It’s My Pumpkin Pie, Little Bit of Potato Such a Sweet Surprise: Vegan Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie with Rosemary Nut Crust

Well swingin’ to the flour swingin’ to the cream
Swingin’ what I crave ’cause that’s my extreme
Swingin’ to the whole food and swingin’ to the lean
If I think about how I feel I prefer to eat clean yeah

I Weird Al Yankovic’d the song because I heard it and now all I think about is pie with Thanksgiving around the corner (yes, I verbed his name). Pie seems to be focus of my thoughts after attending a Twin Peaks RR diner pop up serving Coop’s favorite cherry pie and the endless piles of apple and pumpkin pie at the grocery store. Holiday time is the hardest time of year for me to stay clean. Especially with sweets. So I wanted to make a pie that was tasty and healthy that would not leave me with sugar lows and loads of guilt. Crust of pecan, hazelnut, dates and a dash of rosemary. Filling of fresh pumpkin and sweet potato, sweetened with dates and banana, fattened with cashews, macadamia and coconut. With traditional spices that make up pumpkin pie plus a little Indian spice magic. No gluten,  no dairy, no eggs or refined sugar. This is my new holiday pumpkin sweet potato pie.


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He who goes to bed hungry dreams of pancakes: flourless, dairy-free whole food protein pancakes with coconut milk date “syrup”

I absolutely love pancakes. I moved away from beautiful fluffy buttermilk pancakes to oat, almond cottage cheese pancakes – protein packed, no refined sugars or flours. Within the realm of flour/grain free pancakes I see recipes for pancakes made of banana, eggs and a  dollop of almond butter…but these are full of sugar. So I set out to make a whole food pancake, sweetened with only a little banana and date, loaded with protein and fiber. The winner was a butternut squash, almond butter, banana pancake sweetened with whole dates and topped with a coconut milk, date vanilla “syrup.” And what perfect timing! This was not planned (honestly!), but I just found out that today Tuesday, February 9 2016 is pancake day. Pancakes are in the air.


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Let them eat cake: Flourless butternut squash and almond butter cake with chocolate avocado banana frosting

We went to a bittersweet going away party – saying goodbye to our friend who held his party and introduced us to an amazing record shop run by welcoming, smart and fun people. We had a great time. Our two year old daughter was a little annoyed that there could be a “party” that did not involve singing happy birthday, cake and a bouncy castle. When I asked her if she had fun, she said “yeah, but no cake. no cake. no cake?!” I don’t think I realized how many parties she must have celebrated in daycare/preschool – and the preschool’s idea of healthy cake involves a pound of sugar. So I decided to show her that she could have cake that was healthy and tasty…with frosting. Flourless, no refined sugars and made with whole food ingredients.


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Wake me up before you go go: Flourless energy cookies with coconut, nuts, sunflower seeds, currants and more

Recently I have had a lot of conversations with people that ask about my lack of sleep and schedule during the day. My schedule is pretty typical and routine for a full-time working mom, but seems to shock people that don’t have kids or have forgotten what it was like. The number one question I am asked is, how are you able to work out at 5 am after only a few hours of sleep? Really, there is no choice for me right now, so I just do. The next question is what do you eat for breakfast? I eat more like a hobbit than human with an early wake up call – breakfast, second breakfast and an elevensies. So it requires having a lot of food around. The easier it is for me to eat and the more filling, sustaining and nourishing it is, the better off I am (and less likely to reach for junk since I have a constant desire to eat). That’s what makes these energy cookies so good: rich with good fats and protein from a variety of nuts and seeds, fiber from oats and sweetened with nothing but banana, dates and bites of currants so I don’t crash.


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V is for Veggie, with a side of eggie

Today was one of those days I am thankful that I cook in advance and cook in large batches so I have food for several days. As a veggie, these Whole30-like program can prove to be difficult without some thought and advance planning (especially for someone like me who refuses to call a smoothie and a side of veg a meal and refuses to break the rules with legumes and quinoa in the first few weeks).

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