Fall means PUMPKIN time!!! I love pumpkin. I love Pumpkin lattes (okay- I know it’s fake flavoring, but I like it:) , Pumpkin Cake, Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pancakes, Pumpkin Hummus, Pumpkin Milk, Pumpkin …Pumpkin everywhere! So when I though of combining pumpkin with my mac n cheese it seemed like a fabulous idea. I mean who doesn’t love mac n cheese. Then I got the brilliant idea of putting one of my favorite green vegetables in it… and whooaaooa that is some delicious healthy mac n cheese!! The pumpkin doesn’t affect the flavor it just lends a delightful creaminess to the mac n cheese- and lots of healthy goodness to this infamously famous unhealthy dish.
Many of you have asked what I am doing now…
Well, I am am the Culinary Programs Coordinator for FLIPANY’s Cooking Matters program. FLIPANY stands for Florida Introduces Physical Activity and Nutrition to Youth. FLIPANY serves the economically disadvantaged, lower income people from the young to the young at heart in Broward, Miami-Dade & Palm Beach Counties and have satellites all over the state of Florida . FLIPANY is the Lead Partner for NO KID HNUNGRY’s Cooking Matters programs through Share Our Strength. FLIPANY aims to end childhood obesity and hunger through education and accessible programming that is established at the local level. FLIPANY serves the community through nutritional education programs and physical activity programs. …and hey we are always looking for volunteers:)
My personal life is non-existent …absent…LOL .. (I will update when I find my Prince Charming.. or for that fact anyone..LOL)
My culinary life.. I still am baking & taking it to anyone that will try it:) My co-workers have been wonderful testers… uh guinea pigs:))
My Crazy Food Theories
- go organic and/ or local
- stick as close to the original product as possible
- drink goat milk
- eat lots of greens
- eat lots of greens… eat lots of greens
- drink a glass of wine (or two) a day
- freshly grind your coffee every morning
- eat lots of cage free organic eggs (at least cage free)
- if something goes bad in two or three days, chances are it’s not that bad for you!
- eat lots of beans… eat lots of beans
- don’t go to the gym- why pay when you can do what I call practical exercise- park far away and walk, carry a basket at the grocery when it is filled check out- this saves you waistline and your wallet,take the stairs, make bread- knead it by hand, make lots of goodies- GIVE them away- eat one then give the rest away!
- watch your portions- fill a small container with your favorite snack then put the snack away!
- buy food that pure
- buy meat that has been butchered humanely
- buy from bulk bins
- experiment with alternative flours, don’t just use Whole Wheat- there are many really good flours that are good for you such as Teff, Rye, Buckwheat, Millet etc.
- Only use organic flour
- Use fresh herbs ie: tarragon+ eggs = awesome!
- Shop at local stores or National Chains that believe in Corporate Responsibility two of my favorites are The Boys- in Delray Beach & Whole Foods Market
- Don’t rush eating
- If you don’t have time to have a proper meal, have a snack
- There is always time when you get home for an omelet…. and a glass of wine:)
- if it isn’t good don’t eat it! Life is too short to eat bad food!
- enjoy a treat once in a while… not every day!
Pumpkin Cheddar Mac N Cheese w/ Broccoli
(this is really good … and really fast.. Healthy Fast food:)
- 2 1/2 cups frozen broccoli
- 3 cups (about 8 oz- which is about 1/2 package ) uncooked shells
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon fine pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon grainy mustard
- 1 organic egg
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 cup whole goat milk
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
In a large sauce pan, bring 8 cups of water to a boil (make sure to salt the water so that it tastes salty- like the sea).
Once water has come to a roaring boil, add the shells and the broccoli. Turn heat down to a barely boiling state, then keep it there until pasta is al dente (firm to the bite). The reason you turn down the heat is so that your pasta does not fall apart or tear, which will happen if your water is boiling to rapidly.
While pasta is cooking, in a medium bowl, mix salt, mustard, egg, pumpkin and goat milk. Whisk vigorously to combine.
Once pasta & broccoli mixture is done, drain. then toss with extra virgin olive oil. Then place over medium low heat and gradually add the milk mixture. Stir gently until it is thickened. Once mixture has thickened add grated cheese. Gently stirl until cheese is melted.