Cake Pan Pumpkin Cookie

I saw a recipe out there, and I just knew I had to make it PUMPKIN......

 

If you out there on Instagram you may have seen this recipe by registered dietitian, @rachaelsgoodeats on Instagram. When I saw this dreamy recipe, I just knew it had to be pumpkin. A few modifications and some white chocolate chips later, I give you this cake pan pumpkin cookie! Not only was it easy to make, but it's light, moist, crunchy on top and oh so pumpkiny! I can see this recipe going so many different ways this fall, but for now I'm going to try to not eat this whole pan myself! Do yourself a favor, whip one up pumpkin style, and let me know what you think! 

Batter in the pan before going in the oven 

Batter in the pan before going in the oven 

Cake Pan Pumpkin Cookie (recipe inspired by @rachaelsgoodeats)

Ingredients 

1 cup almond flour

1/3 cup peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

1 tsp. baking soda

3 tbsp. maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 tsp. unsweetened almond milk 

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 tsp. sea salt

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients, including egg and peanut butter and stir well. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk almond flour, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, and add white chocolate chips if desired (highly recommend you do!). I used a cake pan to cook this in, but you can put it in a 8" skillet or loaf pan too! Using a silicone spatula spread batter evenly into pan that is coated with coconut oil. Bake for 19 minutes, and broil for an additional 2 minutes. Top with almond butter, more peanut butter or pumpkin seed butter, and enjoy!

 

xoxo,

Pumpkin Girl  

Pumpkin White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Happy Monday pumpkin people! Chicago has taken a turn back to winter lately....brr! The temperatures dipped over the weekend, which had me craving something warm and cheesy and pumpkin-y! I had a box of Banaza pasta handy in my pantry, and just like I like to pair white chocolate with pumpkin pancakes, white cheddar pairs perfectly with pumpkin paste! 

This recipe skips the heavy cream found in typical mac and cheeses, and swaps it for whole-milk yogurt! The creaminess from the pumpkin complements the yogurt and white cheddar cheese to a tee. The best part is that this meal left me feeling extremely satisfied because Banza pasta is made from chickpeas, aka lots of fiber! Pair that with the fiber from the pumpkin and you have the perfect meatless monday meal if that's your thing! And if pumpkin is your thing, (I'm assuming it is if you're reading this) you'll definitely enjoy this cozy pumpkin comfort food!

 

Ingredients

1 box Banza pasta shells

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 container siggi's whole-milk vanilla yogurt (client) 

1/4 cup Kerrygold aged cheddar cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, (additional to sprinkle on top)

1/4 cup pepitas 

fresh ground pepper

Optional add ins:

  • sauteed spinach, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes

 

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Directions

Follow cooking directions on the box on Banza pasta, and cook as directed. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan combine cheeses, yogurt and pumpkin and stir until combined. Pour pumpkin cheddar sauce over pasta and garnish with pepper and pepitas. It's seriously that simple! Enjoy!

From the RD corner, this pasta is a great source of protein and fiber. I also really like it because it's a great alternative to regular pasta--and no difference in taste! I love pairing it with other vegetables, and with or without another source of protein because it's a good source on its own. Swapping yogurt for heavy cream often found in mac and cheese recipes, didn't make me feel like I was missing out at all. Definitely worth trying! 

If you have any other tips or tricks for making a creamy mac and cheese, leave me a comment because I'd love to know! 

xoxo, 

Pumpkin Girl 

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai, Apple of My Eye

As I continue to explore the squash family (lol, aka I don't discriminate when it comes to gourds!) I've found that spaghetti squash is cooler, easier to make, and more delicious than I ever thought! A few weeks ago I made some spaghetti squash, ever so simple, with just parmesan cheese and black pepper, which got me thinking how many more things it could lend itself to. 

So I bring you this recipe for spaghetti squash pad thai! Instead of the peanut pad thai sauce you often come across at restaurants, I changed it up with almond butter, and it honestly tasted amazing!  I came home to find my mom eating it, and she's a tough critic when it comes to non-Polish food, so I'd say that means you have to try it. It can be eaten literally out of the squash....you don't even have to put it on a plate if you really can't manage the dishes.....! It's a one stop shop for flavor, colors, nutrients, protein, fiber, healthy carbs, and a little kick. 

I loved the way this Asian squash "boat" came out, and I know you will too! 

Ingredients

For the squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 5-6 baby carrots, grated
  • 8-10 mini red, yellow & orange peppers,  julienned into thin strips
  • 1 egg, scrambled
  • 1 lime, quartered 

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce, I used this one
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 generous tbsp. of almond butter (homemade) 
  • 1 tbsp. (or a little less) grated, fresh, ginger

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut through spaghetti squash lengthwise and scoop out all of the seeds. Coat with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 45-50 minutes, and let cool for 30 minutes before scraping spaghetti out with a fork

Meanwhile, prepare veggies and sauce. Sautee snow peas and peppers. Use a fork to loosen the spaghetti squash, then spoon sauce over squash. Add veggies, including grated carrot. Scramble the egg and put it on top of the veggies. Garnish with one quarter of the lime and enjoy!

I hope you like this recipe, and I would love to know what you think if you try it! Don't forget to sign up for my FALL 2017 e-newsletter below! You don't want to be in the dark on new pumpkin products come August when that first pumpkin spice latte strikes! 

xoxo,

Pumpkin girl 

 

When Places Do Pumpkin: 2017, Part I: Pret A Manger

Missed my train, took a lap around the train station and what do I see?

Pret A Manger is serving up a new toasted tortilla with butternut squash! A butternut squash ricotta toasted tortilla, that caught my eye because aside from Panera in the fall, I haven't really seen a fast-casual place do pumpkin or butternut squash in a dish. So naturally when I spotted this butternut ricotta panini, I had to grab it! I wasn't ready to eat it right then, so I took it home. The workers let me know it's best when heated up by them, but my own panini maker did the trick too. Verdict? Not bad! It definitely satisfied my squash tooth. Ha! Here's a couple more tidbits about what I thought.....

Grilling it up on my home panini maker!

Grilling it up on my home panini maker!

Inside of Pret A Manger's Butternut Squash Ricotta Tortilla

  • The walnuts. They were huge! Toward the end I had to pick them out! I like walnuts, but maybe they could halve them, or find smaller ones? lol. 
  • The squash gets a glowing A. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I like pairing squash + spinach in savory dishes, and I stand by my statement that this combo works!
  • The ricotta. A little overpowering. Personally I'd prefer feta! Pret A why don't you Fet A?! But seriously, a melty parmesan would have also complemented the flavors nicely.

From the RD corner, this panini was 440 calories, and 17 grams of sugar. Usually I go for something with a good amount of protein, but this was reminiscent of fall flavors, so if you're in the mood for that, and looking to switch it up why not try it for lunch! I liked trying it, but probably won't get it again, but I will try to remake my own version, cause that's just how I play! (think whole-wheat tortilla, butternut squash, spinach, parmesan, and something crunchy, that's not walnuts!) Any thought on that?? Let me know! 

Also, if you've had this before I want to know what you thought! 

xoxo, 

Pumpkin Girl 

Renting the Runway & Recipe Testing // Happy President's Day Weekend!

The gorgeous bride, Briana and I! 

The gorgeous bride, Briana and I! 

Not much feels better then the Sunday of a 3 day weekend....amirite?! This weekend was especially sweet because it was one of my childhood best friend's wedding! She was a stunning, glowing, radiant, insert any other adjective for gorgeous, bride! It was so nice to see one of your oldest friends, so happy, and so in love! I definitely shed a tear watching them say their vows! It was also such a glorious weekend in Chicago weather wise, with temps in the 60s! Making it feel more like Memorial Day weekend, not President's day weekend! That's more than unheard of for this time of year, so you can imagine everyone was taking full advantage by being out and about. And after 3 days of it, I hope it stays this way (but know it won't!) 

For the wedding I tried Rent the Runway for the first time, and was super happy with the dress and their customer service! Here's why.....

  • They send you two dresses. That's right, I got a back up size, which was great since I wasn't exactly sure how the sizes would fit. 
  • They contact you when you don't pick a back up size. Ok, so at first I forgot to pick one, but they reach out and make sure you've got it! I also liked their accessory recommendations. I didn't end up ordering any from them, but it was great inspiration to go back through my own jewelry (or my sisters) to find something similar. 
  • The dresses come in the same bag you need to return them in with a label, too. Done deal. You don't have to think about shipping back because it's as simple as 1,2,3. I dropped the dresses off at my local UPS store before noon today, and that's it! 
  • I loved the variety. For both colors and styles, there was so many to choose from for every occasion. I'll definitely be trying it again for special events in the future! 

Here's the BCBGMaxazria Kauri Gown I rented in black.  You can click this link for more details.

Before the festivities, I whipped a batch of these avocado, pumpkin banana muffins. I know what you're thinking. Fiber bomb. Hah, ok that's what I was thinking. But anyways, they came out super fluffy, and the whole house smelled amazing when they were baking! I made regular sized ones, and mini ones. I've been eating them slathered in my homemade pumpkin spice almond butter (recipe a few posts back) and/or 88 acres pumpkin seed butter.  

(Please note: this post does include affiliate links, which means I make a small commission if you purchase the products. There is no additional cost to you!)

AVO PUMPKIN NANNER MUFFINS

Ingredients 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup pumpkin (I used Farmer's Market Organic Pumpkin)
1 whole avocado, mashed
1 large banana, mashed
1 + 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice ( I used McCormick's Pumpkin Pie Spice)
1 tsp. baking power
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

Pre-heat oven the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine pumpkin, avocado, banana, eggs and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk flour baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. With the mixer on medium speed, mix the wet ingredients until combined, then add the dry little by little, until combined. Use an ice cream scoop to measure out muffins for regular sized muffins or mini muffins. Make sure pans are lined. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the muffin tops look puffy and golden.

Have you ever used RTR before? What'd you think? I'd love to know! 

However you spent this weekend, whether short or long, I hope it was restful, enjoyable and filled with delicious food! p.s. Is winter over yet? I need to be closer to fall! 

xoxo,

Pumpkin Girl 

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