Category Archives: Uncategorized

Recipe: Creamy Pumpkin Leek Risotto :)

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Ingredients:  (serves 4-6)  *all organic if possible

-1 medium leek (cut in half, then sliced finely)

-4 cloves of garlic (minced)

-1/2 of a sweet pumpkin if large or about 2 cups worth (cut into bite sized chunks)  *I used a sweet melon-pumpkin, but acorn squash (2 squash needed for recipe) or whatever squash/pumpkin you prefer as long as its sweet and has a drier flesh when cooked (butternut squash is too watery)

-2 cups of Arborio rice

-8-10 cups of chicken or vegetable broth (use low sodium if desired)   *I used full sodium broth only because I don’t have to add salt later

-handful of pine nuts

-goats cheese

-2 tbsp of ghee or butter (unsalted)

-3 + 1/2 tbsp of olive oil

-1 + 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese (the good stuff is the best in risotto)

-salt and pepper to taste

Supplies:

-roasting pan, parchment paper, mixing bowl   *for the pumpkin/squash

-medium pot, landle  *for the broth

-small frying pan  *for pine nuts

-large, deep pot, wooden spoon  *for the risotto

Now there are a couple steps to this recipe, but I guarantee it won’t disappoint.  Start by making sure all your ingredients are ready before starting the risotto, you need all your attention on the pot when the rice goes in!

Prep:

Chop leek, garlic, pumpkin/squash, and grate Parmesan cheese.  Have ready for use.

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Start by adding 1 + 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste, to the pumpkin/squash. Mix in a bowl and roast on pan with parchment paper for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees F, until slightly golden.  Set aside for later use.

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Then, add all your chicken broth in the medium pot and allow to warm.  Have the ladle ready so you can add the broth into the rice when cooking begins.

Add the pine nuts into the small frying pan. Cook on medium heat until golden brown, set aside for later use.

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Cooking the risotto:     *keep stirring when the rice is added, the whole time!

On medium-high heat add 2 tbsp of olive oil into the large deep pot.  When hot, add your leek, and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until soft.  Add the 2 cups of arborio rice to the pot.  Mix the leek, olive oil and rice together so that all the grains are covered with oil.  KEEP STIRRING, and cook the rice mixture until the outside of the rice grains are transparent, but the middle is opaque, and you can smell a slight nuttiness from the rice.  Then add the garlic to the pot, and stir in.

Now add 1 ladle of warm broth.  Keep stirring until the liquid is absorbed.  Then add another ladle of broth.  Keep stirring until the liquid is absorbed.  Keep doing this over and over, stirring the whole time, and start to taste the rice so you know when it is close to being cooked.  When it becomes Al Dente (still slightly chewy) and has the consistency of thick porridge, then add 1 more ladle of broth plus the 2 tbsp of ghee or butter.  Mix and cook until absorbed. Then take the pot off the heat immediately. Add in the Parmesan cheese and roasted pumpkin/squash. Mix together.

Separate risotto into individual serving bowls.  Then add the goat cheese in chunks and toasted pine nuts to the top of the risotto.  Serve immediately 🙂

I love this recipe because of its simple ingredients, yet bold taste.  I hope you love it too!

Thanks, and be aware and eat with care 🙂

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Article: Comparing Facebook Users and Facebook Non-Users: Relationship between Personality Traits and Mental Health Variables – An Exploratory Study

facebook and people image

(© 2017 NEWSWEEK LLC)

Article link:  Comparing Facebook Users and Facebook non users exploratory study article

So we start this new year focusing on mental health!  I have been feeling rather mentally healthy myself, thanks to meditation and going out into nature, but whatever brings you happiness is what matters.  I found this article really interesting because I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how social media sites’ use and user’s depression increased levels are highly correlated.  I personally think that social media has burdened our face-to-face interactions as a tech-savvy generation, and that depression and anxiety have gone up.  I say this because it happened to me when I lived in Australia and social media was my main social outlet to feel connected to others, which did not make me happy, and did increase my depression.  I have also talked to other people that no longer use, or use Facebook less-often, due to its depressing effects.  In any case, this article finds some correlation to SNS’s (social networking sites) use and a higher prevalence of depression, but it also details the inconsistencies across studies in relation to this very topic.  I encourage you to read the article to get a broader perspective on an issue affecting a lot of people.

I am also uploading 2 mental health handouts that you can do at home to semi-determine if you have a potential neurotransmitter imbalance. Any neurotransmitter imbalance can have a huge effect on one’s quality of life on a daily basis, including the ability to coup with daily stresses, have a sense of general happiness/life satisfaction, and so, so much more.

Neurotransmitter deficiency quiz handout #1

UltraMindCompanionGuide handout #2

Thanks for reading, and be aware and eat with care 🙂

**I do not condone or suggest you treat yourself using supplementation or self-medicate to help combat symptoms of depression, anxiety or neurotransmitter imbalances.  If you take these quizzes and feel an imbalance is present, please take your results to a health care professional and they will be able to help you to the best of their ability.

Ref:

Facebook and people picture: http://www.newsweek.com/facebook-legacy-death-306344, © 2017 NEWSWEEK LLC

Article:  Brailovskaia, J, & Margraf, J 2016, ‘Comparing Facebook Users and Facebook Non-Users: Relationship between Personality Traits and Mental Health Variables – An Exploratory Study’, Plos ONE, 11, 12, pp. 1-17, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 13 January 2017.

Handout #1:  © 2008 Path Medical, www.pathmed.com

Handout#2: The UltraMind Solution Companion Guide By Mark Hyman, M.D. , © 2009 UltraWellness, LLC

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Thanks, and be aware and eat with care 🙂