REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
My kids were enjoying the fun, festive dishes I was making for them earlier this month. I made a fun Halloween dinner consisting of bloody fingers, mummified juices, and jack-o-lantern mandarin oranges, one night. I made a corpse with cauliflower and ribs another night. Another night, I made a bacon mummified apple butter and wasabi roast. I was really on a role, and I’d planned to keep it going all month long.
Last week, I was going through some ups and downs as I grieved the discovery of my atrophying cerebellum. I shared more about that in my last post. If you missed it, you can check that out, here. Anyhow, as I went through the emotions of fear, anger, sadness, and depression, I struggled to keep up on all of the fun things for my kids. I was in, what I would like to call, my funky zone. Just… lost in my thoughts. Don’t worry, I still took great care of them, but creative Halloween dinners were at the very back of my mind.
Well, since sharing what I’ve been going through, I’ve had such positive responses from everyone, and it has really lifted my spirits. I also had an appointment with my primary care doctor this past Monday. She had me do some more blood work. She said that the neurologist had ordered all of the less common stuff, so she ordered all of the common stuff. I think at this point, I’ve had almost every blood test known to mankind. She also recognized that I’d been down and stressed about the situation. It wasn’t hard. I cried in her office while talking about it. She referred me to behavioral health so I could talk more about how I was feeling.
I actually did that today, and it was actually rather nice. Obviously, she couldn’t fix anything for me, as she, herself, cannot diagnose the reason my cerebellum is shrinking. It was just nice to talk about how I was feeling. I could tell her that it was hard to accept that this was happening when I try so hard to always make healthy choices. I could tell her that because of this I struggle with feelings of inadequacy when it comes to my blog. I could tell here that I worry about how functional my body will be in the future and that that future may not be as far away as I’d like. It was just nice to open up and talk.
I’ve really been trying hard to keep up on things. I’m trying to eat as healthy as possible and push harder through my workouts than ever. I’m trying to maintain a positive attitude and be the best that I can be. I have a heck of a whole lot of reasons to keep myself going. My top 3 reasons are some dashing young boys, and they really wanted another Halloween dinner. After putting up with my grief period, I knew I owed it to them.
I’ve never made a dinner in a pumpkin, but I’ve heard of lots of people doing it. I picked out some fun autumn foods and went to work. The result was delicious!
4 lb pumpkin
2 pieces of bacon chopped
16 oz ground turkey
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 Tbsp chopped green onion
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/2 cup broth
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
3 Tbsp horseradish, grated
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup cranberries (I used fresh, dried would also work)
1/2 cup cauliflower, grated
Directions: Prepare pumpkin by washing it, cutting off top, and cleaning out the seeds and stringy things inside. Preheat oven to 350′. In a deep skillet, cook chopped bacon. Add the ground turkey, chopped celery, chopped green onion, and chopped yellow squash. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger. Continue cooking until the ground turkey is browned. Add the broth, coconut milk, horseradish, and maple syrup. Bring it to a boil. Add the cranberries and the cauliflower, and mix well. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Place pumpkin in a pan. Mine fit well in my 8″x8″ glass pan. Turn off stove and carefully scoop and pour ground turkey mixture into the hollowed out pumpkin. I used a soup ladle initially. Once I’d scooped enough of the mixture into the pumpkin, I was able to lift the skillet comfortably to pour the rest. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Enjoy!