"Everything we eat is energy, and all that energy can be classified according to five elements," says Meredith Klein, a Los Angeles-based private chef, mindfulness teacher, and founder of Pranaful. "How those elements show up in your body, mind, and spirit can be in our out of balance. Anytime we're out of balance, there us an excess of elemental energy in the body, and in order to achieve balance, we introduce the opposite element," she says. (You can find Meredith's recipes, plus more healthy, real food in my new book, Find Your True Fork, available on Amazon.com.)
Roasted Acorn Squash And Pear Soup With Sweet-And-Spicy Pepitas
The pepitas add flavor as well as texture and help people who might ordinarily slurp a bowl of soup to slow down a bit, which is an often-overlooked key to good digestion.
2 medium acorn squash (about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon store-bought ghee, divided
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 small leek, white and light green parts, rinsed thoroughly and thinly sliced
1 pear, peeled and chopped
3½ cups vegetable broth
¾ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons maple syrup
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1. Heat the oven to 425F degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to remove all the seeds. Place the squash halves skin side down on a baking sheet. In a small skillet, melt 1 teaspoon of the ghee and brush it on the squash. Roast until lightly browned and easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven (but keep the oven on) and let cool, then use a large spoon to scoop the squash meat into a bowl, discarding the skin.
2. In a medium stockpot, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons ghee over medium-high heat. Add the onion and leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved squash, the pear, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the soup simmers. Cover and cook until the pear is soft, about 10 minutes.
3. While the soup is cooking, make the pepitas. In a small bowl, mix together the pumpkin seeds, garam masala, maple syrup, and salt. Use a nonstick spatula to spread the pepitas in a single layer on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven (they may still be slightly tacky at this point) and let cool, then use your fingers to break up the pepitas into small clusters.
4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Return the pot of soup to the stove over low heat and stir in the salt....