Pumpkin Season

I’ve yet to indulge in a pumpkin spice latte this season (especially after reading that Food Babe article about some of the ingredients, yikes!), but we have been making some pumpkin treats at home.

One of my new favorite cookbooks is Against All Grain.  All recipes are dairy free and grain free, but absolutely delicious.
In the book, is a great recipe for some pumpkin spice muffins.  Here’s a batch I whipped up last week…

Yum!

Yum!

Today, I discovered another fab recipe for Pumpkin Spice Cookies on the Against All Grain blog that were equally delicious (and super easy to put together!).

Ingredients:
-2 1/2 cups almond flour
-2 TB coconut flour
-1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ginger
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1/4 tsp cardamom
-dash of sea salt
-1/3 cup Grade B maple syrup
-1/2 cup pumpkin puree
-1 egg
-1 tsp vanilla

All of these spices really give the cookies an amazing flavor...

All of these spices really give the cookies an amazing flavor…

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl
3. In a stand mixer or food processor (I used a food processor), combine the maple syrup, pumpkin puree, egg & vanilla
4. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet
5. Scoop golf-ball size balls of dough onto a lined cookie sheet. Press down lightly to flatten them a bit.
6. Bake for 18 minutes

The original recipe can be found here and includes instructions for a vanilla cinnamon icing.  I didn’t make it today, but will definitely give it a try soon.

Have you been baking any fall favorites?  My next goal is to attempt baking a pie from scratch… wish me luck!

food

Remember once upon a time when I talked about weekly dinners and my plans to share recipe details and photos of all the amazing dishes I was whipping up at home?  Right.  Well, between cooking with a toddler semi-attached to my hip and trying to get dinner ready at a reasonable time before we have to start our bedtime routine, I have not been able to document many of my recent kitchen creations.
But, I promise that I have been cooking- a lot!

I’ve been on a bit of a food journey lately, trying to make sure I am eating good, whole, real foods– and that I am feeding those same things to Lincoln!  I had heard a lot about the Paleo diet, but didn’t give it too much thought.  Then, I stumbled upon the Whole30 plan and felt really compelled to give it a try.

The Whole30 (in case you haven’t heard about it) is a 30 day program during which you eliminate several types of food from your diet.  During the 30 days, you do not eat any dairy, sugar, alcohol, legumes (peas, lentils, peanuts, etc.) or grains of any kind.
So, basically, you exclusively eat  fruits, vegetables, and proteins – plus some healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, etc. for one month (which in reality, is what we should probably be eating all the time anyway, right?)

I followed the Whole30 plan for the entire month of May, and about another 15 days into June.  It has really been a great change.  I am eating more vegetables than I have, maybe ever in my life and I am making almost every meal at home, from scratch.  I have more energy, I lost a few pounds and my skin looks really good.

I’ll admit, there is no way I can live the rest of my life without another bite of coconut milk ice cream or some dark chocolate, but this 30 day challenge has really changed the way that I approach food.  Now, if I can just convince my husband to adopt some of these healthy eating habits…

Here are a few photos of some recent meals (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen them)…

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Oh!  And I have to share this recipe for “Paleo Pancakes” that I came across.  They could technically work on the Whole30 plan, but it is not really recommended to eat a lot of paleo-ized baked goods while you are on the plan…  The point is to break your sugar cravings and simply replacing a regular muffin with a “Paleo” muffin isn’t really helping… (Check out the book, “It Starts With Food” for all of the plan details)

Anyway, I can’t recall where I found this recipe, but I jotted it down and made it for breakfast yesterday.  Easy, fast and super delicious!
(I don’t have any photos of the finished product, because Lincoln & I ate them all so quickly!)

3 bananas
3 eggs
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Blend all ingredients together.
Grease skillet with coconut oil.
Cook over medium heat.

Yum, yum!

another week, another dinner

I got a bit off track with these weekly posts.  Thanksgiving and our trip out of town threw me off…

Anyway, here’s my latest kitchen creation.  It’s from a cookbook I have that is a compilation of recipes from Real Simple magazine called “Meals Made Easy”… The recipe is for ‘Not-So-Sloppy Joes’ and here are the ingredients…

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 hamburger buns, toasted
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

I substituted ground turkey for the ground beef and, sadly, had to opt out of the Cheddar and sour cream…  This dish was super easy to put together and took less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Instead of using just one regular bell pepper, I used a bunch of these mini peppers that I had.

Also, instead of using just one regular bell pepper, I used a bunch of these mini peppers that I had.

1.  Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.

2.  Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper.  Cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

I have to admit I usually cheat and use this garlic already chopped!

I have to admit I usually cheat and use this garlic already chopped!

3.  Add the beef (or turkey) and cook, crumbling with a spoon, until no trace of pink remains, about 7 minutes.  Spoon off and discard any excess fat.

4.  Stir in the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon and salt.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 12 minutes.

almost done!

almost done!

5.  Spoon the mixture onto the bottom half of each bun and top with the Cheddar and dollop of sour cream (if using).  Sandwich with the top half of each bun.

And that’s it!

Yes, I topped my sloppy joe with avocado.  Strange combination?  Perhaps.  Delicious?  Definitely.

Yes, I topped my sloppy joe with avocado. Strange combination? Perhaps. Delicious? Definitely.

Oh, and a good tip from the cookbook, don’t forget to toast the buns!  It’s a quick step that makes sure the bread doesn’t turn to mush.

And a quick Lincoln update… he is crawling all over the place and is now OBSESSED with pulling himself up to stand.  It is literally the first thing he wants to do as soon as he wakes up, and is pretty much all he wants to do throughout the day.  My crazy boy…

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last weekend…

The husband and I had what will probably be our last weekend of just the two of us.  It was nice and low key….

Lazy morning with a sleepy kitty…

A very, very delicious breakfast at Madeleine’s downtown…

Lounging on the deck and catching up on some important reading…

Little dog enjoying the sunshine…

Giant onion rings at dinner…

Making sure those hospital bags are packed…

A very sweet Mother’s Day gift from husband…

And of course, watching this big belly grow…

Today is baby boy’s official due date… hopefully he will be making an appearance soon 🙂

food!

Luckily I have not suffered from any cravings that are too crazy during my pregnancy… no pickles and ice cream or any other stereotypical food combinations.

However, my sweet tooth does seem to be on overdrive most days.  I am finding excuses to include Nutella in almost every meal…  Although I know it will be a bad idea, I have plans to try out this recipe later in the week… Nutella Rice Krispy Treats

I say it’s a bad idea because I will undoubtedly eat the entire pan by myself, possibly within a 24 hour period.  But come on, how amazing do these look?

Yum! from this blog

In an effort to balance out my blood sugar, I am trying to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables as well.  I have discovered an amazing little cafe here in Spokane which has some delicious (semi) healthy options.  It’s a little place called the Maple Street Bistro.  Two of my favorite items I’ve had so far are their artichoke and leek soup, and veggie delight sandwich…

artichoke and leek

veggie delight on focaccia

Of course I may have also sampled their chocolate chip scones, carrot cake and mint mocha latte… but only after eating some veggies first 😉