Tasty Discoveries

One of my new favorite bento go-to's has made it's way into every meal -- breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snack. I simply cannot get enough of it. What is this fabulous discovery? Pumpkin cottage cheese!

Here's how you whip this delicious combination up. Take two parts cottage cheese of your choice (I tend to like 1% fat, and typically use 1/2 cup). Add one part pumpkin puree (I use one heaping spoonful of canned pumpkin, which is conveniently available at Costco in bulk at a much thriftier price). Stir stir stir! Then get ready to smack your lips in amazement as you enjoy this autumn treat. Yum!

As I mentioned, pumpkin cottage cheese has evolved into an "any meal staple," but has especially become a bento box mainstay. For this particular lunch, I added the pumpkin cottage cheese to a salad of romaine, mushrooms, red grapes, broccoli, carrots, and ginger peanut dressing. Also featured is one half cup of fat-free instant vanilla pudding and a new cereal, Kashi's Honey Sunshine.

This cereal is another new discovery that I quite enjoy. It is similar in shape to Puffins, only smaller. Their texture lends the perfect crunch, and they are subtly sweet while remaining hearty and filling. My husband enjoys munching on Frosted Flakes, so one evening while I was preparing a snack of Honey Sunshine, I snuck a taste of a few Frosted Flakes before eating the Kashi. The difference between the two was quite startling, despite them having roughly the same calories per 1 cup serving. While the Frosted Flakes tasted good, it wasn't until I had the Kashin on my palate that I realized just how empty the prior felt. It was sweet and enjoyable, but not at all satisfying. With the Kashi, I felt very aware that not only was I enjoying the taste of my food, but that it was also very nourishing at the same time.

I suppose that it all goes to show that our bodies are speaking their needs to us, if only we take the time to listen. And with this cereal test, my body was certainly saying "thank you!" for the more nutritious choice. Also, it was very encouraging for me to know that I can trust myself and my body to guide my food choices without relying solely on calorie calculations. I guess my tummy knows what's best!

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