Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin Day 31

Well this is it!  My month if pumpkin had come to an end.  What a month it was!  It was actually pretty fun trying to make sure I had something pumpkin every day!  I pretty much stuck to my pumpkin spice tea every morning with pumpkin butter on my toast but that would have been really boring if that's all I wrote about.  So thanks for sticking with me on this pumpkin adventure.  Some things turned out great and others not so much.  My favorites definitely were the pumpkin pasta dishes, but that might also be because I'm addicted to pasta in any form.  The pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and pumpkin ice cream were pretty awesome too.

The best pumpkin thing I actually bought this month was by far the pumpkin pie smoothie from Nekter Juice Bar.  It tasted pretty much exactly like pumpkin pie in smoothie form.  Everything at Nekter is vegan, so I didn't have to ask for any special instructions.  It just was vegan pumpkin goodness.

I definitely am not going to stop making my pumpkin flavored goodies or buying Pumpkin Spice Latte's until the whole festive season is over, so until next time... happy Pumpkin Season!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Day 30

As a special midweek treat I made these pumpkin cinnamon rolls!  Oh my goodness deliciousness!  It was pretty much impossible for both Will and I to not keep eating these all day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin Day 29

It's chili and cornbread weather!  This is a pumpkin cornbread mix from Trader Joes and I just used flax "eggs" instead of real eggs and it is so good!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkin Day 28

I tried this recipe for pumpkin pie protein balls and it was not quite what I was expecting.  First of all, they definitely did not look like they did on the website, and secondly they were a little too rich for me.  I could only eat one at a time.  I guess I was expecting them to taste more like pumpkin pie, but I think the dates just overwhelmed the flavor.

Here's the website

And here's my picture.  I know, I know, they look less than appetizing but hey, it's my pumpkin thing for today.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Day 27

Okay I couldn't think of anything new pumpkin to make today and I really wanted to make this new recipe from my Martha Stewart magazine. Luckily there were pumpkin orecchiette leftovers which went perfectly with this kamut with carmelized onions and garbanzos.  By the way, the cilantro and pomegranate in this are amazing!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Day 26

So I bought this bag of already cut pumpkin cubes at Trader Joes and they did not work.  The whole bag of them smelled sour when I opened it.  I thought maybe that's just how raw pumpkin smells?  But I tried cooking a test batch and it tasted terrible.  No good.

Luckily I had this thing called a golden nugget squash that looks enough like a little pumpkin that it will work for my pumpkin day today.  Because I really wanted to to make this recipe from my new Martha Stewart magazine.

The recipe actually called for butternut squash but of course I was going to substitute pumpkin or, as it turned out, this golden nugget squash.  Mmm, mmm!  This was so delicious!! It even got a vigorous approval from the Husband.

Orecchiette With [Pumpkin] and Sage 
November 2014, Martha Stewart

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkin Day 25

Okay, I know I know.  We've seen both of these pumpkin products this month already.  But seriously, this is hard!  I barely have enough time to make a well balanced meal three times a day plus healthy snacks for my fast-growing toddler, let alone meals for the grown-ups that include PUMPKIN?!  I'm trying my best here.  Believe me.  I was all set to make these pumpkin-pie power ball things I saw on someone's facebook page, but when I got out all the ingredients, I didn't have walnuts or almonds.  Annoying.  So that will be for tomorrow after I have a chance to go to the store for ingredients. For today I promise I did eat my toast with pumpkin butter on it this morning, and for a lunch time pick-up I enjoyed some pumpkin spice coffee. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin Day 24

Today I made pumpkin enchiladas.  Whaaaaa???  Yes you heard right -- pumpkin enchiladas.  When I took them to Tara's house, we enjoyed them with the sparkling Pumpkin Apple Cider, and then she offered some to her husband when he came in later.  He scarfed down a generous serving without taking a breath and afterward I said that they were made with fresh-roasted pumpkins.  He didn't believe me, because he doesn't like anything made with pumpkin, and there's no way these were made with pumpkin because they were so good!  Well, sure enough, the main ingredient in the filling of these enchiladas was pumpkin!  Glad you enjoyed it!

I don't have time to write the full recipe, but if you know how to cook, you can figure it out.  I just made it up using a whole pumpkin -- roasted; black beans; fajita-style onions, peppers, and mushrooms; black olives; stewed tomatoes; and Daiya vegan cheese.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pumpkin Day 23

I roasted another pumpkin today for a recipe I will be making tomorrow.  But in the meantime, not only did the house smell amazing, I got to make roasted pumpkin seeds after the pumpkin was done!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Day 22

I haven't had real caffeinated coffee in almost tears!  I broke that today by enjoying this pumpkin spice coffee from Trader Joes.  I did mix it with decaf still, so I wouldn't be completely wired, and it was delicious!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkin Day 21

I know this is a weird combination but I actually love this and it's my secret strange snack = popcorn and salsa.

Don't make fun of me.  It's good!  

Of course tonight it's pumpkin salsa.  And, not pictured is the pumpkin ice cream I made again, with chocolate chips this time.  Yum!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Day 20

Pumpkin ice cream!  I just mixed puréed pumpkin with vanilla soy ice cream and added these pumpkin snap cookies from Sprouts.  This might be the best pumpkin day yet.

Pumpkin Day 19

So the next item on the list to try with my parents was the pumpkin seed chips and pumpkin salsa.  I mean seriously, what are they going to come up with next?  The chips, as my dad said, were a little bland.  Nothing extraordinary there, but the salsa was a huge hit with everyone.  I admit, I was skeptical at first, but then I practically ate half the jar myself!  

Pumpkin Day 18

We are visiting my parents this weekend so I brought a lot of pumpkin loot to try out with them.  For lunch today we had this pumpkin apple cider.  It was amazing!!  Who would have thought of a sparkling pumpkin juice?!  It is so good.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pumpkin Day 17

You know how I mentioned in a post that I made zucchini-banana muffins with puréed pumpkin instead of applesauce?  They were so good, I made them again and that was my pumpkin thing for today.  I added pumpkin butter after I took the photo.  So good I think I'm going to be making this version of these muffins long past October.  Yum.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pumpkin Day 16

Pumpkin granola for breakfast!  Delicious and nutritious!  I love October.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pumpkin Day 15

I've pretty much exhausted the vegan pumpkin paraphernalia at Trader Joes, so when I went to Sprouts today I felt like I hit the pumpkin mother load!  Look at this loot: pumpkin snap cookies, pumpkin apple cider, pumpkin salsa and pumpkin seed chips!  What?!  I don't care if this whole pumpkin thing is somewhat gimmicky and a little out of control right now -- this is totally awesome and I love it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pumpkin Day 14

Finally!  It's starting to cool down a little bit and feel like fall in So Cal.  For a late afternoon warm treat I made this delicious pumpkin tea.  Yes, that is my souvenir mug from the Steinbeck museum. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Day 13

I recently purchased a new cookbook and tonight I tried it out for the first time.  The recipe was Penne in a Creamy Pumpkin sauce.  To be honest I'm kind of running out of pumpkin ideas to make so when I just happened to flip open the book to this exact recipe I had to make it immediately!  It was perfect and amazing!  It is very similar to the pumpkin Mac and cheese I made a couple weeks ago, but it's just different enough to be a whole different delicious dish.  We each had seconds and thirds!!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin Day 12

Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin butter and vanilla soy ice cream.  Enough said.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pumpkin Day 11

Not only did we have an overwhelmingly pumpkin-themed day at the pumpkin patch, I made a refreshing pumpkin smoothie for an afternoon snack when we got back.  It was super hot at the pumpkin patch and we were quite sun baked by the time we got back home.  Something icey and creamy sounded like it was in order.

I followed this recipe from, of course substituting coconut milk yogurt for Greek yogurt.  I used agave syrup instead of honey and didn't add a protein powder.  Although that would be a good idea for next time, and after downing this smoothie in about 2.5 seconds because it was so good, there will definitely be a next time.  It tastes like pumpkin ice cream!  Sooo good.  

Here is the recipe courtesy of

Healthy pumpkin shake filled with protein and chia seeds.
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ cup greek nonfat yogurt, plain
  • ¼ cup almond milk, vanilla flavored
  • 1 tablespoon protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup ice
  • Granola for topping (optional)
  1. Blend ingredients together until well combined. Top with granola or pumpkin pie spice.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pumpkin Day 10

So today is our anniversary.  10-10-10 was our wedding day.  Hard to forget that date right?  Therefore, due to the celebratory nature of the day and being filled with all sorts of anniversary and non related activities, I did not have one free moment to make a new pumpkin item.  I did however enjoy my pumpkin O's cereal and pumpkin muffins for breakfast. And I do believe that counts as having something pumpkin-themed for today!  
Repeat pictures are about to happen right now:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pumpkin Day 9

Today was super busy, but honestly when is it NOT busy?  I mean seriously.  Anyway, I didn't think about anything pumpkin until about 8pm.  Luckily I had a box of pumpkin muffin mix from Trader Joes.  This looks easy enough for a last minute pumpkin thing! In place of eggs, I made two flax-eggs, and followed the rest of the directions for these super moist and delicious pumpkin muffins! Oh and I added vegan mini chocolate chips 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pumpkin day 8

Back to burritos!  To add to the normal fixings, I sautéed some pumpkin cubes with onion and corn.  I shall call it the pumpkin burrito.  No photo because I was starving and forgot to take a picture before I scarfed down two of them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pumpkin Day 7

I didn't make anything pumpkin at home but I did try the Pumpkin Spice latte at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf today. I was skeptical after my disappointing experience at Peets a couple weeks ago, but after one sip I knew I had at last found a pumpkin spice winner!  This one is delicious!  The sweetness is subtle, the spiciness is just right and I swear I actually tasted pumpkin.  You just have to order it without the vanilla powder and it's totally dairy free.  Basically it's just an almond milk latte with pumpkin syrup.  And it just made my day.  Let's all say "ahhhhhhh...."

Thank you Coffee Bean for getting it right.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pumpkin Day 6

Pumpkin chia pudding. Hmm that's interesting.  Usually I make my chia pudding with fresh strawberries.  This definitely tastes more like fall and fulfills my pumpkin quota for the day.  Now chia pudding is not for everyone.  I happen to love it, but it is a bit "strange."  I don't think I've ever had tapioca pudding, but I've heard that's what it's like in consistency.  Chia pudding is full of nutritious stuff and when made with almond or coconut milk is just a whole bowl of healthy delicious goodness.

Here's a picture of my pumpkin version.  By the way, I'm not super impressed with how my photos are turning out lately, but taking them and blogging on my phone is so fast and easy.

Recipe is from PaleOMG.

I didn't add protein powder and I used maple syrup instead of honey.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pumpkin Day 5

Even though it was still close to 100 degrees again today I had this giant pumpkin sitting on my counter and I just had to use it.  So I roasted it for the soup.  And it made a ton of soup.  I'll be eating it for lunch all week thats how much it made.  But that's fine!  It's pumpkin time!

By the way, I should just point out that I finally downloaded the blogger app for my phone and that's how I've been posting the past 4 times and today.  Just FYI.

Okay so back to this roasted pumpkin soup. I had envisioned something totally different than what actually turned out.  But it was still pretty good.  The pumpkin was not orange at all, which kind of threw me off, and it tasted more like potato.  In essence, this was pretty much a potato, vegetable soup reminiscent of cold winter nights with my moms cooking growing up. That's not a bad thing.

No recipe here, just a bunch of veggies and spices thrown in a big pot with some roasted pumpkin.  (Is it supposed to be yellow?  I'm so confused.  I feel like I've made pumpkin stuff before from fresh pumpkin and it hasn't been so yellow.)

Oh and I made my pumpkin spice coffee again this morning.  Yummy.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

31 Days of Pumpkin, Day 4

It was a busy day visiting family in another town, so not much time for making anything pumpkin.  That's what Trader Joes is good for!  I absolutely LOVE all the pumpkin stuff at Trader Joes right now.  I stocked up yesterday, and this morning I was able to have Pumpkin O's for breakfast.  They were not what I was expecting, they were better!!  They taste like a pumpkin spice latte in the form of cereal.  Very pumpkiny and gingery.  Yum.

Also, since I had opened a can of pumpkin purée yesterday for the zucchini bread, I decided to mix a spoonful of it into the applesauce for R.  I tried some and it is delicious!  I then served myself a bowl. Thankyouverymuch.

31 Days of Pumpkin, Day 3

was going to make a roasted pumpkin soup today but does everyone realize how ridiculously hot it is here?  The temperature thing on my car said 97 degrees today.  At 10:45am.  No matter how many little pumpkins and gourds and scarecrow things and chrysanthemums I bring into the house, it still feels like the middle of July.  And I do not feel like roasting a pumpkin in the oven in the middle of July.  

So I made banana zucchini bread instead.  Pretty simple.  Most recipes are the same-- grated zucchini, ripe bananas, and applesauce, etc. Except instead of applesauce I used puréed pumpkin of course.  

I actually followed this recipe from Post Punk Kitchen.  Swap out the applesauce for pumpkin like I did for a festive fall treat!  (I made muffins instead of a loaf.) I also used coconut oil instead of canola and coconut sugar.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

31 Days of Pumpkin, Day 2

Second attempt at a homemade pumpkin spice latte was a success.

It's not so much a latte, as it is flavored milk to pour into my coffee.  But I think I figured it out!  Here is my recipe for pumpkin spice coffee.

1/2 unsweetened coconut milk (or any non-dairy milk of your choice)
1 tablespoon pumpkin purée 
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
2 dashes of pumpkin spice seasoning

While the coffe is brewing, mix the above ingredients for the pumpkin spice milk in a small pot on the stove over low heat.  Use a whisk to gently froth the milk as it heats.  

When coffee is ready, pour pumpkin spice milk into coffee, stir and enjoy!

Serves 1

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days of Pumpkin

Hello!  I'm back!  I've been on a not-so-brief hiatus due to life getting a little crazy with a baby who is now growing into a toddler.  I had tried to keep up there for awhile, but it just got away from me.  Who has time to cook around here?  For example, we moved to a new house five months ago and I still haven't finished unpacking.  Needless to say, we've been eating a lot of pizza and burritos (no cheese for me of course.)

So now it's October, my baby is almost 14 months old, I've been back to work full-time for a year, and it's time to get back to cooking and writing.  Let the insanity begin (continue?) I have decided to come back with a bang by attempting to post each day this month with my theme of 31 Days of Pumpkin.  I'm just going all out with this pumpkin craze and will make or buy something pumpkin each day this month.

I thought of this idea at exactly 6:00am today, AFTER being awake for an hour already.  Clearly super optimistic about this and ready to start asap.

First, I was intent on making a vegan pumpkin spice latte since the one at Starbucks is infamous for being NOT dairy-free even if getting it with soy milk, and the one at Peets was disappointingly NOT good the other day when I tried it.

Well, my first attempt at a homemade pumpkin spice latte was an epic failure.  Way too much cinnamon and something else... not enough coffee?  I don't know, but it was bad.  I'll try again tomorrow.

Since the can of pumpkin was already open, I added a spoonful to the steel-cut oats I was making for Baby R.  That was actually delicious!  Score, 1 for 1.

 That was just breakfast.

I had grand plans for my dinner... Pumpkin Mac and Cheese!  Oooohhh Yeaaaaaaahhh.

We all know how much I love my vegan mac and cheese, and if there's one thing I come back to time and time again it's that.  Each time it's a new version of one of my favorite recipes.

Today I made the one from the Skinny B cookbook.  I've always made it with a yellow squash puree, but I just substituted that for the pumpkin puree of course!  I also added garlic powder, nutritional yeast and mushrooms.

The result?  Creamy rich delicious pumpkin cheesy goodness!  Score now 2 for 1 for day 1.