A Fresh Dille

uplifting muffins.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on October 12, 2010

Yes, I ended my last post with a photo of oats and now I am beginning this one with another.

The thing is, I just am not feeling so splendid today and needed comfort food. I made some chia-scottish oats for dinner and topped them off with a maple, Coco-Cashew Hazelnut Butter, and almond milk sauce and organic strawberries that were begging to be photographed. Oddly enough, I was also craving some of these:

It took longer than anticipated to cut these farmer’s market brussels off of the stalk, but afterwards, I was left with three full containers of the beautiful veg. With an easy veggie burger, spinach, and tomato on ezekiel english muffin lunch, I ate these shallot, olive oil, rosemary, and thyme roasted brussels sprouts. They’ve turned V into a brussels sprouts convert. As a former “hater,” I was smiling when he went back for seconds. There is always a way to change someone’s opinion when they claims to dislike a certain veggie. Coating them in olive oil, herbs, and salt and pepper is a good start.

Before feeling under the weather, I made pumpkin muffins with an already opened can found in the refrigerator door.

The recipe I used was Fat Free Vegan Kitchen’s Pumpkin Spice Bread, except it wasn’t quite fat-free with equal amounts of applesauce and grapeseed oil. When looking for a recipe, I usually just go to my bookmarks and search an ingredient. That tells you how many bookmarks I have…much too many. Changes that were made from SusanV’s original recipe: whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour, reducing the cane sugar by 1/2 cup from 1 cup (also had to decrease the water by 1/4 cup), switching the brown sugar for palm sugar, and using flax instead of egg replacer.

I used 1 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger) instead of the listed separate spices in the recipe.

When asking V whether he would prefer chocolate chips, dried fruit, or walnuts (or a combo), he said, “You know, I will always go for the nuts over chocolate.” My inner chocoholic was appalled, and maybe a little hurt. Then I realized I have been feeding him a lot of chocolate chip filled baked goods (numerous batches of cookies and banana bread) and shouldn’t be so selfish. Then I discovered something. These muffins didn’t need chocolate chips.

They were my ideal pumpkin muffin. Since I did change the recipe in more than a few ways, I want to share it with you.

The Ideal Pumpkin Muffin

dry ingredients:

1 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or mix of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

wet ingredients:

1/2 cup organic vegan cane sugar
1/2 cup palm sugar (or sucanat)
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or other mild oil)
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 4 tablespoons water


Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.

Combine the wet ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and blend well. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the liquid mixture to the dry, and stir well. Stir in the nuts or other mix-in’s, if desired. Pour the batter into coated muffin tin and place on the center rack of oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean,  about 15-18 minutes. Allow to cool 3-5 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

I added some pepitas to half the batch mid-bake for some charm.

Goodnight. I need to feel better tomorrow so that I can dine with a special lady driving cross country.

Other things:

-Do you seem to always add in the same mix-ins to muffins, cookies, etc? Are you a chocolate chip lover like me? I’m happy that I made these simple to really appreciate the pumpkin flavor with a touch of walnut. I guess I just can’t myself sometimes (a lot) with the chocolate love.

-Are you attending the foodbuzz festival? I registered last night and have yet to meet any other of the bloggers attending. Naturally I am somewhat nervous, but I know there are many foodie bloggers I can’t wait to meet!


more cookie attention.

Posted in FITNESS, FOOD, VEGAN, WORKOUTS by clairedille on October 12, 2010

Before I began blogging, I was already having a love affair with Celine‘s blog, have cake, will travel. She has some of the most creative vegan recipes out there and I often find myself resorting to her recipe page when searching for something sweet (and sometimes savory). I mean, who wouldn’t want a Peanut Butter Mousse Pie with Candied Nuts and Chocolate Ganache for their birthday, I know I would.

This is why I knew who to go to when I wanted a cookie “outside the box” when our small cookie stash diminished. Interestingly enough, I chose one of her most simple recipes, the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (with peanut butter). Any time a cookie recipe is described as “chewy,” it is pretty obvious I will be a fan. I probably should have made these post dinner. They were delectable.

Then we waited until 9 pm to sit down and eat this delicious-ness.

Ashley’s Mexican Stuffed Spaghetti Squash was everything I was craving last night. The cumin, cayenne, chili, coriander, and oregano spiced black beans and veggie stuffing had incredible flavor that went wonderfully with the spaghetti squash. I followed her recipe exactly (with the addition of sliced zucchini) and topped it with avocado, salsa, and some of our garden chives.

I apologize for the not so lovely evening photos. It really was such an enjoyable meal with many leftovers for today’s lunch that I can’t wait to dig into.

This morning, I went back for more Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats. This time I topped them with walnuts and pear that I cooked on the stove top with cinnamon, almond milk, and maple syrup. It was a splendid post run meal.

Some other things:

-Make Emily’s Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili in Pumpkin Bowls ASAP. We loved them Sunday night. They will not disappoint.

-If you are a runner who has taken time off due to an injury or life getting in the way, how did you get back into it? Did you do a run/walk plan and/or cross train a few days to build endurance while keeping off your joints? I am still trying to get back to my former running shape, but have had some strange knee pain that is hindering my early training runs. After much too much time off, I am hoping to keep it light with 5k’s and 10k’s until the spring where I hope to add in a half marathon. I may be adding in a few running-related posts here and there. It is always great to re-fall in love with running again and some hiccups along the way aren’t helping right now. Any encouraging words would help right now.