I’m all about comfort foods lately. Probably because the cold winter weather is upon us…and I just want all the warm and cozy things.
And my Hearty Butternut Squash Pasta – totally fits the comfort food bill.
Growing up in an Italian household, pasta was a staple in our weekly meals – including my Nonna’s Lasanga every Sunday.
Unfortunately, in my early 20s, I discovered I was Celiac. At the time, most of my diet was bread, pasta and crackers. Not so great when gluten is causing mayhem in your gut.
Fortunately, I’ve found healthy and delicious gluten-free alternatives for all of my favourites – including pasta. I always ensure the pasta I buy is corn-free as it’s a common grain for gluten cross-reactivity.
Whenever I’m developing a new recipe I’m always trying to max out nutritional benefits and flavour. For main dishes, like my Hearty Butternut Squash Pasta, I also make sure there’s protein, fibre and healthy fats to help keep blood sugar stable.
While there are a ton of benefits to each individual ingredient, I’m going to highlight just a few below that are specific to acne sufferers.
Butternut Squash: high in the antioxidants vitamin A & C that help speed up the healing of breakouts, reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.
Shiitake Mushrooms: these fungi contain skin-healing selenium, reduce gut inflammation and support the immune system.
Garlic: acts as a prebiotic which feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut – thus helping promote a more balanced microbiome.
Thyme: strong natural antimicrobial that helps fight opportunistic bacteria in the gut.
Rosemary: provides antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress that promotes acne, aging, and disease.
Spinach: another source of the antioxidants vitamin A and vitamin C that help promote the production of collagen and cell turnover – which helps improve both elasticity and a more youthful appearance.
Parsley: rich in flavonoid antioxidants to help fight oxidative stress and reduce inflammation + a great source of vitamins A & C.
Grass-Fed Beef: high source of bioavailable protein which provides the body with amino acids needed for hormone production and building healthy skin tissue + provides mood-supporting B vitamins and skin-loving selenium & zinc. *Learn more about food labels, like grass-fed, here.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: rich in antioxidants, EVOO has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, supports healthy brain function and combats gut infections like H. pylori.
Pro tip: add the garlic, greens and fresh parsley after you’ve turned the heat off to help retain all their beneficial properties.