I’ve been really into carbs lately, I mean, I’ll be honest I am always into carbs, but now it seems to be more than ever. And you know what, I am going with it. Rather than trying to fight my body or stifle my needs with more protein or fat, I am letting myself have the carbs. Because this will also pass. The good thing about my recent carb extravaganza is definitely this butternut squash pasta sauce that I have been slathering on penne. Add in some crispy sage, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds and you’re all set. And because I wanted to add some greens into this dish, a handful or two of spinach doesn’t hurt.
When things get busy:
It’s been quite a week over here and I’ve been feeling the pressure of the upcoming holidays. My calendar is getting full and while it is going to be spent doing some amazing things (I can’t wait to share) it is also making me realize I need to s l o w down just a bit. I’ve let some things slide as of late when it comes to my own self-care and I can feel it. So I am going to be making some changes so that I can focus a little more on making quality time for myself. Nothing fancy at all, but yoga, meditation and journaling (my fave- Five Minute Journal is here) are all on my radar. Those are the things that always help me get centred and feel better, so why is it also so easy to neglect them?
When Self-Care is Forgotten:
One of the reasons I think its so simple to neglect these things is that it always starts out small. Like cutting out a workout class, or staying up too late a few nights a week. And then they spiral out of control quickly thereafter. So now that I am a little more aware of it all I am not letting myself get away with it anymore. I am scheduling more time to focus on what I need and what fills me up and makes me feel more aligned. Honestly, it really is that simple to do self-care.
When you push yourself to do more and more and neglect what fills you up, you are essentially asking for things to get complicated. And before you know it, you are spiralling and wondering when did things get so busy and when was the last time you took some time for yourself? If that sounds familiar, do yourself a favour and schedule in some actual real self-care for yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but what makes you feel good. Is that a sweaty workout, a walk in nature, a Netflix marathon, calling your bff and chatting, whatever it is, schedule it in.
And back to the cravings for carbs for a minute because I think it’s important. So often I hear about those in the health and wellness community talk about cravings as a bad thing. And they are constantly coming up with ways to make the cravings healthier and to trick ourselves, our bodies and minds. But our bodies are pretty freakin’ smart and they know whats up. When you attempt to always stifle your cravings for things with something that doesn’t quite measure up, our bodies and our minds know. And what usually follows are more cravings and rummaging through our cupboards and kitchen to find something that can ward it off. We end up angry that our tricks didn’t work and eating more foods to make up for it. Rather, if we just listened to our bodies, gave it what it needs and moved on without thinking twice, we could avoid this problem entirely. If you want to read more about cravings and emotional eating, have a look at this post. I know that this concept can seem scary in the beginning because we don’t quite trust ourselves around food perhaps, but it can be done. I am living proof of it. Just recently, I discovered a pint of ice cream in my freezer that has been there for a little while, I had completely forgotten it was in there! I had forgotten because I don’t restrict foods anymore and I’ve healed my relationship to it. I don’t lie awake at night thinking about the chips in my pantry or cookies that are waiting to be eaten because I am too busy living my actual life. Sure, I love food and think about it a lot (but not in an obsessive way) in an excited way. And so when I get cravings for carbs, I make this butternut squash pasta sauce and slather it all over said carbs. There is no shame, no trying to stifle it with carb heavy veggies instead. Nope, I just give it what it wants and move on. If you want to learn how to heal your relationship to food and conquer emotional eating and bingeing, you can download my FREE beat the binge guide and workbook. It is designed to help be that crucial first step that you need.
Creamy butternut squash pasta sauce:
This butternut squash pasta sauce is amazing! A lot of times, I find that squash sauces tend to be a little more on the sweet side and I wanted this to be savoury. So that is why I added in a few key ingredients like smoked paprika, chili powder and the fried sage. Usually I would say that you can get away without some ingredients if you don’t have them, but with this one, I would say don’t miss out on the sage. When you fry it in a little but of oil or ghee it gets all crispy and tastes so amazing in this dish. It really helps balance out the sweetness of the butternut squash in my opinion. When you make the butternut squash pasta sauce you may just want to eat it on everything, or as a dip and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s pretty versatile in that regard.
As always, if you make this butternut squash pasta sauce recipe please share with me, by tagging me on Instagram or just letting me know in the comments. I truly love seeing and hearing form you.
Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
For the add-in's:
- 1 bunch sage
- 2 cups spinach
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds toasted
- 2 tbsp pine nuts toasted
Soak your cashews in water for at least 1-2 hours, or in a pinch in just boiled water for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the butternut squash in half, removing the seeds and place cut-side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes until cooked through.
Wash and dry your sage leaves and heat up a small pan over medium heat. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or ghee and fry the sage until crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Then remove and set aside.
Remove the butternut squash and let cool while you boil some water in a pot for your pasta and cook according to package directions. Once cooked, drain and add back into the pot.
Once you add the pasta back into your pot, add the spinach to it so that it has time to wilt a little with the heat of the pasta.
Once the squash has cooled slightly, scoop out 2 cups and add to a blender along with the cashews, water, garlic, vinegar, smoked paprika, chili powder, sea salt and 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Add the sauce to your pasta, top with toasted pumpkin seeds and pine nuts and crispy sage. Serve and enjoy!
If you don't have spinach, simply omit, or add in another green like kale or even cooked brussels sprouts.
If you can't have cashews, you could try using soaked sunflower seeds to create a creamy consistency.
This sauce makes just over 2 cups.