixed frozen berries
  • 1 Banana
  • ½ Cup Almond/Soy/Rice milk

**Toppings: **

  • 1/3 Cup granola
  • 1 Chopped Banana
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp of your favorite nuts/seeds

Directions:

Pour the smoothie in a bowl (it should be a thick consistency) then add the toppings and enjoy!

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