Quick Recipe Share – Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pecan Bread

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When this recipe popped up on my newsfeed today, I knew I had to try it! I am waiting on some bloodwork that will hopefully tell me that I do not have celiac, however, in the meantime, I’m experimenting to see if not eating gluten makes me feel any better. I know one of the best ways to eliminate gluten from your diet is to just eat things that naturally don’t contain gluten. However, there are times when you just really want piece of bread or a muffin… In that case, I would highly recommend this recipe!

It comes from Amie Valpone over at The Healthy Apple. Her blog is awesome, and full of great recipes and information. I tried her recipe for Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pecan Bread tonight. I made a couple of small adjustments based on what I had in the house – I used coconut oil instead of the vegan butter, and I used walnuts instead of pecans. Hubby noticed the amazing aromas of maple syrup and cinnamon as soon as he walked in the door from work.

I have to tell you – I could hardly wait to try this bread! I hardly even let it cool before I popped it out of the loaf pan and cut into it. It’s moist, flavorful, and delicious! If you decide to try it, hop on over and tell Amie I sent you! I can only imagine that it would make yummy muffins – that’s my next experiment! I am also thinking this would probably freeze pretty well, too!

Have you had enough pumpkin yet??? I’m guessing you can tell I haven’t…

Is it Friday yet????


We all know the answer to that is no. Technically it is Friday in some part of the world, but not in my world! Just so you know where I’m coming from, this is what my desk looked like when I left work today…


Part of my new job is coordinating the Title I and Title II grants for my school district. This is the first time I’m filing the application, and things got a little out of hand this afternoon… There’s way too much paper involved in this process! Anyone who knows me knows that I would be MUCH happier if the whole thing was done electronically. I hate to leave my desk in such a state of disarray at the end of the day, but today I just had to walk out. It will still be there in the morning… UGH!

To cheer myself up, I made a stop at Trader Joe’s on the way home. I did all of my grocery shopping there for a while, but realized I was spending too much on cool stuff ! Plus not taking advantage of the whole gas discount rewards program at Stop & Shop was just silly with the amount of driving I do. I had a feeling they would have some cool pumpkin-y things for me to try, and I was right! They had an entire section dedicated to pumpkin goodies…everything from pumpkin butter to pumpkin soup to pumpkin flavored dog treats! Here’s what I walked away with tonight.


Okay, so the ice cream probably wasn’t the best choice, but the good news is that I can only handle it a couple of spoonfuls at a time. And yes – that little container in the front there is 0% pumpkin flavored Greek yogurt, complete with cinnamon and nutmeg! I can’t wait to try that tomorrow! I’m hoping the ravioli taste as good as they sound – I’ll be eating those solo since the hubs is not a pumpkin fan. The chai I just had to try, and I got the coffee because I have a serious problem with the pumpkin coffee concoctions that are out there. They are LOADED with sugar! Most of them depend on some kind of syrup. I like the flavor without the sweetness, so I’m really hoping this does the trick!

My other find at TJs was this lovely little package!

Warning: If you are expecting to close your eyes and think you’re eating Doritos, do not buy these. If you want a tasty, crunchy snack without too much guilt, go ahead and give them a shot. They are pretty good. Just definitely not a sub for those fake orange triangles of yumminess that those of us trying to eat healthy avoid like the plague!

One last plug for a new favorite product – Chobani Flips! I fell in love with the vanilla chocolate chunk flavor of Chobani a few weeks ago. I like to add a few chopped walnuts to it and call it dessert! This little beauty made my taste buds sing!

This nifty little container has my favorite vanilla chocolate chunk on one side, and delicious raspberry on the other! A little scoop of the raspberry, a little scoop of the yogurt and voila! Heaven!! Whoever at Chobani thought this one up was a GENIUS!

Just had to share those few things with you today – plus blogging for a bit gave me a chance to unwind before ordering dinner. The hubby is coming home on the late side tonight, but we will be enjoying some sushi and a glass of wine when he does manage to get home. Hope you had a better Thursday than I did – and hope you have a Fabulous Friday!! 🙂

Questions for today:

Do you have crazy days at work? How do you deal?

What is your favorite pumpkin flavored food item?

Are you a Trader Joe’s shopper? Any favorites?

Marvelous in my Monday #3


Welcome to Marvelous in my Monday! Many thanks, as always, go to Katie at Healthy Diva Eats for hosting!

This Monday is marvelous for many reasons, but the biggest one is that I HAVE THE DAY OFF!!! 🙂 I’ve been working practically non-stop for the past several weeks, so to have a three day weekend is a real gift! Granted, most of what I’m doing is catching up on laundry and cleaning up around the house, but at least I have some time to do that! My laundry pile has not been completely tackled for weeks. My poor hubby even ran out of socks yesterday!

The weather is pretty marvelous today, too! It’s beautiful and sunny here in Southern CT today after a couple of days of overcast skies and a combination of drizzles and downpours. The leaves are starting to turn – but I think we’re a good couple of weeks from peak foliage. I really love this time of year – the mornings are chilly, the days are still warmish, and it’s cool enough in the house to start baking!!

Speaking of baking…I made some marvelous muffins yesterday, and I wanted to share that recipe with you today! I got the recipe from Jenn over at Peas and Crayons. She calls this recipe Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Zucchini Brownie Bread – definitely a mouthful! I followed it to the letter, but without the glaze. This was the first time I had ever used flax seeds to sub for eggs. Here goes…

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Zucchini Brownie Bread
1 cup of zucchini [1 used 1 1/2 small zucchini]
15oz pureed pumpkin [one can – not the pumpkin pie mix]
1 box of devil’s food cake mix
2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
6 Tablespoons water
3/4 cup of chopped walnuts [optional] plus extra for topping
1 cup of dark chocolate chips [I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips]

The ingredients…

Preheat the oven to 350F and get started on your flax “eggs”.  You’ll need two of them for this recipe, so simply scoop 2 tablespoons of ground flax into a small bowl and add 6 tablespoons of water, whisking to combine.  Place in the fridge for a minimum of 15-20 minutes.  When you remove the “eggs” from the fridge, stir gently with a fork. Once it reaches an eggy consistency you’re good to go! They should look like this:

When you “whip” these, they should have the texture of beaten eggs.

Coarsely grate your zucchini with box grater (I used the small side), gather into a pile, and chop into teeny pieces.  Pat dry with paper towels to remove any moisture. (This is important…there’s a LOT of water in there! I let it sit for a bit, then squeezed it in the towel.) Next pour your cake mix in a large bowl [make sure you use chocolate cake mix, not brownie mix!] and add your can of pumpkin, flax eggs [see above] and zucchini.  Stir until just moistened, then fold in your chocolate chips and walnuts.

I don’t see pumpkin or zucchini…do you?? Just chocolatey goodness!

Pour batter into paper lined muffin tins or foil loaf pans spritzed with a little oil.  [Fill each a little over half-way] Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes for muffins, 35-45 minutes for mini loaves [my favorite!] and approx 45-55 minute for a giant loaf.

Ready to go in…

As always, insert a toothpick in the center to test for a fluffy center and keep your oven’s variation in mind.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. (Note: I used the paper lined muffin tins and got 18 good sized muffins out of this recipe. They took 30 minutes in my oven).

The finished product…YUM!!

I have to say, these are YUMMY!! They are moist and very brownie-like. Even the husband – who despises both pumpkin AND zucchini said he really liked these. He was really surprised to find out that there was no oil, and especially no eggs! According to MyFitnessPal‘s recipe calculator, these have 176 calories, 25 g carbs, 9 g fat, and 3 g protein each. Not bad considering the fact that they could easily take the place of a much more calorie dense, fat laden dessert!

Hope you all have a marvelous Monday! Now for today’s questions…

What are you up to on this marvelous Monday?

Have you found a healthier substitute for a favorite dessert?

Have you ever hidden fruits and/or veggies in a recipe?

Sunday Prep Day and a Fall Favorite Makes a Comeback…


When I have a busy week ahead, one of the ways I stay on track is to prep as much as I possibly can over the weekend – and that usually means Sunday. This weekend I made a trip to Costco on Saturday, and a quick fill-in trip to the regular grocery store today. I typically don’t buy too much food at Costco since there are only two of us, but there are a couple of things that I do buy there on a regular basis.

Rotisserie Chicken – This is one of the best deals on the planet. They are $4.99 each, and I can do a zillion things with one of these babies! We usually eat it as regular roasted chicken the first go-round with veggies on the side. Then, cut the rest of the chicken up into pieces and keep them in the fridge as a quick “grab-and-go” source of protein. In the winter, I make chicken noodle soup with the bones and the leftover meat or make chicken “hash” with potatoes and onions. Other times, I chop up the leftover meat and make chicken salad or just put the meat over a big salad with chopped apples, cheddar cheese, and walnuts with poppyseed dressing…YUM! Anyway, for just under 5 bucks, I get a bunch of meals!


Organic Salad Greens – Again, amazing deal! This was $4.49 and this will form the basis of lunch salads for two of us for the entire week. That’s right. 10 salads.


There are two stacks of these in my fridge… 🙂 Compare this to last week when I bought 3 bags of salad greens for $2.99 each (ON SALE!!) at the grocery store! I change up what I add to the greens – grape tomatoes, chopped cucumber, shredded carrots, hard boiled eggs, turkey, ham, cheese, chicken, apples, pears, walnuts…not all at the same time of course! Overall, there is enough variety so that we don’t have to have the same salad twice in a week if we don’t want to!

Other than the salads, I wound up making my breakfast for 4 out of the 5 days this week. Hubby and I decided to clean out the cabinets and take stock of what we have in the pantry. I happened to find one of my favorite canned items:


If pumpkin doesn’t scream “FALL IS HERE!!” I don’t know what does! The other thing that means fall is here to me is oatmeal for breakfast. Put the two together and you get one of my favorite breakfasts this time of year – Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal! For the life of me I couldn’t find the recipe I usually use (though I knew it by heart at one point), so I adapted this go-round from this recipe.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

2 cups water

2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 can (15 oz.) canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

2 T. raisins

1 t. pumpkin pie spice

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

Sweetener of your choice

Chopped walnuts


Bring water, almond milk, pumpkin, raisins, and spice to a boil.

Add oats and lower heat. Stir frequently until oats are cooked through (approximately 8-10 minutes). Add sweetener of your choice (I like maple sugar).

Top with chopped walnuts.


This is a little tiny bowl – just enough to sample and make sure it tasted good. Oh yes. It was good. It was more than good. It was fall in a bowl. I just put this into single-serve containers and it stays great in the fridge. Heat up in the microwave – add a little milk, water, or almond milk to thin out if necessary. Add the walnuts at the last minute so they stay crunchy. This yummy breakfast will definitely help me start the day off the right – and not succumb to some of the other not-so-healthy choices out there in the rush of the morning.

Do you prep on the weekends? What are some of your make-ahead favorites?