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Archive for the ‘Pumpkin Recipes’ Category

Sad to say, but summer is gone and into Autumn we go. So to ease into the change I made my favorite fall muffin, which happened to coincide with Spry Living featuring the muffin recipe on their on-line publication. I was super excited.

Click here, to follow the link for Toasted Millet Pumpkin Muffins.

This is the second time I have worked with Spry Living, back in July they featured my favorite Kale Smoothie. Click here, to follow the link.

kale blueberry fruit smoothie snack frozen treat dessert health spry

I really love Spry Livings site I have found so many amazing recipes and quite a few new blogs to follow, I highly recommend checking them out.

So back to the Pumpkin Millet Muffin, I love this amazing little muffin. It is packed with flavor and crunch, and as a bonus, they freeze well. I love foods that freeze well. I like to keep a few out a few and freeze the rest for another day. Plus their healthy, and who doesn’t like that?

These muffins contain easy ingredients I normally have on hand. Loving my huge tub of Chobani.

I love toasting the Millet, it smells so good and kinda pops and brown up.

Plus they are so easy to just plop a spoonful into the muffin tin because it’s a thick batter.

I’ve made these Pumpkin Toasted Millet Muffin before in an earlier post, I was still learning how to take pictures of food at the time, plus it was in the dead of winter and indoor pictures are a real challenge for me.

Pumpkin Millet Muffins

Ingredients:

Makes 12

These muffins offer an intriguing crunch, thanks to the toasted millet. Savor them warm from the oven, or freeze a batch to have on hand.  Allow muffins to cool completely before transferring to freezer bags. Thawed muffins may be reheated in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes or microwaved for 15-20 seconds to give them a little warmth.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup millet
1 egg
1/2 cup Chobani Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup soy or coconut milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (to replace butter)
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
8 Packs Splenda
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin pan; set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add millet and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and just beginning to pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer millet to a plate to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Greek yogurt, soy milk, applesauce (to replace butter), pumpkin, Splenda packets and brown sugar; set aside. Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cooled millet in a medium bowl, then gently fold into egg mixture until just combined. Spoon batter into lined muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

I am already dreading taking indoor food pictures now that fall and winter are up on us. Having 90 percent of my pictures being taken outdoors in beautiful sunny weather has been a luxury for this beginner blogger and to go back to indoor food shots makes me sad, but I’m hoping to find a lighting solution by making a light box, or rigging a clip on light. I’ve been looking into some options.

So until then, I plan on taking as many outdoor pictures as possible! Natural Light Rules.

Hey, I also wanted to introduce you to a site I recently started to enjoy. Have you ever heard of SlimKicker? Well let me introduce you to them.

SlimKicker is an interactive website that helps you achieve a fitness goal or maintain your current one. It’s really fun to get your profile started. Once you do your off and running. On SlimKicker you log all your food and exercise and enjoy all the other features. One feature I really can not stop using is the challenges feature. I have a thing for challenges and this really keeps staying healthy fun. You can choose from tons of challenges, one I thought was perfect was the, Exercise before Facebook Challenge! Brilliant really.  It keeps you on track and accountable for all your actions and helps you make it fun and easy to stay focused. They also have a database with recipes and calorie counts for practically every food imaginable. Then add in all the support from the community and the blog with so many amazing posts that will inspire and support your health needs. Just thought I’d share, sometimes when you find a gem you have to share the wealth.

Check Ya Later.

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I can Barley Contain Myself. Sorry, sometimes wordplay makes me think I’m clever. Well anyway I made a great batch of Barley as a side dish for our dinner and I have to say it really has a unique flavor. I have had barley in soup and mixed in with other grains, but I have never had it alone, so I was excited to try it out.

1 cup of barley to 3 cups of water with a vegetable broth packet for a little added flavor. Bring to a boil and simmer for 50 minutes.

This little grains packs 6 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein in each serving which is 1 cup.

Barley really plumps up, so 1 cup of raw barley is more than enough to make 2 large servings.

They come out chewy and nutty. I love the texture of this grain, so hearty and filling.

we also had Sweet Potato Discs drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt. Baked at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until crispy on the edges.

Made a basic baked pork chop, breaded in Panko bread crumbs and seasoned with garlic salt’s, I used liquid egg whites for the egg wash. Just a nice and light breading.

Pan fried for 5 minutes to brown the meat, then baked in the oven on 400 degrees for 40 minutes, I baked the Sweet Potato Discs and Pork Chops together.

This meal made my husband very happy, he loves a good chop. I am not vegetarian, but I do prefer a plant-based diet. It seems like I eat meat less and less and when I do I am always wishing I had a second vegetable on my plate instead of the meat.

For dessert I thawed a few Protein Pumpkin Cookies. I love these little babies, they really satisfy a sweet tooth.

Just after eating the cookies I noticed this lone pear that needed to be eaten tonight or I’d be feeding it to the Lovely Ladies on the Farm. So I sliced it up and Jeff and I ate that also.

This pear was super ripe and was super juicy. I loved every single bite.

When I took my first bite, I told my husband it was Peeaarrfect! He responded, “Your such a dork.” He could Barley stand my comedic genius.

BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

Boot Camp is rolling on, even on vacation I made Boot Camp work for me, I was only gone 4 days and my friend’s apartment had a very nice gym. So before the day got started I would dash to the gym and complete a workout. I put the workouts on large index cards and laminated them so I would have them handy on my trip. Plus Tina has the program set up to be flexible.

On top of the workout’s I also got lots of extra cardio, we walked a few miles on the Allure Cruise Ship Tour, and we swan and went fishing. The fishing was a really big core and arm workout, the waves were rolling so anytime you stood up to reel in your catch you really engaged your core. Well I count it as extra!

Plank Club is going strong, I even got my friends and husband to do them with me, it was really fun. I managed to hold my Plank for 55 seconds each day, so I am happy to be holding steady, but I hope to make a break through any day now. I love how my husband can take months off from working out and just jump in and kill it. If I take anytime off from working out I lose strength.

Question of the Day: Do you count any housework/yard work as a workout?

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Well the baking bug did hit me. I have a small stock pile of canned pumpkin. So that’s when Courtney’s Recipe for Protein Pumpkin Breakfast Cake called out to me.

Use your favorite apple. I used a crisp Fuji apple.

Going into the oven.

Fresh out of the oven.

Protein Pumpkin Breakfast Cake

Makes 9 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups liquid egg whites
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 packets Truvia
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2-2/3 cups slow cook oats
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 medium apple, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp pecan pieces

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients in blender except apple and nuts. Fold in apple.

Spray a 9×9 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mixture evenly in pan and sprinkle with nuts on top.

Bake 50 minutes or until center of cake is dry.

Top with Greek yogurt and maple syrup and enjoy. I love the crunch you get from the apples. This breakfast cake has amazing texture’s and layers of flavor. In one bite I got tons of cinnamon flavor, and the next I got an oatmeal and apple bite.

Today’s Workout:

30 Minutes on the Elliptical and The Ultimate Butt Workout.

Killer, absolutely Killer Workout. This was very challenging, and that’s exactly what I am looking for. I found this little gem on Alyssa’s Blog. I was not able to do every exercise as listed above (I did 10-12 reps), but I completed the 3 sets. I was left with a little energy so I added a set of Straight Leg Deadlifts.

The Deadlift is one move that has always been difficult for me and left me sore for several days after. I know how important these are and I plan on making them part of my weekly workout. I used a bar for this, I wanted a little more stability and I think the bar is best for me to start with.

Dumbbell Straight-Leg Deadlift

Back
1010-dumbbell-deadlift.jpg
Next
Focus on form. Do It: Grab a pair of five-to eight-pound dumbbells and hold them in front of your thighs, feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend at your hips to lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor, keeping the weights close to your body. Return to standing, keeping the weights close to your body (as if you’re shaving your legs with the dumbbells). That’s one rep. Now I don’t know if this was such a good idea to do this set after the Ultimate Butt Workout, but I am really trying to challenge myself.

I love my purple weight bar and purple workout matt. It help’s make a rough workout just a little bit better, and any help I can get, I will take. After I completed that workout I got down on the matt and did some deep stretching.

My best friend recently went on a Caribbean cruise and sent me these little nuggets of love.

They have little bits of sea salt on them and are flavored with rum. Talk about a great combo, nuts, rum, salt and caramel, what a unique flavor. I had to check myself and only have a few, they were a great treat after that Killer workout.

Well I’m off to spend the day with my husband and my parents. We have a fun day planned out.

Question of the day: How did you spend your Saturday?

Check Ya Later.

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Happy Friday Everyone.

So I want to get right to it, yesterday I made a few dishes, and I want to go over the recipes.

For dinner I made a Quinoa Crunch Casserole that I saw on Caitlin Blog. This was so easy to make and I loved the fact that you did not have to cook the quinoa, the recipe calls for it to be raw.

Ingredients (for three servings):

  • 3 cups chopped broccoli
  • 3/4 cup raw quinoa
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • Dash of pepper
  • Topping: Pasta sauce

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a loaf pan.
  • In a wok, stirfry the broccoli until it begins to brown.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients + broccoli except the pasta sauce.  Mix well.
  • Pour mixture into loaf pan and cook for 40 minutes.
  • Remove and slice.
  • Top with pasta sauce and enjoy.

With the casserole I made a side dish of Polenta Provencale that I got from Trader Joe’s.

Then I steamed a side of asparagus, and I heated up a jar of pasta sauce.

This meal ended up being one of my favorites. I loved the crunchy’s on the top of the casserole.

Now if there is one thing I like to keep on hand this is it. Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies. I got this recipe from Annette Blog.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies (bonus: high in protein!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (or spice cake works too)
  • 1 large can pumpkin
  • 2 Tb vanilla
  • 2 Tb cinnamon
  • 1 Tb nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • chia seeds (2 Tb)
  • 1 scoop of protein powder <–optional
  • chocolate chips (I put 3 chocolate chips on top of each cookie), but you can add directly to the mix

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Mix all of the above ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Add chia seeds and protein powder if desired.
  • If the batter is too thick, add 1 Tb water or if it is too wet, add 1/8 cup extra oats.
  • Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 18 minutes.
  • Cool and enjoy!

These cookies are soft, moist, chocolately, and delicious. And SO easy to whip up. Oh, and they’re semi-healthy with a punch of protein. Each cookie has 94 calories.

Normally I eat these for breakfast, but really they would be good as a dessert.

I love rice krispy treats and Luna bars and when I saw a recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie for a Homemade Luna Bar, I thought why not try to make a Luna Bar/Brown Rice Crispy Bar.

Brown Rice Krispy Treats

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups crispy brown rice cereal (I used Erewhon)
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter, peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 3/4 cup agave syrup (I used Domino’s Organic agave)

Preparation:

  1. Place cereal in a mixing bowl.
  2. Heat nut butter and rice syrup on low heat, stirring until warm and creamy, but not boiling.
  3. Pour the nut butter and rice syrup mixture over cereal and raisins and coat evenly.
  4. Press mixture evenly into a 13×9 casserole dish.
  5. I put the pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes to make it easier to cut into squares.

Bagged up and stored in the freezer to keep them fresh and on hand whenever I want them.

Have a great weekend, we are expecting some mild weather here in Michigan. How is it possible that we have had 3 days of 40 degree weather in February.

Question of the Day: what have you baked lately?

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Having time to bake and cook up some dishes is how I spent my day. I played hooky from work and I do not feel bad at all. Well I didn’t really play hooky, my boss gave me the day off for covering for her vacation. I just feel more rebellious saying I’m Playing Hooky.

The Urban Dictionary described Playing Hooky as:

Playing Hooky
Skipping school or work.Play hooky, ‘be absent from school without an excuse’, is an Americanism first recorded around 1848.

It also says, To play hooky comes from the verb hook, euphemistically meaning ‘to steal’, or from the phrase hook it, meaning ‘to escape, run away, make off’.

So I mapped out my day:

  • Sleep In –  Oops I slept until 10:30, I guess that’s what happens when I don’t use an alarm.
  • Workout – did 30 minutes on the Elliptical
  • Eat Peanut Butter – perfect breakfast
  • Baking- done
  • Make Quinoa Dish – done
  • Blog- doing that now
  • Shower I hope to get to it right after I publish this

It’s really cool to have a day off during the week.

Here’s what I made.

Breakfast was an English muffin with peanut butter, sliced banana and chia seeds. Hands down this has to be my favorite breakfast at the moment.

Then I made a batch of Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies.

This batch made 28 cookies. Once they cooled I bagged them up and put them in the freezer. They are perfect for a breakfast on the go.

As the cookies were baking, I mixed up the ingredients for Quinoa Crunch Casserole

Before it baked.

After it baked.

Then I made a no bake batch of Healthy Brown Rice Treats.

They are easy and super fast to make.

Slice into 12 bars.

Bag them up and store in the freezer. When you want to eat one they thaw out in about 15 minutes, but I like mine slightly frozen.

Perfect way to spend the day. I will post all the recipes on tomorrows blog, have a good night.

Question: When was the last time you played Hooky?

Check Ya Later.

 

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Normally I have a cocktail on Saturdays, but yesterday I just was not feeling it. So I tried something different. Coconut water on the rocks. The first sip I was a bit unsure if I liked it, but I had a few more sips and it really started to grow on me. It was a nice change.

This morning I had a fast and easy breakfast, Chobani and the last of my Pumpkin Protein Cookies that I had frozen. They thawed out in a few minutes. It was a really good combo. Looks like I am going to have to get some baking done soon. I love having these on hand, they are one of my favorite pumpkin recipes.

After breakfast it was time to get serious, I need to cook. My kitchen is now back in full working order. I have my new stove and I intend on using it.

Just a few ingredients added together created a nice big pot of Chicken Chili on Sunday.

The Fiesta soup really added a nice zip to the chili. I didn’t have this as part of the ingredients until I started to cook. The broth seemed a bit thin and looked boring. So as I looked in my cabinet for something to add, I saw the Fiesta soup and took a chance, and I am glad I did.

White Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups cooked chicken (you can use a oven-baked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to save on time), shredded (I used a can of Sam’s Club premium chicken)
  • 1 can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can (4 ounces) green chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 box (32 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 can Campbell’s Fiesta soup
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 lime, juice

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, saute the onion and cook until it starts to become translucent.
  2. Once the onion is done, add shreds of chicken, beans, corn, green chilies (with juice from can), cumin and oregano to the large pot. Stir to combine all of the ingredients and then add the chicken broth and can of Fiesta soup.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes to allow the broth to reduce. Add salt and pepper and juice from one whole lime.
  4. Leave simmering on stove until ready to serve.
  5. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado or tortilla chips.
I love these tortilla chips, I don’t buy them that often, but when I do they don’t last long in my house.
What’s you preference Chili or Soup?

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So last night we had a family style fried chicken and roasted pork dinner with all the side dishes at Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn. Frankenmuth is Known for its love of Christmas and Chicken. This was my works end of year party that we have in January. I really wanted to snap a bunch of photos to show the platters of food, but the lighting was so low and dim that none of the pictures I attempted turned out. Our party was at a very popular tourist spot, the town is historic and has lots of really cute shops. It’s also popular for the year round Christmas store that’s right next store to it called Bronners, they have the most amazing Christmas decorations lit year round.

To get the ball rolling today, after a really big meal last night, I thought why not try a different breakfast than I normally eat. Well it’s not really that different, but I don’t normally eat them during the week.

Chocolate Chip Protein Pumpkin Cookies.

I add protein powder to 99 percent of my baked breakfast items, and I also use puree of pumpkin. I just love the flavor and I really like the health benefits from pumpkin and the protein.  I always have these on hand in the freezer, can you see a pattern with me and how I love to use my freezer. Well the reason behind that is I like to be prepared and always have food available that I love.  Plus these freeze so well.

Here’s the recipe for theses little nuggets.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies (bonus: high in protein!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (or spice cake works too)
  • 1 large can pumpkin
  • 2 Tb vanilla
  • 2 Tb cinnamon + 1 Tb nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • Chia seeds (2 Tb) and protein powder (1 small scoop) <–optional, but please add for protein
  • 1 bag chocolate chips (I used half a bag of semi-sweet and half a bag of milk chocolate)
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Mix all of the above ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Add chia seeds and protein powder if desired.
  • If the batter is too thick, add 1 Tb water or if it is too wet, add 1/8 cup extra oats.
  • Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 18 minutes.
  • Cool and enjoy!

These cookies are soft, moist, have chocolate chips in them, and delicious. And SO easy to whip up. Plus a healthy dose of protein.

As always my daily apple.

So today’s bag looks like this.

Packed and Ready to Go

I always workout when I get home from work, I really do prefer it to working out in the morning, I like to sleep as long as I can. I really feel like I have more energy to do a solid workout after working all day then I do when I first wake up, I know it’s a different thought pattern than most people’s, but it works for me so I do it.

For my workout today, I did a 60 minute treadmill walk on an incline, it gets me stretched out after a long day of sitting at my desk. I always mix up my treadmill workouts, but changing pace or turning around and walking backward to target different muscles. Then I hit it hard with the Lean Leg Pyramid and the Lean Ab Pyramid. I like to push myself a bit more on Mondays, it helps to set the tone for the week.

LEAN ABS PYRAMID 

•10 Standing Knee Raises

•20 Tummy Tucks

•30 Second Plank Jacks (on your hands in a plan, jack your legs out & in)

•40 Crunches

•50 bicycle crunches

•40 Crunches

•30 Second Plank Jacks (on your hands in a plan, jack your legs out & in)

•20 Tummy Tucks

•10 Standing Knee Raises

With it being Monday, I always go Meatless for dinner. Tofu has made its way to having top billings on Meatless Mondays, and today will follow suit.

Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips

Yield: 2-3 servings

Inspired by Oh She Glows

Ingredients:

  • 1 package firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or other milk)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder (for a kick of heat)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

1. Press or drain tofu

2. Then whisk together the milk and cornstarch in a shallow dish. In another bowl, mix together the panko, breadcrumbs, salt, and spices.     Set aside. Preheat oven to 400F and grease baking sheet with oil.

3. Slice tofu into 8-9 strips, lengthwise, depending on how thick you want it. Dip the tofu strip into the milk mixture and then into the panko/breadcrumb mixture. Coat both sides entirely and then place on baking sheet. Repeat with the rest.

4. Bake tofu on middle rack at 400F. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the tofu, and then bake for another 15-20 minutes until crispy.

Use a little Frank’s Red Hot Sauce for a little spicy flavor. I Served with a side of Near East Whole Grain brown rice and broccoli, this is one healthy meal.  Finished off with a bowl of fresh strawberries.

Now I’m off to do some dishes and catch up on some Top Chef episodes I have on my DVR.

Check ya later.

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