The new year. January first. So many aspirations and goals tied to one day.
It seems like people are generally moving away from setting up huge year-long goals of drastic change and personal renovation. Instead, we’re doing things like intention setting and focusing on more realistic, small self improvements.
In the era of Wellness Warriors – where self love, understanding, and forgiveness are the new ways of life; along with mediation and warm morning lemon water – we are still constantly striving to be better but also allowing for large doses of grace and acceptance when we inevitably slip up.
Gone are the days of swearing off sugar for 365 days and setting alarm clocks to sound before the sun for a workout. We want consistency and manageability now. At least I do.
Today is just like tomorrow will be. There isn’t the same novelty to the first day of the new year anymore. Each day is simply another chance at being better. Of course there will be some days when a second glass of wine will be poured or a savasana will be missed. More often than we’d like, living in the moment will fall under the shadow of impatience. Judgment and negativity will sneak into our lives when we are tired and feeling scattered.
There will be back-stepping but hopefully mostly forward moving. Hopefully, with strategic and achievable goals in mind, your progress will be better than you’ll believe. (…Literally like this pasta sauce recipe. I thought it would be too thick with little flavor but it turned out to be a dream!)
Better-than-you’ll-believe creamy squash pasta sauce
This sauce is vegan, diary and gluten free. The coconut milk and roasted delicate squash blended together make it creamy-dreamy. The roasted garlic adds a comforting savoriness. Serve over your pasta of choice with an added green for a complete meal.
1 medium delicate squash
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water (or as needed for consistency)
4 -5 garlic gloves (still in bulb to roast)
2 – 3 Tbs of avocado oil
Salt and pepper
Cut delicate squash into 1/2 inch pieces (not you don’t need to peel the skin off of delicate squash) and coat with avocado oil, salt + pepper, and nutmeg to taste
Spread squash out on a baking sheet and add your garlic bulb in tinfoil with a small amount to avocado oil drizzled on the top to the same sheet
Roast both at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
Once roasted, transfer into your blender with 3/4 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup water (adding more if needed)
Blend and scrape down the sides as needed until creamy (remember to vent your blender for the steam to escape)
A few years ago our good friends Gary and April moved to Los Angeles. I still haven’t gotten used to not seeing them a few times a week and miss them terribly. One of my favorite things we used to do was bi-weekly Wednesday dinners. Every other Wednesday we alternated going to one couple’s house where the host cooked and the guest brought dessert. Dinners were casual and lovely. It was nice to have something to look forward to in the middle of the work week (plus, not having to cook every other Wednesday) and great to have a built in day to hang out and catch up.
If you have friends that live nearby, I definitely recommend starting this tradition with them!
Now (sadly!!) to see Gary and April we have to put in effort and planning but we have started a new tradition of visiting them in LA every year for 4th of July – which certainly doesn’t make up for all of the time we don’t see them but at least we have one weekend a year where we know the four of us will get together again.
During our first 4th of July visit, Gary woke up early and reserved us a perfect spot at their pool, complete with umbrellas and couches to lounge on in between dips. We spent the whole day outside, alternating between lazily laying around and splashing in the pool. We ate, drank, laughed, and played. It was perfect. But, after all of that time in the sun (and all of those beers!), we were beat and opted out of plans to go to a nearby street fair. Instead we stayed in and April made this AMAZING pasta dish that inspired my dinner tonight. In short, she added cooked bell peppers, garlic, onions, zucchini, asparagus and grilled chicken to pasta and tossed everything in olive oil and cilantro. So simple and so good! I love recipes that you can easily add and subtract to and from which is exactly what I did tonight.
You’ll notice I used the left over black beans and corn from yesterday’s dinner and I’m sticking with my Herb of the Week, cilantro. Also, no cheese!!
I hope you try this dish and maybe even have it at your own bi-weekly dinner with friends 🙂