Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Quinoa

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Yum! I woke up this morning feeling like it was time for a nice warm fall breakfast and I decided what could be better than a pumpkin spice quinoa! I did a quick google search for a basic recipe and happily chose the first recipe I saw …

Breakfast Quinoa with Pumpkin and Spice – start the day out with a super fast, protein packed bowl of warm pumpkin quinoa. Gluten free

via Breakfast Quinoa with Pumpkin and Spice.

This was a great starter recipe that was easy to build upon! I started out with some extra quinoa from our delicious Stuffed Acorn Squash dinner.


From there I followed all of the directions except I used 1/2 a tsp of pumpkin spice instead of cinnamon and 1/4 of a cup of almond milk after I microwaved it.


Unfortunately I found it to be rather bland so I started experimenting. First I added 2 more tablespoons of pumpkin, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 1/2 a tsp of vanilla. Then I microwaved it a few more minutes.


It still wasn’t as flavorful as I wanted it to be but I figured I could make it work. I added another 1/4 of a cup of vanilla almond milk topped it with 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds and slipped into breakfast bliss!


I might add a bit more vanilla and/or pumpkin pie spice next time I make this but it was delicious like this and I was too hungry to risk ruining it. I really like that this was made in one portion out of leftover quinoa a lot like oatmeal. With so many picky eaters in my house it is definitely better than making a whole pot of breakfast quinoa and watching it go to waste.

Here’s my make shift recipe

1 cup of cooked plain quinoa

1/4 of a cup or more canned pumpkin puree

1 Tablespoon of honey (maple syrup might be good here too!)

1/2 -1 teaspoon pumpkin spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 -1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup of vanilla almond milk (divided, depending on the consistency you want)

2 tablespoons almonds, pecans or walnuts

Mix all ingredients except nuts and 1/2 of milk in a microwave safe bowl.

Microwave on high 1 -1 1/2 minutes or until heated through

Add rest of milk and top with nuts if desired.


Do you have a favorite Quinoa and Pumpkin breakfast recipe to share?

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Southwestern Quinoa – Alaska from Scratch

7 Oct Stuffed Acorn Squash

Woohoo!!! I can’t wait to try this! I saw it in a forum on Google+ and thought it sounded soo yummy however, I was sad because I had never seen an acorn squash in my local stores. Low and behold I went to the store today and there they were!!! So of course I snagged one and will be making this for dinner…


1 acorn squash

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 of a red onion, finely chopped

1/2 of a jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (more or less, to taste)

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

salt to taste

1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup corn (fresh, frozen or canned/drained)

1 cup steamed quinoa

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup grated colby jack cheese


Preheat oven to 350. Pierce the acorn squash with a fork several times. Place the squash onto a sheet pan and roast whole until fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before handling.

Increase oven temp to broil.

While the squash is cooling, heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook the onions and jalapenos for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir in the black beans, corn, and quinoa and heat through. Toss in the fresh cilantro and taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed.

Slice the squash in half length-wise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Fill the halves with large scoops of the black bean and quinoa filling. Top with cheese and return to the oven on broil for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with additional cilantro and serve promptly.


Lime wedges and a hot sauce like Tapatio would be nice on the side.

via Acorn Squash Stuffed with Southwestern Quinoa – Alaska from ScratchAlaska from Scratch.

Since my family is so picky I only made one squash so anyone who was feeling adventurous to try it along with their baked chicken could have a piece. Almost everyone tried the quinoa but only my husband and middle daughter had the squash. She didn’t like her’s and couldn’t eat it but happily devoured the quinoa and had an additional helping of quinoa. My husband ate the entire 1/4 of a squash but did not state whether he liked it or not. After all the cooking involved I was not hungry so I just tasted a small bit of the quinoa with some chicken and it was absolutely delish! I did make a few small changes to the recipe to suit my family’s taste buds. I only used about an 1/8 of a cup of the red onions because the onion I had looked huge and half of it was probably a whole cup or more and my hubby doesn’t really like onions. Next I realized the jalapeno I planned on using  wasn’t any good so I used a small amount (appx 1 tsp) of my Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper Spice Blend (I like that it’s organic and I always have chilies on hand). I followed the rest of the recipe as stated and used 1/2 tsp of sea salt. I’m not sure if I will make the stuffed acorn squash again but I will make the quinoa stuffing it is a great side dish.

How does your family eat acorn squash?

List of Zero Calorie or Negative Calorie Foods

29 Sep

Nyc Fit Food Fashion!

Negative calories because they burn more calories during digestion than they have in them. awesome.

why are they zero calorie?? Well the theory is that it takes more calories to digest them than there is in them! I like this idea!

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Pillsbury Gluten Free Pizza Dough!

22 Sep

Ok, so I haven’t posted in awhile… It’s definitely not due to a lack of crazy meal attempts just a lack of time to write about them. However, while this pizza is busy baking


I figured I could take a few minutes to share my obvious blunder so you don’t repeat it!

Well to begin with the directions say to grease your hands and the baking sheet before pressing out the dough and baking it. Easy enough right. Wrong! My go to oil currently is coconut oil. Unfortunately, coconut oil solidifies below 76 F. So as I attempted to press this cold clump of dough out into a nice flat disk on my cutting board it solidified the oil beneath it and stuck. I was pressing it out on my plastic cutting board thinking I would be able to slide it off onto my hot baking stone that was warming in the oven. Bad idea…

Luckily, I was using one of those very thin flexible plastic cutting boards. So to get the pizza crust off the cutting board I placed it on my glass top stove which always heats up slightly when the oven is on. By the time the oven was preheated I was able to remove most of the crust fairly easily but not without ripping it in half. I put it on the baking stone and pieced it together the best I could and baked it for a few minutes then put on the toppings and cooked it the rest of the way. I like to use a Mexican Cheese blend on my pizza along with Turkey Pepperoni and black olives.


Unfortunately, I don’t think I cooked it long enough during the initial baking process for fear of burning it. While it was very tasty the dough was slightly under done, soft and gummy instead of the firm texture you would expect from a thin crust. I will assume this was my error and try this pizza crust again without the coconut oil. Have you tried this gluten free pizza crust yet? What toppings do you prefer on your pizza?


Quick And Easy Quinoa and Salmon Foil Pouches

10 Jun

If you can make it with rice you can make it with quinoa!

My family has just recently fallen in love wíth this wonder of the whole grain revolution. If you don’t already know the various health benefits of Quinoa (which isnt actually a grain by the way) you can read about them here.

Want the simple facts? Here is a basic nutritional comparison of brown rice vs. Quinoa

Brown Rice (1 cup, cooked) Calories: 218 grams (g), Carbs: 46g, Fiber: 3.5g, Net Carbs: 42.5g, Protein: 4.5g

Quinoa (1 cup, cooked) Calories: 222g, Carbs: 39g, Fiber: 5g, Net Carbs: 34g, Protein: 8g

I choose Quinoa hands down!

So when I saw this recipe and wanted to make it for dinner I was disappointed that it called for instant rice. I really wanted it so I tried it my way…

2 cups uncooked instant rice 1 cup uncooked Quinoa
1 3/4 cups Progresso® chicken broth 1 cup chicken broth (I used Swanson’s)
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots (I forgot to add these but I would have tried diced carrots, instead I served it with a cauliflower, broccoli and carrot mix)
4 salmon fillets
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning salt ( I used Mrs. dash lemon pepper and over did the pepper a bit since I didn’t measure it out)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt and didn’t measure it out)
1/3 cup fresh chives, chopped (couldn’t find any so sprinkled mine with dry parsley)
1 medium lemon, cut lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices

Notes / Directions
1. Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Spray four 18×12-inch sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil with cooking spray.
( I just heated the oven to 350 instead)

2. Mix rice Quinoa and broth in medium bowl. Let stand about 5 minutes or until most of broth is absorbed. Stir in carrots.

3. Place salmon fillet on center of each foil piece. Sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning salt and salt; top with chives. Arrange lemon slices over salmon. Spoon rice Quinoa mixture around each fillet. Fold foil over salmon and rice so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again. Allow space on sides for circulation and expansion.

4. Cover and grill packets 4 to 6 inches from low heat 11 to 14 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with fork. Place packets on plates. Cut large X across top of each packet; fold back foil.

USE YOUR OVEN. Place packets in single layer in 15×10×1-inch baking pan. Bake 20 min. or until salmon flakes easily with fork.


I’m not sure how long mine cooked because I forgot to set the timer but it was definitely delicious.


What are some other ways you’ve cooked or eaten Quinoa?

Baked Barbecue Chicken

8 Jun

Had a long busy day? Don’t feel like slicing, dicing and measuring? Here is a great easy and delicious recipe.

What I love best about this recipe is when I’m feeling extra lazy I just use some of the pre-seasoned chicken from the store so I don’t even have to measure anything. This oven baked barbecue chicken is a breeze! You can’t mess it up. You do need about 2 hrs start to finish to make it though. So make sure you pop it in the oven as soon as you get home if you’ve been out all day or you’ll be eating dinner at 10 o’clock like me.

One time I set the cook timer on the oven and had to leave the house. No one bothered to take it out of the oven and we discovered a new trick! If you want your chicken so tender and juicy that it falls off the bone turn the oven off once its done and leave it in the oven while you make the sides.

Eye Toe Eye

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Eye am so happy to see clearly again! I hope this is a topic where we don’t see “eye toe eye”.

I have had lots of silly accidents in my lifetime. Luckily, none of them have been major and I haven’t had any broken bones. One recurring theme especially in the kitchen has been getting things in my eye. Now when I get something in my eye I generally turn into a big whinny baby. Screaming, jumping up and down, trying not to mutter a single curse word, you get the picture. I always ask my husband what to do because I also seem to have brain fade at the same time. Every time, the same thing… “Wash your eye out.”. Why am I always shocked and frustrated by this answer?

I SUCK at washing my eye out. Remember, the above description of what happens when I get something in my eye?

Why can’t I simply rinse my eye out with water? I’ve had almost everything imaginable in my eye from the kitchen spices, lemon, jalapeño, hot grease and on occasion more than one ingredient at a time. My eyes sound kind of tasty!

This particular incident didn’t take place in the kitchen. I got poked in the eye with my daughters toe! How crazy is that? My eyes are just glutens for punishment. It’s amazing I can still see with all of the damage they have received over the years.

The best part of this response is the sincerity and sweetness of this little cutie next to me. She immediately came to my rescue, then promptly cleaned up all of her messes around the house. She’s still asking if my eye is ok.

This time my husband wasn’t around so I had to consult with others. Others meaning I looked it up online! I iced my eye for the pain and looked for information that could be pertinent to my situation. As usual the Internet scared me to death! For the first time I was actually aware of the very real possibility of losing my eyesight! I had never thought of this possibility during any of my other injuries. I decided I needed to take action so I called a nurse hotline.

The nurse did her best at assessing my situation and said I should seek treatment within three hours. Unfortunately, hubby was at work and he doesn’t have a nice little office job where he could just come get me and I didn’t feel safe driving with one eye and a major headache. Instead I called in a few favors and took some ibuprofen.

A few friends that also happen to be nurses stopped by and saw a possible cut. I assumed that all an ophthalmologist could do with a tiny scratch was give me some pain medication so I didn’t want to go waste money on something that would take care of itself. Boy was I wrong!

The next day was incredibly more painful. I couldn’t stand to open my eyes. Opening one eye was painful due to the squinting and to make matters worse it felt like something was in my eye. You know that annoying feeling when you get a bug in your eye or one of those tiny little styes on the tip of your eyelid?

I couldn’t take it anymore I needed more pain relief then I could get from 800 mg of ibuprofen and I needed to see to take care of my family and business.

I finally found an ophthalmologist and had to rush to get dressed and down to the office before they closed.

The sunlight was harsh! Even under sunglasses. I was very glad I didn’t try to drive on my own the day before.

Oh the joys of my first time ever seeing an ophthalmologist! Luckily, the doctor was great with me and very patient.

I wish I wasn’t the patient so I could have seen what they saw. My husband even got to check my out. They used a Fluorescein eye stain to look at it and asses the damage. Sure enough I had a nice little scratch across my eye. Luckily it was clean and free of debris or bacteria! I assume it looked something like this but a clean straight diagonal scratch.

I was very shocked by the treatment for this injury! I had no idea what the ophthalmologist was going to do for me. If I did I would have gone sooner. They were able to numb my eye of course which was already heaven. But for the treatment they applied an antibiotic using a contact lens! What a novel concept! Not only was the pain gone but so was that annoying feeling of having something in my eye. I felt human again!

I got home and made dinner and a few business calls and then Wham! The pain came back full force. It was excruciating. I had to lay down and rest my poor eyes. Luckily, It slowly got better as I got into the routine of applying the prescribed drops. It never got infected and I didn’t lose my eye. I’m very glad I saw the ophthalmologist though. It was well worth the silly copay’s to have piece of mind and enough pain relief to function in a half way decent manner. Without insurance… I don’t know what I would have done. Probably, just waited it out. The nurse even asked very concerned why did you wait so long. Before I could answer the ophthalmologist said “She thought it would take care of itself.”

It’s Not Burnt, It’s Cajun!

29 May

It’s kind of funny that I remember saying this to my mom all the time when I was younger! I’m almost positive I burn a lot more food than she ever did and she did it a lot. She always said she wanted to make sure it was done…
I can’t use that excuse for grilled cheese 😏.

I’m pretty sure it was done and it definitely wasn’t Cajun. I quickly removed most of the blackened burnt toast particles with a few swift flicks of my wrist as I had done and seen my mother do many times before and went on making lunch for the kids. I got to thinking though… Is the burnt stuff on this toast as bad for us as the black lines on grilled meat we talked about in What’s Good Isn’t Always Good For You?

I couldn’t spend too much time thinking about it because I still needed to find something for me to eat for lunch outside with the kids. As I continued making grill cheese sandwiches for the kids I considered eating one myself. I don’t recall my mother ever making grilled cheese sandwiches for me it probably isn’t something she has ever made. I believe my kids may have had their first grilled cheese sandwich at a Denny’s! Then one day my oldest started making them herself.

I have made very few grilled cheese sandwiches in my life until recently and I do find them tasty but didn’t think I should eat one. It seems to be the only thing I can really count on the little kids to happily ear for lunch lately. There was still the question of what to make for myself. I longed for leftovers from last nights Chipotle Chicken dinner but there wasn’t any. I dreamed of sushi salad but we didn’t have any cucumbers or carrots left. Finally, I decided to make a Jimmy Dean Southern Style Chicken Biscuit (which is apparently supposed to be for breakfast) and a salad. To make up for my lack luster lunch I grabbed a V8 Fusion drink.

Perhaps we should have tossed the burnt grilled cheese sandwich just to be on the safe side according to Doctor Oz’s article on Toxic Toast Do you eat your burnt toast or toss it?

A Special Sunday: A Mix of Mother’s Day Blogs

29 May

I just found this and its so full of rich and inspiring blogs but I don’t have the time to check them all out now so I had to reblog it for myself and anyone else that may be open to finding a few new blogs to follow. So far my favorites are Spilled Milk and Butterfly Mind. Who are you already following are planning to follow from this list?

WordPress.com News

In some parts around the world, this Sunday is dedicated to the mothers out there. For Mother’s Day, we’ve rounded up sites on motherhood, parenting, and family. On WordPress.com, you’ll discover mothers on all paths: new moms, stay-at-home-moms, single moms, mothers who are full-time writers, and more. (Even mommy men, as you’ll see below.)

We especially want to highlight bloggers with unique perspectives and thoughtful commentary, as well as collaborative blogs with multiple contributors. So, we hope you enjoy this sampling of sites in honor of this special day.

Butterfly Mind

Creative nonfiction writer Andrea Badgley lives with her husband and two children in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia. In the past, she’s caught our eye with thoughtful posts on both family and the writing life: a piece on putting food on the table, and a post on revisiting her childhood diaries. Her blog is a delight: lovely musings on 

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My New Love

28 May

I am completely obsessed with my most recent meal discovery The California Sushi Roll in a bowl! I have my dear hubbies picky palette to thank for it!

We have been on a roll this week with Asian influenced meals. I usually try and use up leftovers the next day with lunch or dinner if I can. We had a lot of rice noodle shrimp soup leftover from the other day so I decided to make Orange Chicken and rice as the main entree.

For some reason my hubby is not a fan of Orange Chicken and didn’t want the leftover soup either. I decided I should find another item to add to the menu for dinner and started searching for imitation crab recipes. I was hoping to find a simple crab salad I might even be able to send with him to work. As soon as I saw the title for the recipe California Roll in a Bowl I knew I had to make it!

The ingredients for the salad are pretty straight forward and simple. Lettuce, carrots, crab, avocado, cucumbers and rice. I used a squeeze tube of ginger and wasabi to mix in the soy sauce and rice vinegar dressing. I didn’t know how to toast seaweed and we aren’t super excited about sesame seeds so we didn’t worry about those parts.

I love eating sushi rolls but I hate making them due to all the prep involved before you get a roll done so I don’t make them very often. I may try adding some tempura shrimp and mirin next time to see if it tastes like a crunchy shrimp roll as well as a little extra wasabi to turn up the heat a bit. What type of sushi bowl would you like?

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