Anniversary Post + NEW eCookbook with 10 Pumpkin Recipes!

Happy Anniversary to Me!

It’s officially been 1 year and 3 days since I started Cultivated Wellbeing, and my, what an amazing year it’s been!! I’ve learned so much in this past year — about blogging, about myself, about the type of work I really want to do, about the community of bloggers I’m so excited to be a part of, and about the wonderful people reading, commenting, sharing, liking, and responding to the work I’ve brought to the blogosphere and social sites.

I am so grateful to everyone who’s been instrumental in the growth of this blog, especially my husband and biggest fan Loren, my friends and family who are always encouraging, and Meghan Ward of, who taught an awesome class for new bloggers last summer at the Grotto in San Francisco, helped me find my voice, and showed me that html is not impossible to figure out and tweak here and there. Her class opened my eyes to the possibilities of what I could accomplish in addition to exposing me to new opportunities and networks like BlogHer. All the wonderful women at the BlogHer14 conference — the speakers, the presenters, the workshop leaders — they were all amazing and inspiring. The sky really is the limit for these women, and I felt lucky to be in the presence of such talented and driven people.

Let’s Celebrate with a New eBook!


In celebration of CWB’s 1 year anniversary, I’m putting out a new eBook! We harvested a whopping 13 pumpkins  from our front yard garden this year (are you sick of me telling you that yet?), and being surrounded by pumpkins inspired an influx of new recipes from my brain. I’ve done some simple roasts, both sweet and savory, desserts, a smoothie, soup, chili, and more. While some of these recipes are new twists on old favorites, I tried to bring as much creativity to the table as possible, both to show you that cooking winter squash can be as simple or as involved as you want it to be, and to give you some fun examples of healthy dishes that will please every palate. Each one is  absolutely fool-proof-delicious and actively good for you, and while you might find something similar on a different site, it won’t have the “Toni touch” that these 10 beauties do. My goal in creating each of these sweet, rich recipes was to combine happiness and health, flavor and phytonutrients, nourishment and nutrition.

Healthy food can be delicious AND filling, and these 10 recipes are proof!

All recipes are gluten-free and vegetarian with very easy adjustments to become vegan if they aren’t already (probably with the exception of the custard). They all include pumpkin or pumpkin seeds, both absolute powerhouses of nutrients. Pumpkins are rich in vitamin A and beta carotene, a full array of antioxidants, and fiber. The seeds are a great source of minerals, especially phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc and iron. They’re also a great source of monounsaturated fat and amino acids, including l-Tryptophan, which promotes a balanced mood and restful sleep. Both the fruit and the seeds are low-glycemic foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins. The other ingredients in these recipes were chosen with nutrition and flavor in mind, each full of herbs and/or spices to enhance the micronutrient content and flavor profile. I used real maple syrup to sweeten when necessary, also rich in micronutrients and minimally processed.


the proud gardener #DexterLove

How do I Get this eBook?

If you have already subscribed to my monthly newsletter, then you likely have the eBook in your mailbox right this very minute. If you haven’t, then it’s time to sign up! You’ll receive a reply email with the eBook inside once you complete the sign up process.

Get excited to access these 10 delectable pumpkin recipes with the click of a button!


The line up:

    • Pumpkin Spice Latte



    • Pumpkin Pie Pancakes



    • Sugar and Spice Smoothie



    • Vegan Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Fried Sage



    • Roasted Pumpkin and Braised Red Cabbage



    • Toasted Zesty Pumpkin Seeds



    • Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili



    • Dessert for Dinner Sweet Roasted Pumpkin



    • Raw Pumpkin Cheezcake Bites



    • Pumpkin Coconut Custard



Sneak Peak Photos of What You’ll Find in this eCookbook:

2014-11-11 11.17.48 eBook pumpkin recipes 2014-11-14 08.20.32 eBook pumpkin recipes 



Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Pomegranate Bacon Sauté

So it’s the new year, and we’re officially deep in the winter months. Though the last few days in the Bay have started to get a bit warmer, we’ve had some of the coldest days I’ve experienced since living here in the last couple of months. Our garden froze over – destroying some of our succulents and tipping over my baby brassicas (don’t worry, they’re mostly fine now), and each morning every blade of grass in the yard sparkled with ice.

mmmmmm! Dexter loves soup!

mmmmmm! Dexter loves soup!

When it’s cold out, I personally can’t get enough soup. I love soup at almost any time of year, and I often joke that I could have soup for every meal. But in the winter sometimes I’m serious, and I do have it at every meal! That being said, soup isn’t limited to just cold weather.

Have you ever noticed that even in parts of the world that remain warm year-round, soups and stews are staple foods? Thailand has coconut curry, tom yum, and tom kha; Vietnam has pho; India has stewed legumes and meats; nearly everything in Ethiopia is stewed with rich sauces; Mexico has menudo, tortilla soup, and pozole, and the list goes on and on.

Why is this?

Soups have greater function than just warming the body — in fact, in warmer parts of the world, not only are they hot in temperature, they’re often extremely spicy, causing the eater to sweat, thereby cooling the body instead of warming it as the sweat evaporates off the skin. Soups also function as an ingredients-stretcher. Maybe there’s a bit of meat, a bit of veggies, some fresh herbs, and that’s it. Soup! Maybe there’s a bit of way too many things, and they all need to be used before they go bad. Soup! (I call that particular model “Kitchen Sink Soup.”) With just the right touch, you can make nearly anything delicious in soup form. Last week’s recipe focused on the health benefits of broth. Well guess what broth’s great for!

I love this recipe, because it’s sweet and salty with a healthy dose of umami.pumpkins2

It’s easy to associate pumpkins with fall, but they’re actually in season for quite a while afterwards. I absolutely love using winter squash in cooking, especially when I’m making a lot of food at once. Whether its kabocha squash in a thai curry, spaghetti squash quiche, butternut squash soup, roasted acorn squash, or stuffed delicata, cooking with winter squash is a good way to ensure that you’re getting a nutrient-dense source of carbohydrates in a delicious package.

Fun facts about pumpkin:

  • Rich in both vitamin A and beta carotene, (which can convert to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is great for cardiovascular health, skin health, and eye health)
  • Full of healthy antioxidants and phytochemicals to help ward off harmful free radicals
  • Full of fiber, which keeps you full longer and helps you go #2 as long as you’re well-hydrated
  • Easy to cook and freeze for later
  • Absolutely delicious in a post-workout smoothie, and great for replenishing the body for muscle recovery
  • Find out more about pumpkin and other winter squash in this awesome post at Health Perch

Looking for even more pumpkin-y goodness? Guess what, I have a whole eBook filled with recipes dedicated exclusively to pumpkin! DOWNLOAD IT NOW.

Here’s the recipe!

serves 4 as a main 6 as an app



  • 1/2 medium pumpkin – roasted and peeled – or 2 cans/boxes (roasting a pumpkin is simple: cut half, remove the seeds, place in a pan face down with about 1/2 and inch of water and a table spoon of olive oil or butter, and roast on 375 for 30 to 40 minutes)
  • 2 cans broth or water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbs ghee
  • 1 tbs rendered bacon fat
  • 2 large sprigs fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 large sprigs fresh sage, chopped
  • large pinch ground clove (a few shakes into the pot)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp REAL or sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • seeds of 1 pomegranate
  • 4 to 6 slices cooked pasture bacon, chopped into small pieces


  1. Heat ghee and bacon fat in a large pot until gently melted
  2. Add in pumpkin, stirring in and breaking apart the large chunks into smaller ones
  3. add in the stock or water and let simmer for a few minutes until it looks like the pumpkin is quite soft (~5 minutes)
  4. add in clove, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and vinegar and let simmer a bit longer
  5. Using an immersion blender, begin to puree the mixture, slowly adding in the can of coconut milk and maple syrup
  6. Continue to pulse with immersion blender and add in fresh oregano and sage, incorporating them completely without cooking all the flavor out.
  7. Serve hot with bacon pomegranate sauté and/or a dollop of full fat organic greek yogurt

For the Sauté

  1. Reheat cooked bacon pieces, pomegranate seeds, and a pinch of salt
  2. Cook until fully incorporated, but don’t let the seeds get mushy (feel free to add in a little extra bacon fat or ghee if you want it to be more cohesive)
  3. Portion it out with the soup and serve warmpumpkinsoup1

Looking for even more pumpkin-y goodness? Guess what, I have a whole eBook filled with recipes dedicated exclusively to pumpkin! DOWNLOAD IT NOW

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