Savory Oatmeal (Vegan & Gluten Free)

It's pumpkin season! One of my favorites! I find that I LOVE comfy fall foods (reminds me of my younger carefree years - so bring on the carbs!), mother nature's colors, the smell of the crisp air mixed in with fall leaves blowing through the air and of course, all of the birthday celebrations!

I'm my happiest when I am around those that I love (family, friends, and adopted / extended family). I find my anxiety is slim to none, my joy is waking up and getting the opportunity to spend time with them in whatever capacity they can provide.

I awake, to the morning's crisp air for a refreshing walk with a cup of tea in hand. These are the moments of the day that I can just stop lift my head and my heart to the sky, I then take in a deep breath and watch as a smile emerges onto my face. Funny how the little, and most simplistic things can just make us smile and fee FREE. Free of regret. Free of fear. Free of obligations. Just free to be who you are in that exact moment of that day.

I spend a lot of my time trying to be someone I am not in an effort to please others - I am starting to see the pattern that when I am who I am and I am true to myself, that is when I am the happiest and content in life. It is when I am trying to determine who I should be for others that I have issues with anxiety and fear. I hope to take this lesson and one day put it into action and no longer worry about pleasing everyone. For those that matter, they will love me for who I am and only encourage such behavior.

I have been having a ton of fun with seeking out unique varieties of squash and pumpkins and experimenting with them. Most recent of my finds is a what they call a cinderella pumpkin. I did a little bit of reading on this pumpkin variety. The origin of a cinderella pumpkin in from France and it is rather difficult to find in the US. The pumpkin itself is a large round pumpkin that looks like someone squished it- hence it's nickname the cinderella pumpkin. The variety is said to be on the better pumpkins to use for baking, as the pumpkin lacks that startch-like taste and encompasses the creamy and velvety tastes of a pumpkin.

I was not in the mood to bake something for myself, nor do I bake in my parent's oven (Italian bread overload!)  and I have been loving and trying to create as many unique savory oatmeal dishes I can come up with.

I steamed the pumpkin and scooped it into a pot with water, turmeric, cinnamon, star anise, and seaweed. I let everything get nice and creamy and then I cooked the oatmeal into the mixture. I wasn't sure I was going to like it, as the smell was not what I had been expecting, but the taste was on-par. I would have this over and over and over and over again - as the cinderella pumpkin delivers on the creamy aspect!

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