Donna Casali is an Executive Director & Founding Member of Beautycounter, a B-Corp whose mission is “to get safer products into the hands of everyone.”
She describes herself as “a health & wellness educator and advocate whose focus is what you put on your largest organ, your skin”. She says most people don’t realize that many ingredients that are banned in other countries, like Canada and the EU, are allowed in personal care products here in the U.S. These questionable ingredients are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors that can impact our overall health, fertility, and lead to reproductive and developmental issues.
Donna has attended meetings with lawmakers locally and in Washington, D.C. to lobby for better safety standards in personal care products. She is excited to share resources and tips on how to read a product label for “ingredients to avoid” in order to minimize your risk of exposure to toxins.
Stuffed Heirloom Pumpkin
1 Large Round Organic Pumpkin
1 ½ lbs seitan, homemade or store bought (white wave or Ray’s brands are good), cut into chunks- OR substitute tofu or tempeh
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, cut into wedges
1 pound mushrooms, sliced (can use shitake, portabella etc.)
2 yellow squash
1 butternut squash
1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
2 red or yellow peppers
1 head broccoli, cut up
½ small napa cabbage
2 baby bok choy
¼ cup tamari
4 cloves garlic
2” piece of ginger, grated
2 Tbs. aji mirin (sweet rice wine)
2 Tbs tahini mixed with 1 cup water
1 package frozen peas
1 lbs potatoes, cut into chunks
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
Cut out a circle on the top of pumpkin, scrape out seeds and replace top of pumpkin. Place pumpkin in shallow baking pan with a little water in bottom of pan. Make an aluminum tent over pumpkin with tin foil (to prevent burning) and bake the pumpkin in a 300’degree oven until soft (1 ½ hour-2 hours).
Meanwhile, sauté onions, carrots, butternut squash, parsnips, potatoes and sweet potato in stockpot with a little olive oil. Add garlic and ginger. Cook for 10 minutes on low. Add broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, yellow squash, bok choy, cabbage, herbs and any other veggies you want. Add tahini and water mixture. Add mirin, tamari and frozen peas. Add seitan and cook for 20 more minutes.
When pumpkin is soft, fill the pumpkin with the vegetable stew and return to oven for 30 minutes, to allow flavors to meld together. Serve right out of the pumpkin.