3 easy recipes for pumpkin that will have you doing headstands!

Turkey Stuffed Pumpkin, Salt and Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds, and Pumpkin Smoothies, oh my!  These recipes are all easy to follow,  gluten free, casein free, and both AIP and Paleo friendly.

inside stuffed pumpkin

This fine orange squash has my creativity chakra spinning!  If you are in North America you are seeing everything pumpkin right now.  Trader Joe’s, one of my favorite grocery stores here in Southern California, is carrying everything from pumpkin butter and pumpkin cheese, to pumpkin coffee and even pumpkin ravioli!  Ok, so the ravioli isn’t gluten free, but it still has me inspired with the tastes of the season.  In my last post I talked about the amazing GI reparative cleanse I was on.  I created this stuffed pumpkin recipe so I could have something amazing to eat while on the cleanse.  I adapted the recipe from my favorite cookbook, The Joy of Cooking.

My muse
My muse!

 

My turkey stuffed pumpkin is AIP and Paleo friendly, casein free and just plain mouth watering. I gave a bite to my office mate, and she was so enchanted she wanted the recipe right away.

 

I am so excited about pumpkin, I have also created a healthy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie and Roasted Pumpkin Seed recipe to give you some additional ideas on how you can incorporate  pumpkin this fall.  By the way, I am pretty famous among my family and friends for my pumpkin pie.  I plan to post that recipe closer to Thanksgiving, so be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss it!

pumpkin patch 2

The Dharma of Pumpkin:

If you are a yogi or yogini you know that Dharma is a  sanskrit word meaning purpose in life.  In my yoga and meditation classes I ask students to contemplate their own dharma, by asking themselves, “How can I help, how can I serve using my own unique talents and gifts?”.  The gifts of pumpkin are too numerous to count. They can be served in both savory and sweet dishes with grace and ease.  One serving of pumpkin contains 7 grams of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, lower your risk of heart disease, and helps keep things moving through your digestive tract.  Pumpkin is also high in vitamin A to strengthen vision and immune system, beta carotene for an antioxidant boost, and iron for healthy blood.   Often folks who suffer from Celiac Disease can become iron deficient, so getting enough iron is crucial.  Even the seeds are helping you with a healthy dose of magnesium.  There is not much these orange beauties cannot do!

 

Turkey Stuffed Pumpkin

Ingredients:

1 sugar pumpkin (about 2 pounds)

1 cup fresh bulk turkey sausage*

1 large green apple, cored, and cut into ¼ in cubes

¼ cup fresh sage, chopped

coconut oil

⅛ teaspoon stevia (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

*Use lean ground turkey meat if you are on the GI reparative cleanse

 

Method:

Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.  Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the pumpkin.

Cut the top off of the pumpkin and remove the seeds and strings.  Save the seeds for roasting!

Brush the pumpkin lightly with coconut oil.  This puts a pretty sheen on the finished product and aids in baking.  Place the pumpkin and pumpkin top on the baking dish and cover with foil.  Bake until almost tender, about 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, crumble the turkey in a skillet and cook over medium heat.  Without draining off the fat, add the cubed apple.  If you are using very lean turkey and don’t have any fat in the skillet, add some coconut oil here.  Add the sage,salt and pepper and cook, stirring for a few minutes, until the apple is crisp-tender.  Set aside.

stuffed pumpkin 1

When the pumpkin is cooked, let it cool a bit and scoop out most of the flesh.  Set the pumpkin top aside, you won’t need to bake it again.  Gently mix the pumpkin flesh with the turkey mixture.  Mix in 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and stevia (stevia is optional if you like a sweet touch).  Salt and pepper to taste.  Pile the stuffing into your beautiful pumpkin and lightly drizzle with a little more coconut oil.  Bake, uncovered, until piping hot, 20-25 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.  I like to put the pumpkin lid back on when serving for a little added drama!

 

*****BONUS RECIPES!*****

 

Salt and Vinegar Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients:

1-2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds (leftover from your stuffed pumpkin or jack-o-lantern carving project)

¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons salt

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Remove any pumpkin pulp from the seeds, rinse and pat dry.  In a bowl, drizzle the seeds with the vinegar until lightly coated.  Add salt to taste and toss.  Arrange the seeds on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet.  Place in the oven until they just start to turn golden brown, 15 minutes.  Allow to cool and store in an air-tight container.  I left my seeds in the oven too long and they burned, then I got burned pulling them out of the oven.  Casualties of a gluten free yoga chick!  Sorry, no pics for this recipe as I was too busy nursing my wound.

 It's just missing the whipped cream!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:

Ingredients:

1 cup cooled herbal chai tea.  I like Trader Joe’s Rooibos Chai or Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice

½ cup canned pumpkin puree

1 frozen banana

teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 scoop of your favorite vanilla nutritional shake powder such as Vega One or Shakeology

Ice

1 tablespoon chopped walnut or granola(optional)

 Method:

In the order above, place all ingredients EXCEPT walnuts into your blender.  blend until smooth.  Enjoy with a sprinkle of walnut or granola on top for a delectable pumpkin pie “crust”.  I won’t tell if you add a dollop of whip cream, too!

 

 

What are your favorite foods and recipes of the season?  Tell me what you think, and be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss a thing.  lv-GFYC

Paleo Friendly Cauliflower Rice Mediterranean Bowl

 

This Paleo friendly cauliflower rice dish is a delectable way to get more veggies into your diet!

Gluten Free Yoga Chick Cauliflower Rice

Recently I started reparative cleanse to heal my body after accidentally ingesting gluten, and to re-ignite my digestive fire to get it humming harmoniously again.   I believe we are all an advocate for our own health.  It is very frustrating to go to a restaurant and be very diligent about letting the server know you are allergic to a particular food or on a particular diet brave enough to ask about ingredients and menu options, and still come home with a terrible stomach ache, headache, or low energy  that lasts for days and sometimes weeks.   The result of insensitive or perhaps unknowledgeable restaurant staff can be devastating to someone with food allergies. For those with Celiac Disease, the damage done to the small intestine after ingesting gluten is permanent and debilitating. In my case, getting slipped the big G left me with all of the symptoms of the stomach flu, anemia, and skin issues and in need of major gut repair.

The cleanse I am on is great because you can eat as much of the approved foods as you want.  That means no need to be hungry, or drink strange juice concoctions.   What you eliminate is any inflammatory food or known allergen.  That means no grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol, nuts, etc.  The hardest part is eliminating my beloved coffee!  Along with this clean diet, I am taking some high-quality digestive enzymes and digestion supporting herbs prescribed by a health coach and fellow Gluten Free Goddess, Kelly Ann Greene.  Be on the look out for a guest blog with Kelly if you are interested in learning more about the cleanse!

Coffee-asana
Coffee-asana

Recipe for the Mind, Body and Spirit:

It is so important to love your food, even on a restrictive diet.  This Mediterranean bowl is cleanse friendly, filling, and a feast for the eyes.  The main attraction of this dish is the cauliflower rice.  Cooking the cauliflower quickly, as in this recipe, will eliminate the sulfur smell and taste.  Add your own herbs and spices to the rice recipe and it can be a great compliment to any main course.  You may not mistake this for real rice, but the texture, flavor, and color satisfies the mind, body and soul.  Cauliflower is high in potassium which regulates body functions, and one serving has almost as much vitamin C as a whole orange!

Ingredients: (Serves 4 people)

Cauliflower Rice:

1 head of cauliflower

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

salt to taste

Mediterranean Bowl:

2 cups Spinach

½ head of Romaine lettuce

½  cup pitted green olives

30-40 small or medium size pre-cooked shrimp

1 cucumber: peeled, deseeded, and chopped

1 cup purple cabbage, chopped

½  cup olive oil

½  cup apple cider vinegar

salt to taste

Method:  Cauliflower Rice

photo 1

Cut off any green leaves or brown spots from the head of cauliflower.  Chop the cauliflower head in half and remove the core, then cut the florets into uniform size florets.  In small batches, place the raw florets in a Vitamix on low speed, using the plunger to chop the cauliflower into rice-sized pieces. Be careful not to over chop. I use #3 on my Vitamix dial. If you are using a food processor, use the pulse feature to finely chop your cauliflower.

Gluten Free Yoga Chick Cauliflower rice Prep
Notice my settings on the Vitamix… have I told you how much I love this machine?

In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium heat and add garlic.  Lightly saute the garlic, being careful not to let it turn brown.  Add the rice to the skillet with the salt and saute until slightly toasted, adding the cilantro at the end to wilt into the rice.  Do not overcrowd the pan or you will end up with soggy rice!  Remove from heat and set aside.

photo 4

Method:  Mediterranean Bowl

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and salt to make the dressing.

Divide the lettuce and spinach in four separate serving bowls.  Layer the rice, cucumber, shrimp, olives and purple cabbage onto your beds of lettuce.  drizzle your oil and vinegar dressing over the top and enjoy!

This recipe serves 4, but it is easy to make more or less if needed.  If you don’t plan on eating all of the cauliflower rice, freeze the uncooked chopped cauliflower in serving size freezer bags.  It makes a great go-to side with any dish.

photo 5

I am on day 9 of this cleanse and with meals like this I feel like I could keep going!  I feel great and lost ½ inch off my belly already.  If you  have been feeling low energy, have had stomach issues, or just want to do a reasonable but effective fall cleanse, I recommend you try this one.  Please leave a message or a comment and let me know if you want to learn more about this cleanse, or have your own experience with a cleanse you would like to share.  Let’s help ourselves and each other love our food, love our bodies, and transform our lives!