Pumped for PUMPKIN

Happy National Pumpkin Day!

I want to thank Danielle from Clean Food and Creative Fitness for her pumpkin post… otherwise I would have never known!

Today I am going to be doing a recipe round-up of all the pumpkin recipes I have made on this blog. This includes recipes with pumpkin as the main ingredient, as well as recipes that just contain pumpkin.

Ready?

To start, let’s go all the way back to my first ever pumpkin recipes that I posted on Eating 4 Balance (note the progressive photo quality of my pictures…).

Sweet Pumpkin Microwave Muffin

AND

Savory Microwave Pumpkin Bread

Next up is my Pumpkin Cookie Dough!

Then we have my quinoa cookies… I really need to try these cookies again with some substitutions to make them even better!

Here is the bread I made for my trip to Stratford, Canada:

Banana Pumpkin Protein Bread (2 servings)

And here is my single-serving version:

My last two recipes come from one of my Friday Food Finds:

Microwave Brownies (with pumpkin puree).

And Pumpkin Banana Bread Batter.

*Edited to add: I almost forgot my most recent recipe using pumpkin, sorry!

Microwave Sandwich Bread (for those vegan gluten-free people out there craving some bread!!)

As you can obviously tell from this post:

  1. My pictures have gotten so much better from that very first Sweet Pumpkin Microwave Muffin.
  2. Banana and pumpkin make a perfect patch. Check out my round-up of banana recipes from National Banana Day.

For even more pumpkin ideas, check out my posts tagged pumpkin.

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I hope you enjoyed all of these pumpkin recipes!

Have you got a pumpkin recipe to share? Leave a link in the comments!

Would you rather eat pumpkin, or carve a pumpkin?

Do you have a National Pumpkin Day round-up on your blog? Leave a link and I’ll include it in my post. Or just tag back to me and that would be even simpler!

WIAW- Randomness, Workouts and Recipes

Hello everyone! It’s Wednesday so you know what that means…
Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

If you missed any of my last few posts, check them out here: Weekend WIAW (3 Recipes), Sunshine in My Fridays, and Holiday Hustle: Thanksgiving Workout.

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As always, thanks to the lovely Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting this awesome party. Seriously, I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have this to look forward to every week!

Today’s WIAW will again feature some of things that I made over the weekend, as well as my some thoughts.

To start off… A new recipe!

As a food allergy gal, I seriously miss my daily serving of bread. I used to eat this one kind of lite whole wheat bread multiple times a day. Toast with peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled chicken sandwiches… heck I even topped my bread with Greek yogurt on occasion! Mostly though, I miss the convenience of bread, and the delicious sandwiches that it made.

So, when I saw this recipe over at The Brain and Body for a microwave English muffin, I knew that I had to give making sandwich bread a try. Now, my recipe looks absolutely nothing like Sarah’s, but it was the inspiration that I give her credit for. Okay, are you ready?

Microwave Sandwich Bread

High fiber, Gluten-free, vegan, high protein, sugar free, low sodium, corn-free

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop brown rice protein powder (16 grams)*
  • 1 tbsp brown rice flour (8 grams)*
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (sodium and corn-free)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (60 grams)*
  • 2 tbsp water (more or less if needed)
  • add salt or seasonings if desired

Directions:

1. Mix together all of the ingredients and spread the mixture out in a cereal bowl. Cook for 2 minutes. If moist on bottom flip over and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

2. Let cool slightly then slice carefully with a thin, sharp knife.

3. Fill with meat, veggies, tofu, nut butters, jams, etc. and enjoy!

*Substitution notes: The protein powder and rice could be replaced with any flours desired  and should yield good results (just make sure to use equivalent amount in weight). I cannot make any guarantees though because I haven’t tried any variations. The pumpkin puree could also probably be subbed with another squash puree, banana puree (for a sweet bread), or an equivalent amount in egg.

I filled my sandwich with chicken and lettuce. It was so good! I hadn’t realized how much I had missed my sandwiches…

Oh, and what’s that in the picture?

No, not the sandwich!

Why, it’s butternut squash!

But it’s not just any butter nut squash. It’s…

Microwave Butternut Squash!

That’s right, I have now done it again. First I made acorn squash in the microwave, and now butternut. My life is almost complete.

How to Cook Butternut Squash in the Microwave

Inspired by my microwave Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe butternut squash
  • 1 plate
  • 1 sharp knife (I actually used a butter knife and it worked!)
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 microwave

Directions:

1. Cut the squash in half.

2. Scoop out the seeds and place both halves on a plate.

3. Microwave the squash for 10-15 minutes and check it with a fork. Microwave for a few more minutes until soft, tender and done.

After seeing Jenn’s butternut squash fry recipe on her last WIAW, I decided that it was a must-have for my Friday Food Finds. However, time was not on my side, so instead I decided that microwaving it would just have to do for now.

I also attempted to make some mini cookie dough cakes featuring rice flour, applesauce, and apple chunks. Basically I just mixed together those ingredients with some stevia and baking powder, and Wah-La!

They turned out alright, but not exactly what I wanted. Before I post a recipe I am going to keep on experimenting!

So, that’s 3 out of 4 recipes complete for my FFF. I’d call that a MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Now for some randomness from my weekend:

My mom and I made some Candy Corn Popcorn from a recipe on Fitnessista.

Basically you just melt some butter, candy corn, sugar, salt and vanilla together all in a pot on the stove. Then pour it over some freshly popped (plain) popcorn.

Let cool. Then EAT UP!

My mom said it was delicious. I mean, how could it NOT taste good?!

For those of you with allergies, this is not an allergy-free recipe, which is why I did not post it with the others. I’m sure that there are some ways to modify this if you are allergic to a few of the ingredients. Either way, it’s a really cute concept!

Random side bar:

I actually put away all of my things when I cam back to my dorm this weekend!

Last week I left a lot of my stuff still packed and lying around. Not this week though- I was proactive!

Look! I even got serious:

HAIR-IN-BUN = GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Let’s see. What other randomness do I have to share with you all today?

How about the back of a Cheez-It box?

If that’s not random, I don’t know what is!

Alright. Not so random is the workout that I posted yesterday on Eating 4 Balance. It’s called Holiday Hustle: Thanksgiving Workout.

It’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s super easy to adapt to whatever fitness requirements you may have. I did 30 second intervals yesterday, and today I increased them up to 40 seconds. To keep time I used this handy little Tabata tool I found through a Yahoo! search.

And yes, I prefer Yahoo! over Google. Don’t judge.

Anyways, this workout is great at increasing your heart rate and working up a sweat in a small amount of time. And as a bonus it includes a plank, perfect for Carrots N’ Cake’s 4 Week Plank Challenge.

https://i2.wp.com/carrotsncake.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/2012-10-23_0833.png

Here are the details copied straight from her site:

The Plank Challenge is actually really simple. It will take place for a total of 4 weeks (October 22 – November 16) and will only require 10 minutes or less of your time on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week. Monday and Friday will be time trial days when you hold a plank, time yourself, and record it. On Wednesdays, I’ll (Carrots N’ Cake ) post a plank/core workout (10 minutes or less) on CNC to help you build up your strength and stamina. Basically, the weeks will look like this:

  • Monday: Time trial
  • Wednesday: Plank/core workout
  • Friday: Time trial – try to beat Monday’s plank time!

Who’s with me? I did a 30 second plank yesterday, and a 40 second plank today as part of my Holiday Hustle. I’m sure that I could go longer, but for now I’m happy with small doses.

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Boy do I have a lot of questions for you all today!

What is your favorite thing to make in the microwave? Ever tried cooking squash?

What is your favorite type of Cheez-Its? Mine used to be Sour Cream and Onion, Mozzarella, or the Four Cheese.

Have you tried out my Holiday Hustle workout yet? It’s a perfect way to get into the Thanksgiving spirit!

Are you going to join me in Carrots N’ Cake’s 4 Week Plank Challenge?

Weekend WIAW (With 3 Recipes)

It’s yet another Wednesday, and time for yet another WIAW! If you missed my other posts from last week, here they are: What I Ate/Watched Wednesday, Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Bread, and Things I’ll Never Know I’ll Never Know (And Another FFF!).

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So…. Notice anything different about Eating 4 Balance?

I’ve changed the header! Fall is all around and I wanted to make the blog’s header and background fit the season appropriately.

It is slowly but surely getting colder, and I am loving every second of it. Long jeans, boots, sweatshirts and fuzzy socks. I love it all!

Especially the food that comes with the cold weather. Thanksgiving feasts and Christmas cookies… My favorite part of the year!

Speaking of Fall… Halloween is coming up soon, which brings us to WIAW, themed appropriately with Spooky Snacks and Healthy Treats!

Thanks Peas and Crayons!
Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

This WIAW is going to be a summary of the food I made over the weekend, inspired in part by my last Friday Food Finds #4.

First up, microwave brownies!

Microwave Brownies

Serving size: 2 brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp brown rice protein powder (8 grams)*
  • 2 tbsp carob powder (10 grams)*
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (sodium and corn-free)
  • 1 packet stevia (if desired)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (60 g)*
  • Water, if needed to thin out

Directions: Combine all ingredients and spread in a microwaveable container. Microwave for 1:30 to 2:30 minutes until cooked to desired texture.

Substitution Notes: You can replace the protein powder with regular flour, the carob powder with cocoa powder, and the pumpkin puree with any other kind of fruit puree.

The next recipe that I have for you is inspired by Chockohlawtay’s healthy cookie dough recipes.

Pumpkin Banana Bread Batter

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (120 grams)
  • 1 banana, mashed (100 grams)
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flakes or oatmeal
  • 2 tbsp brown rice protein powder (16 grams)
  • 2 packets stevia

Directions: Combine all ingredients and refrigerate or freeze until thickened. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!

Oh man is this good! After taking a few bites I had a moment of inspiration and remembered one of my Friday Food Find recipes: zucchini muffins!

So… I just add some shredded zucchini- Instant zucchini bread batter! Shredded carrots would be great too.

Then, I had another idea. Why not add some baking powder and microwave this batter to make REAL zucchini bread muffins?

It was okay, but the batter was much better. Actually, isn’t that always the case? I remember when I younger that I would beg my mom to make chocolate chip cookies just so I could eat the dough. The cookies themselves? I usually only ate one or two. Ha!

And I saved my best recipe for last. Well,  actually it is more of a How-To.

Before my mom drove up on Friday to take me back for the weekend, she texted me and asked if there was anything I needed. One of the things I asked for was acorn squash! When I was still home my mom taught me her trick  for making it in the microwave. And I’m going to share it here so that you can make squash super quick too!

How To Cook Acorn Squash in the Microwave

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe acorn squash
  • 1 plate
  • 1 sharp knife (I actually used a butter knife and it worked!)
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 microwave

Directions:

1. Cut the squash in half.

2. Scoop out the seeds and place both halves on a plate.

3. Microwave the squash for 8-10 minutes and check it with a fork. Microwave for a few more minutes until soft, tender and done.

Other than food this weekend, I also visited my grandmother’s for my environmental allergy shot. Ugh.

Here’s a picture of the damage. It really doesn’t do my arm justice at all. After an allergy shot it gets really swollen and hot. Sometimes it even turns into a huge goose egg. Next time. Next time!

In more exciting news, I went to see Pitch Perfect this weekend:

The beginning was a little slow to start, but when you have Fat Amy making cracks every few seconds the film just flew by! I loved all of the songs that they sang and was amazed at how well the actors did with the acapella.

If you haven’t already seen it, YOU NEED TO.

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Do you like the batter/dough of recipes or the finished product better?

Have you ever tried making squash in the microwave?

What exciting things did you do this weekend?

Things I’ll Never Know I’ll Never Know (And Another FFF!)

If you missed my last two posts, check out my WIAW from Wednesday and my Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Bread from Thurdsday.

Wow! This will be my third post this week. That has got to be some kind of record for me.

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One of the blogs that I follow, Carrots N’ Cake, had an awesome post today about The Mindset List, a list created “to reflect the world view of entering first year students.”

As a student of the Class of 2016, here are a few of the things that they listed for me:

3. The Biblical sources of terms such as “Forbidden Fruit,” “The writing on the wall,” “Good Samaritan,” and “The Promised Land” are unknown to most of them.

I have heard of every. single. one. of. these. stories. Unless you don’t go to church I think you’d have heard of all of these stories too.

13. They can’t picture people actually carrying luggage through airports rather than rolling it.

Ugh. I wish rolling suitcases were never invented. They make me feel weak and incapable of carrying my own things. I normally just carry the darn thing. It brings so much attention when you roll over a bump or crack in the floor!

15. While still fans of music on radio, they often listen to it on their laptops or replace it with music downloaded onto their MP3s and iPods.

Actually, I don’t really listen to music very often, but when I do, it is always on the radio. Never on my iPod touch. There are more important things to take up space on my beloved Apple gadget. Like myfitnesspal. Or Christmas Cookie Decorator…. (Yes, I do realize the  irony of those statements).

20. Exposed bra straps have always been a fashion statement, not a wardrobe malfunction to be corrected quietly by well-meaning friends.

If my friends let me walk around with my bra straps hanging out, I would be so angry. This is still a major wardrobe malfunction in my opinion, and I will always tell someone.

26. Having made the acquaintance of Furby at an early age, they have expected their toy friends to do ever more unpredictable things.

As stated previously, Furbies creep me out. However, one Christmas I did get this awesome electronic dog who could basically do whatever I wanted. She was my first real pet. I was so upset when she broke went to heaven.

27. Outdated icons with images of floppy discs for “save,” a telephone for “phone,” and a snail mail envelope for “mail” have oddly decorated their tablets and smart phone screens.

I remember floppy discs! I wasn’t born yesterday…. I’ve never actually used one, but I can recall the dozens of floppy disks that would scatter my Professor Dad’s desk at any given moment. And sometimes I would even get to keep an “old” one because I thought that they were so cool!

47. Before they purchase an assigned textbook, they will investigate whether it is available for rent or purchase as an e-book.

Again, no. I cannot stand doing homework or reading textbooks on the internet. Hard-copies are and always will be my favorite mode of book reading.

56. They have always enjoyed school and summer camp memories with a digital yearbook.

Seriously? Where do they come up with stuff? I was on the Yearbook Staff in High School, officially in charge of some of the “Club” pages. Yes, we did the work on a computer, and yes, it was mostly in color, but NO. NO. NO. We do not have a digital yearbook. That would have been awesome!

59. They know many established film stars by their voices on computer-animated blockbusters.

Yes. This is a constant competition between my younger brother and me. Whoever names the actor first wins is just automatically cooler. It really impresses my parents when I can pick out an actor just by their voice from the other room…

68. They watch television everywhere but on a television.

True. I don’t have a television in my dorm room so I am forced to watch delayed episodes on the likes of Netflix and Hulu. Oh the horror!

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Today just also happens to be Friday, and another weekend that I am going home. This time, it’s to pick up a few things that I forgot last weekend (tennis shoes and baking powder), and also to get my dreaded allergy shot (for environmental allergies).

Since my first part of this post had nothing to do with food, and since this is a food-type blog, I figured that I should do another Friday Food Finds!

To read more about FFF, here are my past three previous posts:

Friday Food Finds #1 (Mission Accomplished)

Friday Food Finds #2

Friday Food Finds #3

First up is a simple recipe that I used to make all of the time before my food allergies. It comes from Spoonful of Sugar Free. I’ll probably replace the cocoa with carob powder and try to make it vegan. Bitter chocolate cake:

Something off of Neverhomemaker’s awesome list of pumpkin recipes. Maybe a variation on her pumpkin lasagna?

Some type of recipe from Chockohlawtay because this girl knows her stuff! Check out her post today on her food allergies and let’s gaze fondly at one of her cookie dough recipes:

The last recipe idea for today features vegetables because I feel obligated to share something green and nutritious:

Zucchini bread muffins (with some substitutions) from Talk Less-Say More:

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Any recipes that have caught your eye lately? Let me know!

It’s really hard for me to find recipes that don’t need adapting, so any tips are appreciated. Here are my criteria just in case you have a recipe in mind: MUST BE egg-free, milk-free, gluten-free (no oats), peanut-free, corn-free, celery-free, tomato-free. For the time being, I am also avoiding all nuts/oil/seeds, beans, and a few fruits/veggies that cause me stomach problems.

If you find a recipe that meets some or most of that criteria, post a comment on here! Also, if you see something SUPER AWESOME that is a great “concept” post a comment. I love experimenting in the kitchen!

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Questions:

Go to the Mindset List and find the year that you graduated (or will graduate) from college. Pick one of the numbers and report back here as to why it is totally TRUE or totally FALSE!

What are some of your Friday Food Finds? Haven’t really thought about it? How about next week you post a FFF post, link back here and we can have a food party!!