Season confusion

This week is flying by for me!   Although it hasn’t been the best of weeks.  I feel like no matter what I do, I am constantly suffering from some kind of ailment lately.  Now, believe me I know that I am lucky for (relative) health and I am thankful to have it, but after getting migraines almost everyday last week, and both days over the weekend (those being my own fault), I was dismayed when they returned this week accompanied by really bad stomachaches almost everyday too!  The thing that sucks is that I have been following my eating plan really well and so I have no idea how to make them go away.

Beyond that, my hip is still in a ton of pain even though I haven’t been running at all.  Well except for once last week after waiting the decided 3 weeks but for only a TOTAL of 2 miles which is pretty much nothing.  FRUSTRATING!  At least with the hip, I have a doctor’s appointment next week to hopefully clear up that problem or help it at least.

Alright, thanks for letting me feel sorry for myself for a minute.  Anyone else have anything they need to get off their chest?

Luckily my shortcomings have not kept me out of the kitchen this week! Sunday I made homemade granola and brownies.  Monday I made lentil tacos and Tuesday I made pumpkin cookies and another pumpkin dish.  Since I have the leftovers of all of these things, it might be awhile before I need to do more cooking.

Well that is a lie; I’m going to work a little more on the homemade brownies.  They are super healthy and made with a secret ingredient, but I like my brownies to be fudgy and these were really really cakelike.  If you like cakelike brownies and want a super healthy recipe, email me and I’ll send it your way!

But for today, I’m going to give you 2 pumpkin recipes with another coming soon!

One is not actually mine, it is Chelsey’s.  I saw a recipe for Quinoa Pumpkin Granola on her blog and thought it sounded really interesting!  I had never heard of using quinoa in granola.  So, I made some Sunday and loved it!  I actually burnt it a little bit but I have still eaten almost all of it already.  It might just be my new favorite granola!  I love that using quinoa adds more protein than oats would.

When I went to Whole Foods to find a can of pumpkin (along with some other stuff that I can’t wait to share with you) the only cans of pumpkin they had were 4 dollars and I really couldn’t justify paying that much.  I thought I was out of luck and would just make something else until I got home and was unpacking my groceries and realized that Meredith had a giant can of pumpkin.  Score!  She said I could use it, and this way I could just buy her another can for probably less than half the cost of the crazy expensive WF can.

So I made the granola, and the only problem was, after making it I had a seriously huge can of pumpkin left which isn’t really a problem after all—it just meant that I needed to get creative.

I decided to make chocolate chip pumpkin cookies and another savory pumpkin recipe to come next post! I know pumpkin recipes are really more for fall—I obviously am unclear about what season it is, but if you don’t want to make these now, you can always come back to them later!  Just think of me as being ahead of the game, that’s what I’m going to do.

Choco Chip Pumpkin Cookies

2 cups flour—I used Bob’s GF blend, but you don’t have to make them gluten free!

1 teaspoon baking soda (if making gluten free, add a little bit more than 1 t)

Pinch of xantham gum (for GF only!)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 t cinnamon

1/4 t  cardamom

¼ t nutmeg

2 eggs or ½ cup egg substitute

½ cup oil—or you could substitute and do ¼ cup applesauce, ¼ cup oil

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup chocolate chips

First combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg together.  Then, in another bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin and vanilla.   Pour in the flour mixture and stir until combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.   These would actually be really easy to make vegan too, you would just need to substitute the eggs for flax eggs.

I was going to make just half of the recipe, so I poured in half the sugar, pumpkin and egg listed above and then as I started to add the dry ingredients, I apparently didn’t know how to halve the spices.  I realized after pouring all of them together and into the wet ingredients that I hadn’t halved that part, so I ended up having to add more pumpkin/sugar/egg.  Not such a genius after all I suppose.

They also taste great with some Justin’s Hazelnut Butter ‘frosting’ on top (although they are great plain too).

IF you are making gluten free, I have learned a few helpful baking tips—mostly from my own baking failures

1. I already mentioned above but adding a little more baking soda or baking powder than the recipe calls for so the cookies/cake/whatever can rise

2. Even if you would normally not spray a pan when baking, it is a good idea when making GF items because they tend to stick more (a silpat or parchment paper would take care of that issue too)

3. Don’t overstir—it makes batter stickier.  Just stir until thoroughly combined

Any other GF baking tips that you know and I don’t?   I’m still learning so I’m all ears!

2 other random things:

1. Did you guys see the crab salad my mom posted the other day?  I can’t wait to make this!  I loveeeee crab.  I can’t remember if she mentioned this, but if you are scared of canned crab–don’t be!  It tastes almost as good as fresh.  I want to make the perfect protein salad too!

2. Have you guys heard of Birchbox?  My friend Alex told me about it but it doesn’t seem to be very well known.  For just 10 dollars per month you get a box filled with sample makeup products.  I haven’t gotten my first one yet but will let you know what I get when I do!   Alex said the amount they give for 10 dollars is a really good deal and it is a great way to try out beauty products that you might never buy otherwise.  You fill in info about yourself so the box is a little bit personalized too.  It would  make a great gift!

OK that’s all I’ve got!

Have a great night!


1 Comment

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One Response to Season confusion

  1. Jean

    I absolutely LOVE everything about this blog. The pictures especially make me want to run out and make every recipe on here!!! Oh btw, I have a Diet Coke addiciton…..but have no desire to go thru DC rehab:)

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