It’s Pumpkin time! And October Unprocessed

Fall is my favorite time of year.  Apple picking, pumpkin decorating, hayrides, bonfires, s’mores, hot chocolate, hot cider, colorful leaves, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pasta, etc, etc.  I LOVE pumpkin.  I love the way the spices that pair so beautifully with pumpkin make the whole house smell like a crisp autumn day.  My house smelled like that today as I baked up a batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.  So yummy!

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I used Whole Wheat Flour instead of All Purpose Flour, used only 1 cup of sugar (organic succanat) instead of 1.5 cups and replaced the oil with applesauce.  They turned out great!  These would also be wonderful with smashed banana replacing the oil…I think I will try that next time for a little more sweetness and lessen the sugar amount even more.

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I plan to add these to Matthew’s lunchbox this week for a healthy sweet treat.

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I’m planning on making Pumpkin Chickpea Fritters for dinner (recipe by Kathy from Helathy. Happy. Life.)  I’ll let you know how they turn out!

Broccoli Cashew Teriyaki Stirfry

I made this the other night and it turned out pretty good.  A quick and easy weeknight meal.  Unfortunately, I overcooked my veggies, so they were a little lackluster, but the flavor was still there.  The sauce was great and soooo much tastier and better for you than any teriyaki sauce you could buy in a bottle.  I served mine of Tofu Shirataki noodles and the rest of the family had it with brown rice.  I also didn’t have any tofu, so added a can of kidney beans (drained, of course) for some extra protein.

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Have you heard of or seen these before?  I have heard of them and finally found them at a local grocery store so figured it would try them out.  They were interesting.  A little rubbery eaten on their own, but mixed with the stirfry I didn’t get that texture.  They were kind of like an over-cooked udon noodle.  They were ok, but I don’t think I would go out of my way for them.  Of course, if you are gluten-free, you might want to check them out.

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October Unprocessed

Have you heard of this challenge?  This is the brain child of Andrew Wilder from Eating Rules, who thinks “healthy eating doesn’t have to suck”.  Amen, brother!  It’s a challenge to eat nothing but UNprocessed foods for the entire month of October.  This challenge is in it’s 4th year.  All foods consumed must pass the Kitchen Test, which is this:  “Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients.”  This doesn’t mean that YOU actually have to make it, but, in theory, someone in a home kitchen COULD make it.  There are a few foods that are iffy and he explains some of these on his website (sugar being one of them).  There is some wiggle room for you to decide what you think is unprocessed vs processed, but the main point is to make the healthiest choices you can.  Check out the website for October Unprocessed HERE.  Take the pledge, eat healthy and feel great!  I have taken the pledge and am going to do my best!  I won’t be posting my meal plans every day as I did in my Whole Foods Vegan Challenge when I started this blog, but I will be posting up some delicious non-processed whole food meals as I go, so if you are looking for ideas, be sure to check back often!

Lunchbox Love (*Not always vegan)

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I bought a dinosaur sandwich cutter recently and M LOVES it!  Somehow it makes sandwiches taste even better!  PB & J on whole wheat, red pepper  strips, trail mix (cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries and raisins) and a peanut butter bar homemade from a neighbor!

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Triscuit Crackers, chunks of mozzerella cheese, edamame, kiwi slices and pineapple chunks.

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PB&J dino sandwich, cucumber slices, strawberries, red pepper slices and cinnamon shortbread cookies.

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PB&J dino sandwich, green pepper slices, carrot sticks, pomegranate seeds and Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks.

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