Vegan Pumpkin Pie {Gluten Free} + Giveaway

   Vegan Pumpkin Pie {Gluten Free}  

I was asked to participate in the “#SoyInspired for Thanksgiving” campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time.

Oh. My. Gosh. Is Thanksgiving really next week? It’s insane how quickly the time is flying by.

I don’t know about you guys, but pumpkin pie is one our favorites during the Holiday season. I would be quite sad if I couldn’t eat it due to allergies or intolerances which is why I wanted to make a vegan, gluten free version.

I have told you before about my 3 year old’s egg allergy. Well I decided to introduce Baby E, who is 10 months, to egg yolk and unfortunately she got a rash around her mouth and redness under her eyes so it’s probably likely she has an egg allergy too at this point. Bummer.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie {Gluten Free}

Luckily there are a few baking tricks for making things egg-free and I am going to tell you about one of them. I am also helping those new to soy get #soyinspired this Thanksgiving.

Silken tofu is what makes this vegan pumpkin pie extra creamy and rich without any eggs….and it’s such a cinch to make, just like the regular version. If you’re not familiar with silken tofu, it’s differs from regular tofu in it’s appearance, the way it’s made and it’s texture. Silken tofu has a pudding-like quality and is much softer and smoother than regular tofu, which makes it perfect for things like dessert, soups and salad dressings.

Soy is an excellent source of lean, healthy, no-cholesterol protein and since it has a neutral flavor, it’s easy to pair with a wide variety of your favorite fall foods.

You will NEVER know that there is tofu in this pie. Seriously. I’ll bet you! Also, no eggs or dairy, but still full of yummy pumpkin flavor!

Vegan Pumpkin Pie {Gluten Free}

I had to experiment with crusts but ultimately decided on a pecan oatmeal crust that will be great for those on a gluten free diet. And to keep it all vegan, I went with a coconut whipped cream for topping if desired.

It was my first time making coconut whipped cream and though I think it’s a great option for those who can’t eat dairy, I much prefer the dairy based whipped cream. Maybe I just need to experiment with the different brands, but I’m including the recipe on how to make it plus a great guide I just found here on the different brands.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie {Gluten Free}

If you are interested experimenting with soy beyond tofu, here are some options. Just look for the non-GMO label when choosing your soy food.

Soy sour cream
Soy cream cheese
Soy flour
Soy Oil
Canned soybeans

And this is the a month of giveaways over here! The Soyfoods Council is celebrating a #SoyInspired Thanksgiving with a giveaway certain to make holiday entertaining easier: a $200 Williams Sonoma gift card!

Enter here:


Vegan Pumpkin Pie {Gluten Free}

[Tweet “Easy Vegan & Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie! via @nutritiouseats #soyinspired #thanksgiving”]

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Pumpkin Pie {Gluten Free}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
a delicious creamy Pumpkin pie that is vegan and gluten free. No one will ever know it's made with tofu!
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 8
  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra firm silken tofu
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
For the pie crust
  • 1 cup rolled oats, certified gluten free
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water
For the coconut whipped cream:
  • 1 (14 ounce) can cold coconut cream or coconut milk (water removed)- keep can in the refrigerator before using
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar (or preferred sweetener)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make the pie crust, in a food processor combine oats, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and coconut oil. Pulse until mixture just starts to come together. Add 1 Tablespoon cold water and process for 30-60 seconds.
  2. Transfer mixture to a pie plate, using your hands pat down and up the sides of the pan. Bake for ~10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. For the filling, in a food processor (or blender) add silken tofu and puree until smooth. Then add pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and cornstarch and puree until well combined and smooth.
  4. Pour pumpkin pie filling into cooled pie crust (you might end up with a little extra filling depending on the depth of your pie dish). Bake pie at 350 degrees for ~45 minutes.
To make the coconut whipped cream:
  1. Open can of coconut cream, scoop out cream to a bowl. Using cold beaters (you can place them in the fridge or freezer prior to using) beat coconut cream for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add 2 Tablespoons of sugar and vanilla extract. Serve immediately or transfer to a container or bowl and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Re-whip if needed using cold beaters.
Do not substitute regular tofu for the silken as it won't result in the same creamy texture (you can however sub firm silken). You can find silken tofu in the refrigerated section of the store or in a Tetra Pack on shelf in an aisle (Mori-Nu is the most common shelf-stable brand).
Also note that over baking will result in cracks in your pie.

Questions: Have you ever used silken tofu? Do you have family/friends with food allergies? Have you planned your Thanksgiving menu yet??!

Black Bean and Veggie Stuffed Spaghetti Squash


Potty training. That basically sums up our weekend. This is my third kiddo going through potty training and I’ll have to say it is going really well! We talked about it with him for several weeks before and told him when he turned 3, we wouldn’t be using diapers anymore. I think all that preparation paid off, because he was very comfortable with the whole process. I am curious to see how this week at pre-shool goes, but I have high hopes!

We also finished off last season of Parenthood which is just about my favorite show ever (in addition to LOST). We just found the most recent season on Hulu so we are super excited. This whole no cable thing is working out great!

So let’s talk food. You know what I love about squash? They last forever. Well maybe not forever but usually 2-3 months. Here is a good guide to what to look for when a spaghetti squash goes bad.

Remember when I told you I brought a few home from this trip? I sort of forgot about a couple of them that I left in the garage and when I was looking for something to make for dinner and lo and behold I spotted the squash.


There are so many great ways to stuff a spaghetti squash, including this Mexican version with beans, veggies, spices, cheese and salsa. Those are things I always have on hand so it made sense. I basically try to “Mexicanize” any and everything possible. What can I say, I miss my Mexican food.

And the sour cream. I know it’s not the healthiest addition, Greek yogurt would be a great substitute, but sometimes I just love the creaminess of sour cream.


So yummy guys! Oh and you can totally make these ahead of time and reheat the whole thing when you are ready to eat. Just hold off on adding the sour cream until you’re ready to serve.

StuffedSpagSquash StuffedSpagSquash-2

5.0 from 3 reviews
Black Bean & Veggie Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This loaded spaghetti squash is perfect for a meatless meal- full of beans and veggies, topped with all the fixings, high in fiber and good for you!
Recipe type: Main entree or Side
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and pulp removed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 small red onion, diced (~3/4 cup)
  • 1½ cups or 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup fresh pico de gallo or salsa
  • sour cream
  • avocado or guacamole
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil sprayed with cooking spray. Place spaghetti squash halves cut side down on cookie sheet. Bake for ~30-35 minutes until tender. Let cool (this step can be done in advance).
  2. In a large non stick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add onions, then zucchini and sauté for ~6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add black beans, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
  3. Using a spoon scoop out the strands of spaghetti squash and add to the bean mixture. Stir well to combine. Taste for additional seasoning if needed.
  4. Divide mixture back into the 2 spaghetti squash shells. Top each with ~1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Turn on broiler, place spaghetti squash bake on cookie sheet and broil for ~2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with fresh salsa, sour cream, chopped cilantro and avocado or guacamole.



 Questions: What do you like to stuff your spaghetti squash with? What is your favorite squash?


Carrot Soup {Vegan, Gluten Free}


Sometimes eating healthy food that you know is good for you makes it taste even better. I kind of feel that way about this soup. I mean it’s not a cheeseburger, but it makes me feel good and healthy. That’s pretty important in my opinion!

I get carrots in my CSA box every week. Giant carrots. I get tired of roasting them or slicing them into sticks because I have been doing that for months on end. This time I made a soup.

A study published in 2002 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that cooking carrots increases their level of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene belongs to a group of antioxidant substances called carotenoids, which give fruits and vegetables their red, yellow, and orange colorings. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which plays an important role in vision, bone growth, reproduction and immune system regulation.

What’s great about cooking vegetables different ways is that you get to experience an entirely different flavor. I am not going to say it suits everyone, but it’s worth experimenting with the way you prepare vegetables.

Carrots are really quite sweet and paired with some spices and touch of honey, you get that spicy sweet combo. This soup is low calorie and high fiber. All veggie goodness!

I even got my kids to eat a few bites, although next time I think I will puree a portion without the spices just for them.


Don’t like carrots? Butternut squash would be a great stand-in!


and what made this soup even more exciting to make is that I made it with my new Nutri Ninja DUO with Auto-IQ.

Ninja was one of the sponsors at the IFBC (International Food Blogger Conference) and they were kind enough to send a bunch of us conference attendees this amazing blender to try.

I have been wanting to buy a nice blender for a while now, and let me just say the $100 good-brand name blender we bought 2 years ago is not cutting it (no pun intended). I won’t name names but let’s just say that I was one happy camper when this arrived.

I will post some more recipes using the Nutri Ninja (the smaller cup) because they are all made to serve different purposes. The Auto IQ technology offers unique blending, pulsing and pausing patterns that is made to give you the most  consistent results.

I couldn’t believe how powerful this blender was- I went with the puree option and stopped it about half way through the minute because the soup was already perfectly pureed. I love the sturdy plastic container, the easy to fit and remove lid and the amazing “total crushing” blade that literally has 6 blades that run vertically up the insert to allow for easy crushing of ice and pureeing of vegetables and fruits .


so back to the soup, you don’t need a good blender to make it, but it sure did make it more fun!


Need something easy, healthy and warm on a cold fall day?

[Tweet “Carrot Soup {Vegan, Gluten Free}- good and good for you! via @nutritiouseats”]

Carrot Soup {Vegan, Gluten Free}

Serving Size: 4-6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 pounds carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2-3 teaspoons honey
  • unsalted sunflower seeds (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot on medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for ~6-7 minutes or until tender. Add carrots,season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for ~10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper. Add broth, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and cook until carrots are tender ~20 minutes.
  3. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Return mixture to the pot, stir in honey, taste and adjust for seasoning (more cayenne, salt, pepper, etc.)


Recipe adapted from Pike Place Market Recipes Cookbook

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

Disclaimer: I received a Ninja blender for free, but was not required to review or create this recipe. All opinions are my own. 

Pumpkin Cream Cheese


I was at Target the other day….can we just pause for a moment and talk about how great Target is? No, we don’t even have to, it’s just known to all. I love that I can go and get toiletries, cute clothes and a few groceries if needed. It’s my happy place…as long as I am not with all 4 of my children, then it’s a madhouse because even they get so excited when they are there that they beg for everything.

On this particular trip I had to return some clothes and then afterwards I headed over to the grocery section to grab some milk. I passed Philadelphia brand pumpkin cream cheese and reached to put it in my cart because it sounded soooo good and I just had to have it…. But then I immediately paused (like usual) and said to myself “no. no, I can just make my own”. I always tell myself this. I am quite confident in my cooking skills apparently. Not that mixing regular cream cheese with pumpkin and other stuff is hard, I just always assume I can make whatever it is I can find in the store. I am not sure if this is a good trait or bad one.

Anyway, I left and forgot about it…..until I made pumpkin pancakes for breakfast and started to put away the leftover pumpkin and realized I need to do this. This will be so good to have on hand for toast, crackers, to use as a fruit dip, to eat with a spoon, etc.

And boy was it delicious. I say was, because I made it Sunday and it’s gone now. My son said “it’s soooooo much better than regular cream cheese”. In fact it kind of tastes like pumpkin cheesecake which is one of our favorites by far.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese |

So the trick to getting it nice and fluffy is to wait until the cream cheese has softened before beating it.

I never think to take things out ahead of time so I have been known to turn on the oven and let the butter or cream cheese warm up a little (I have to set it by close to where the steam escapes to do this). Or if you are in a big hurry to make this, just pop your cream cheese in the microwave for a few seconds. If it hasn’t softened, you’ll get those little clumps and it won’t be as smooth and fluffy.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese |

Anyway, mix in some spices, a little brown sugar, vanilla and the pumpkin and you are done. Less than 5 minutes and you have this amazing dip, spread, what ever you want to call it. It’s heavenly.

And I paired it with these fantastic, amazing, delicious hazelnut and cranberry Raincoast Crisps I got from the IFBC conference (which reminds me I still have a post to do about the food). These are too good with this pumpkin cream cheese. I can’t even handle it. Go find some, make this pumpkin cream cheese and be happy.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese |

[Tweet “Pumpkin Cream Cheese- use as a dip or spread (it tastes like pumpkin cheesecake!) via @nutritiouseats “]

Pumpkin Cream Cheese


  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Cinnamon sugar for topping (optional)


  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and using an electric mixer beat until all ingredients are incorporated and cream cheese is light and fluffy.
  2. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before serving (optional).
  3. Store in an airtight container and enjoy on bagels, toast, crackers or as a fruit dip.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

 Questions: do you ever buy the flavored cream cheese? Have you made anything with pumpkin yet?

Blackened Seasoning Mix and Blackened Fish Recipe


Hi friends! I am excited to participate in Recipe Redux for the first time, a recipe challenge group founded by Registered Dietitians. What happens here is a group of bloggers (aka “the recipe redux members”) create a recipe each month using an assigned theme. It’s all about reinventing healthy eating. I always enjoy seeing the creativity that goes into these posts, plus it’s a great way to find new blogs.

Our theme this month is “Spooky Spices”, you know those spices that are lurking in the back of your spice cabinet collecting dust. Well we are putting those spices to good use today!


I’ve got a cabinet filled with spices and dried herbs. While I don’t have too many that I’d consider “spooky” you might not know what to do with all of your spices and this uses 8 of them!

This recipe came about because my parents make a really tasty blacked salmon and I used to keep blackened seasoning on hand to recreate it, but found myself throwing it out when we moved last. I’ve made this homemade blackened seasoning mix a few times and really liked the way it turned out. I chose to make it salt-free because I like salting my protein by hand. It gives me a better idea of how much I am using.

This goes great on shrimp, chicken or fish. My favorite is salmon, but since I didn’t have any, I decided to use this on some wild hake.

I made a super easy salad of mixed greens with leftover roasted carrots and broccolini. Seasoned it with oil and vinegar and a little lemon juice. Healthy and flavorful!


I wrote the recipe for 1 portion so you can make as little or much as you want.

Simple pantry spices make up this tasty blackened seasoning mix.


When cooking this fish, you want to have a nice crust so you’ll be cooking it at a little higher temp (I set my stove a little above medium, like a 6/7), then once I flip it half way and get the second side seared, I bring the temperature down to just below medium to finish cooking it without making it rubbery.


[Tweet “Simple Blackened Seasoning Mix Perfect for Blackened Fish #reciperedux via @nutritiouseats #fish”]

Blackened Seasoning Mix & Easy Blackened Fish

Serving Size: ~ 1/4 cup seasoning mix


  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. 1. Mix all spices in a small bowl, stir to combine. Store in an air-tight container. Season your protein with salt and use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon blackened seasoning per 4 ounce serving of protein (season both sides).
  2. For 1 serving (4 ounce) blackened fish, heat 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat, sprinkle fish with salt and between 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of blackened seasoning, covering both sides of fish. Place fish in skillet, cook for 5-6 minutes, flipping half way through and reducing heat to medium low for the last couple minutes.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin




Chocolate Nut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

Chocolate Nut Butter Rice Crispy Treats |

My oldest baby boy turned 8 over the weekend! His birthday kicks off the beginning of the birthday/holiday extravaganza over at our house where the rest of us will follow until the year comes to an end. He was super laid back about the party plans this year. He chose to invite 4 classmates to Chuck E Cheese, plus his grandma and great-grandma came to visit from Texas (my mom and grandma) so it was a fun weekend celebrating.


oops, forgot the mouth and fangs, but it’s still a cute bat!

In addition to the delicious chocolate cake I make every year for him (I use this recipe), I did a little treat-making earlier in the week.

I needed to come up with something to donate to the kid’s school for their fall fundraiser so I thought I’d make my fun Halloween Rice Crispy treats, but this time jazz them up with some delicious and nutritious organic Nuttzo nut butter! I basically had to hide the secret ingredient from my husband because he has claimed the crunchy Nuttzo as his own and would be highly upset knowing I used the rest of the jar, but I reallllly wanted to try a nut butter version of rice crispy treats.


I just used the original Rice Krispie treat recipe and added the Nuttzo nut butter to the melting marshmallows and also added some of the Nuttzo to the melted chocolate topping.

After the chocolate hardened I just cut them out with my bat shaped cookie cutter and used a little icing to “glue” on the cute eyes and draw the mouth and fangs (the eyes can be found in the cake decorating section at your local grocer or store such as Walmart or JoAnn’s). I felt like I boosted the nutrition of these treats a little by using the fabulous organic seven nut and seed butter and let me tell you they were the best rice crispy treats I’ve every had!

Keep in mind I used the crunchy nut butter with chunks of nuts and flax seeds so my chocolate topping isn’t perfectly smooth, but come on, it’s a Halloween bat. Do we really care? Well if they answer is yes, then use a smooth nut butter.


I love that just by cutting out the treats with Halloween shaped cookie cutters makes them look like you worked really hard. Keep in mind you will end up with more “scraps” this way, but they don’t exactly go to waste (they’ll go in your tummy!).

If you are looking get as many treats as possible, just cut them into squares instead and decorate them with Halloween sprinkles or draw a pumpkin on them or something. I got about 10 treats using my bat cutter and then I saved the other bits and pieces for us.


Who really raves about rice crispy treats? I mean they are so simple and recipe so universal- in fact it’s even plastered on the marshmallow bag, but by adding the nut butter and then the melted chocolate/nut butter topping, whoa, they were sooooo good.

Of course if you have kids or friends with nut allergies then skip the nut butter and just do regular rice crispy treats topped with plain melted chocolate.

Hope you get a chance to make these chocolate nut butter rice crispy treats- they’re fabulous!

[Tweet “Halloween Chocolate Nut Butter Rice Crispy Treats featuring @EatNuttZo via @nutritiouseats!”]


Chocolate Nut Butter Rice Crispy Treats


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 10 ounce bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup of nut butter such as Nuttzo (smooth or crunchy)
  • 6 cups rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
  • For the topping
  • 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of nut butter such as Nuttzo (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil


  1. Melt butter, marshmallows and 1/2 cup nut butter in a large pot over medium low heat. Stir until melted. Once the mixture is smooth, stir in cereal immediately.
  2. Pour mixture to a 9x13 pan lined with wax paper sprayed with cooking spray (make sure to use a large piece of wax paper that hangs over the dish so that you can pull out treats before cutting). Working quickly spread mixture into pan and pat down using a spoon or rubber spatula (coat spoon in cooking spray for less sticking).
  3. Melt the chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons of nut butter and coconut oil in the microwave, stirring every 20-30 seconds until melted.
  4. Pour chocolate over rice krispie treats, smoothing with the back of a spoon. Let sit until chocolate hardens. Once hardened, lift wax paper out of the tray which will make cutting treats into desired shapes much easier.


Make the treats ahead of time so that the chocolate has enough time to harden before you start cutting them into shapes. Placing the treats in the refrigerator will help harden the chocolate, but will also make the treats very difficult to cut so don't leave them in there very long.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

**As a proud Nuttzo Ambassador, I get to share my coupon code with Nutritious Eats’ readers- you can get 15% off your order of Nuttzo by using the coupon code nutritiouseats-15 although right now there is a 30% off sale of Nuttzo through October 27th with the code Halloween! Go check it out at!



Parmesan-Caper Potato Bites


The Holiday season is quickly approaching and we’ll all be searching for the perfect appetizers and holiday dishes to make. I love potatoes and think they are just he perfect addition to any meal- roasted whole or cut with rosemary and garlic, but my new favorite are these adorable potato bites.

Yes, I just called these adorable.

I found this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine, but didn’t add the small amount of lemon juice that was in the original recipe therefore had to change the name (they called them Lemon-Caper Parmesan Salad Bites). I don’t think the lemon would’ve added much as these were already very flavorful. I also cut back on the amount of capers used and changed the preparation just a little.

Don’t you just love finger food? Pick it up, pop it in your mouth- no mess, no utensils needed!

(and here is where I am missing a picture or two of a close-up of the potatoes- am having issues finding them so I might be making these again this week to photograph again. Plus I don’t like the way these pictures came out. Yes, I am crazy).


These are basically like a twice baked potato in a mini version. I loved them!

You could customize this for your crowd- leave out the capers for the kids, add some cheddar or do half and half which is what I did when I tested out this recipe.

Then after eating a few and realizing how delicious they are, I put the rest of the bites in tupperware and reheated them the next night for dinner and they turned out great! So they make a great do-ahead party appetizer or side dish for the Holidays when we need all the help we can get spacing out our meal prep.

Thanks Cooking Light- you never disappoint!



[Tweet “Parmesan-Caper Potato Bites via @nutritiouseats Perfect for the Holidays!”]

Parmesan-Caper Potato Bites


  • 12 small red potatoes (~1 1/4 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh chives (or green onion)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped drained capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine potatoes and oil, toss together. Arrange potatoes, cut side down onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat. Bake for 20 minutes, flip and if needed bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove to cool.
  2. Using a parking knife, carefully cut a small circle on the cut side of the potatoes. Using a small baking scoop or small spoon scoop out some of the potato flesh, leaving a thin shell.
  3. Combine potato flesh, sour cream, 1 Tablespoon chives or green onion, butter, capers, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Stir well to combine.
  4. Evenly fill potato shells with potato filling.
  5. Broil potatoes for 2 minutes to allow cheese to melt. Top with an additional tablespoon of minced chives or green onions.


These are great as a make-ahead appetizer or side dish. Just set them out for 20 minutes before baking and place them in a hot oven (400 degrees) for about 5-10 minutes or until warm.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

Have a great week friends!

Pin It Party {Pinterest}

Pin It Party |

Hello friends and happy friday! Hope you all enjoyed some photography tips that I shared earlier this week from the IFBC photography session. I will go through my notes and share some info on the other sessions I attended, but for now I am joining Lindsay over at the Lean Green Bean for a Pin It Party!

Bloggers, doesn’t matter what kind- craft bloggers, mom bloggers, food bloggers, get a TON of traffic from Pinterest so we are all sharing posts we’d like to see pinned.

Please support your favorite blogs and pin stuff because it helps others find our content and that makes us happy! Speaking of Pinterest, my friend sent me this link from Parade magazine online to The Most Popular Recipes on Pinterest in Each of the 50 States and check out Illinois’ favorite! That would be my post- the Southwestern Egg Rolls! Whoa! So Crazy. I knew it was my most popular pinned recipe just from the traffic I get on it, but I never would’ve guessed it was the most pinned of the state. You can find the recipe here!

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 9.10.47 PM


So today I will share a couple of my recent post and a couple old posts that I’d love to be shared. And thanks in advance for sharing!

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Pesto & Garlic Yogurt Dressing {Gluten Free option}

I am already craving this sandwich again. It’s so worth the effort and is great as leftovers. You can reheat the veggie or eat them cold. Add cheese if you want- so good!


Kid-Friendly Fried Rice {Vegetarian, Gluten Free}

I really love this simple dish. I have made far more complicated fried rice dishes, but love this meat-free, simple kid version. It comes together in no time and is a great way to use you leftover rice!


Greek Salad Bites {Vegetarian, Gluten Free}

These are so fun and easy for a potluck or party appetizer. Great for the upcoming Holiday season.



Gingery Pork Meatballs {Gluten Free adaptable}

Oh man, this was before I had a clue about photography but it’s still an awesome dish. Like really, really yummy. I’ve got to put this on the dinner menu soon. I actually just bought some organic beef because the kids were requesting burgers so maybe I’ll try it with that!

Gingery Pork Meatballs

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Now that it’s October we all know the treat posts will start come flooding in. I was just thinking about the Holiday flavors and remembered these gingerbread cupcakes. The frosting, on the frosting is so yummy.

gingerbread cupcakes-0466


While we are taking about Pinterest, if you aren’t following me yet, please do! You can find me HERE. I am in the process of slowly reorganizing my boards so some might look bare as I try to create new, more organized ones. I have been neglected that chore for too long!

Happy pinning!

Questions: Are you on Pinterest? Do activity PIN?

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Balls {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Ball |

Here we are in our first full week of school (last week was short due to the Holiday). The kids are both doing so well, but our schedule has officially picked up with the addition of after school activities like gymnastics, church class and soccer twice-a-week for both kids.

The kids come home starving as it is, but now that we go straight to another activity I have to keep the house well stocked with healthy snacks. One of their favorites is the snack balls I make in a variety of flavors- they often have some sort of dried fruit, some form of nuts and/or oatmeal.

Since I’ve had oatmeal raisin cookies on my mind, I decided to make a healthier version by creating these no-bake oatmeal raisin snack balls. What I love about them is that there is no added sugar, just naturally sweetened raisins! I know, I know… not exactly like homemade buttery oatmeal raisin cookies, but definitely a figure-friendly alternative.

I always have a bag of California raisins in the pantry- they make a great choice for healthy, on-the-go snacking and you can use them is so many ways. I love adding raisins to oatmeal, muffins, trail mix, granola, quick breads, etc. The whole family loves them and it’s such an affordable dried fruit.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Ball |

What I also love about raisins is the ingredient list…..raisins! Yep, that’s it. No added sugar or other unnecessary ingredients just all-natural, sun-dried fruit you can feel good about feeding your kids.

California raisins have a great nutritional profile too- they have no cholesterol and offer 9% of your daily fiber and potassium and 6% of your daily iron (per quarter cup serving).

For this recipe, I ground half of the raisins in the food processor for the base of the mixture and added the other half whole into the “dough”.  They are not overly sweet, have a nice cinnamon flavor and are definitely satisfying. I love how easy they are to make, great to grab for on-the-go snacking and the kids loved them. Everybody wins!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Ball |


Visit for more information about California Raisins and find us on Facebook at where you can sign up to receive a California Raisins prize pack! Limited supply; while quantities last.

[Tweet “Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Balls #SnackToSchool #LoveYourRaisins via @nutritiouseats”]


Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Balls {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Yield: ~10 balls

Serving Size: 1 ball


  • 1 cup dried rolled oats (divided) (use Gluten Free oats if necessary)
  • 2/3 cup raisins (divided)
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. In food processor, add 2/3 cup of the oats, 1/3 cup of raisins, peanut butter, dried coconut, vanilla, coconut oil, cinnamon and water. Process for ~15 seconds or the mixture starts to come together.
  2. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Stir remaining 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup raisins. Stir well to combine or knead with hands (this method is easier to get mixture to stick together). Scoop out ~1 Tablespoon of the mixture, using your hands roll it into a ball, proceed to to scoop and roll with the rest of the mixture. Store balls in air tight container in the refrigerator.


You will probably want to double this recipe if feeding a large family.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Apple Pico de Gallo {#YahooFood}

Apple Pico de Gallo |    

When I was in graduate school I became friends with a fellow RD intern whose parents lived in Cabo San Lucas. She invited me and another one of our classmates to go hang out there one summer. I fell in love. Not only is it gorgeous, but the local fruit stands, taco shops and markets add such character to the Mexican town.

Apple Pico de Gallo |  

We stayed for a full month (yes, lucky us!) because her family was kind enough to make room for us, and I have such great memories of going to the market to pick out our produce. Tomatoes, cilantro, onion, lime and peppers were the usual suspects. Coming from Texas, I am used to eating a lot of salsa and pico de gallo but I never really made it until then, well that was over 10 years ago.

Now there are so many fun twists on salsa and this Apple Pico de Gallo, posted by Julia Bainbridge, one of the contributing editors on Yahoo! Food really caught my eye. I love using apples different ways in the fall, especially since we are seeing a lot of them in our CSA box.

Yahoo! Food has an awesome variety of recipes, articles on top food trends, tips on the nest new cooking tools and techniques and other food inspiration. With an all-star team of editors, Yahoo! Food has partnered with some of the best publishers in the business to bring you their expertise and ideas, including Bon Appetit, Epicurious, Food52, Martha Stewart and more.

Of course I had to go with something fresh and healthy but I might make these easy Salted-Toffee Chocolate Squares next! Oh goodness do they sound good!

Apple Pico de Gallo |

I love the way Yahoo! Food is set up, it’s on digital magazine, not a blog- the photos pop and there is a variety of intriguing video clips and other articles. You’ve got to check it out! I started salivating when I saw the quick video of the apple pico de gallo recipe and I am SO happy I decided to make it because it’s quite honestly the BEST thing I have eaten in awhile (well besides my grilled veggie sandwich).

I am not exaggerating- the sweet apple, mixed with the tart tomatillos and spicy jalapeño (which I used instead of a serrano) is a winning combo. My new obsession for sure. Move over tomatoes.

Apple Pico de Gallo |    

Apple Pico de Gallo is perfect to eat with chips or serve over fish, chicken or salads.  Here’s what you’ll need to make this simple, fresh, raw salsa….

Go to Yahoo! Food for the exact measurements and rest of the Apple Pico de Gallo recipe.
I just wish I could take credit for this one!

Apple Pico de Gallo Ingredients

Green apple
Diced tomatillos
White onion
Clove garlic
Serrano chile
Cilantro leaves
Fresh-ground black pepper  

The only changes I made was that I added extra lime juice and subbed a jalapeño for the serrano pepper. SO SO good.  

[Tweet “Apple Pico de Gallo- a refreshing twist on salsa! @yahoofood via @nutritiouseats #yahoofood “]

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.