Pumpkin Mania & 12 Vegan Pumpkin Recipes

pumpkin patch

It’s pumpkin season once again and seriously everywhere I look there are pumpkins lining walkways, sitting on stairs just waiting to be carved and all over the blog-o-sphere in recipe form. Now over the years I have come to love pumpkin but as a child I HATED it. Well honestly back then the only way I ever had pumpkin was in pie form and after one Thanksgiving, when I was about 7 or 8,  where I over indulged in pumpkin pie I lost all interest in eating it ever again.

Then in 2007 I had been dating my husband and well he was hot for pumpkin pie.  So while he was home having Thanksgiving with his family I was at my house whipping him up a pie….err cheesecake rather. I figured that since the idea of pumpkin pie still made my stomach curl after all those years that maybe I could stomach a pumpkin cheesecake instead. So I went to making The Fat Free Vegan’s Double-Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake (see slide show below). Neil arrived at my house and I brought out the cheesecake and he dug right in.  I was more hesitant but I decided to give it a try and honestly it was good. Really good.

After that I slowly started to incorporate more pumpkin into my life and even made and ate a pumpkin pie. Nowadays as soon as the crisp fall weather arrives you can find me stocked up with cans of pumpkin (Libby’s of course) and lots of fresh pumpkins as well. I make sweets, breads, curries and mac and cheese among other delicious things. Although I have to say my favorite pumpkin thing now is pumpkin beer – yum!

Check out some of my favorite pumpkin recipes in the slide show below!

October Grocery Challenge

As you all know we are in the middle of another move. Although this time we are just moving across town it seems that it’s just as hard as our cross country move. On top of moving there is the expense of moving which for us includes paying double rent* and moving expenses so this coming month we are reigning in the budget. That’s where the challenge comes in to play.


This month we are challenging ourselves to eat at least 84 meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) and all snacks at home/packed for work.  We will be allowed to have a max of 9 meals out however they must on average be $25 or less for the three of us and we are allowed max of 2 coffees each out per week.


  • Groceries: 84 meals at $5 per meal +Coffee/Alcohol/Chocolate/Snacks + Oil/Spices = $550**
  • 9 meals out + Coffee Out =  MAX –> $275 Goal –> $200

Currently we are spending nearly $1000/month on going out, coffee and groceries – yeah I know it sounds like a lot. So this is really going to be a challenge but with moving, a Seattle trip and the holidays I have a lot of motivation to stick with this challenge. I plan on posting $5 meal recipes and would love to have others participate and share theirs as well.

If you are interested in participating in this challenge leave a comment below and then head over to your own blog and write your own post and goals and link back to this page by October 1st.

Who’s in?

*Portland has a crazy rental market and when you find an amazing place like we did you have to jump on it or take the chance that you may or may not find an equally wonderful place.

**Update: um so I can’t add.

{Recipe} Spicy Sweet Potatoes

This side dish is a great addition to any meal. The sweet potatoes combined with the sweet maple syrup and spicy chilies create a great balance. This side dish is recommended for the entire family.

Serves 4 as a side
• 3 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into 1/2 inch half moons
• 1.5 Tbsp Grade B maple syrup
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• pinch of cayenne (optional) *Reduce or omit cayenne if serving to
• 1 tsp chili powder
• 1 tsp smoked paprika
• 1/4 tsp black pepper
• 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400F
1. Place sweet potatoes cut side up on a large baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper
2. Whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, cayenne, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper; use all of the sauce to evenly coat both cut sides of the potatoes.
3. Bake for 30-35 minutes until sweet potatoes are fork soft and lightly browned.

Five Things: Currently

Part of the following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Oxygen Network. All opinions are my own.

1. Moving twice in one year is crazy. We originally moved to the Portland area, rather the Portland ‘burbs, back in January when Neil took a contract position with Nike. Well about six months later Neil scored a great full time position with a company in Portland proper and since then he has been commuting 2-3 hours per day. So we have been on the lookout for a new home closer to his work and we found one a few weeks ago and have spent the last week slowly moving in. Honestly all I can think is um where did all this crap come from? We are in need of some major minimizaling of our home- any tips?

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 7.32.37 PM

2. I am in love with Wild Friends Vanilla Espresso almond butter. Seriously this stuff is so crazy good. I went to New Seasons (sort of like the local Portland Whole Foods) and they were having a nut butter tasting and of course I indulged but I kept my budget in check and only walked out with this one jar….although I might need to go back for more.

3. I am in love with our new kitchen. I mean IN LOVE. The only thing that would make me love it more would be a gas stove but everything else is good and that works for me. I have felt so inspired and we have only lived here for a few days. I have been making lots of yummy dishes and I can’t wait to start writing more recipe and food related posts.

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 7.33.11 PM

4. Coffee is currently my best friend. With moving we are having a ton of early mornings and late nights and I’m just being real but coffee is helping me make it through the day. We are lucky enough to live only six blocks from a really amazing coffee shop although we try to make our coffee at home (except Neil left his kettle on vacation #fail).

5. Although we are moving, drinking lots of coffee and gorging ourselves on heirloom tomato salad I have been taking a few breaks to decompress. For me this means reading blogs and watching reality TV. Currently my show of choice has been Oxygen’s My Big Fat Revenge. Although I was a little skeptical of the name I have really gotten into the show. As I mentioned in a previous post I am on my own journey to lose the baby weight so it has been great to follow others weight loss journeys. This is the second week of the show and I have included a clip below if you would like to check it out! You can also tune into My Big Fat Revenge Tuesdays at 9/8c.

{Recipe} Cheesy Kale

Kale chips are one of my favorite things to eat especially the cheezy kind. This dish takes my favorite snack and turns it into the perfect side. Lacinato, also known as Dinosaur Kale or Tuscan Kale, is great in this recipe but you could use any dark leafy green such as collards, spinach or other varieties of kale. This recipe is great for the entire family, even the “health food haters” will love this dish.

Serves 2-4 as a side or snack
• 1 bunch of Lacinato Kale, about 4 cups thinly sliced
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or other nondairy milk
• 1 Tbsp + 1tsp nutritional yeast
• 1 tsp miso, I prefer red
• pinch of cayenne (optional) *Reduce or omit cayenne if serving to children
• 1/4 tsp black pepper
• 1/2 tsp salt

1. In a small bowl whisk together the almond milk, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, miso and cayenne.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and garlic until aromatic; about 2-3 minutes.
3. Stir the kale into the garlic and olive oil; turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened.
4. Stir in the almond milk mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly and kale is completely soft.

Big Happenings


I know I have said this before but isn’t it true when it rains it pours? Well we haven’t even hit the rainy season here in the Pacific Northwest but we are drenched. This month has been crazy with opportunity and big happenings.

As most of you know I am sort of obsessed with babywearing and although I don’t talk about it too much on RWT you can find me tweeting, instagraming, chatting about it on Facebook and blogging about it over on Naturally Family. For a few months now I have been thinking about becoming a babywearing educator and what do you know a local instructor was hosting a (last minute) educator certification course. Since the instructor had no plans of holding another course anytime soon and I really don’t have the time or money to travel to Utah for the course I jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunately Neil couldn’t take of work so Edith had to attend the four day course and it just happened to be right before our family getaway so needless to say we had a busy week.

To top it all off the week before my babywearing instructor course we happened to find a new rental. I know you’re thinking um didn’t you just move? Well yes we did but Neil got a new job (he was on contract now full time) so we are moving closer to his work. If you aren’t familiar with the Portland rental scene it’s brutal. Basically if you find a place you have to apply for it immediately and be ready to move in within about a week. So here we are back from our weekend away and we are in full on packing mode. Right now I am taking a much needed break from packing and cleaning to write this blog post while Edith naps.

For the past 8 months we have lived in a part of town that we hate, in an apartment that just didn’t feel like home, Neil was working on contract at a job he didn’t care for and then he found a job that he really enjoys but the commute has taken a toll on our family time, my work time, our workout time, our alone time and our partner time.

So here we are moving to a new beautiful townhome and I am starting a new journey as a babywearing educator. It’s a crazy time here right now but I’m so excited for our new beginning. Our home is in an area of town that is extremely walkable, it is closer in style and location to our dream home and I can already feel the stresses of Neil’s daily 3 hour commute starting to burn off. It’s amazing how just changing our career focus and living somewhere that makes you happier heals your soul.

What is happening in your life? Please share I’d love to hear!