Recipe – Vegan Gluten Free Crustless Pumpkin Pie

A few weeks ago it was American Thanksgiving, and I kept seeing pumpkin recipes popping up all over the internet. Pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin muffins and so on and so forth. When I was at Whole Foods last week, I spotted cans of organic pumpkin on sale. I decided to pick up a few, and experimented with a pumpkin pie recipe.

While pumpkins are best known for their decorative purposes at Halloween, they are a surprisingly super source of nutrition. Pumpkins are high in carotenoids, vitamin A, vitamin C and fibre. Did you know that pumpkin flesh contains L-tryptophan, a chemical compound that triggers feelings of well-being and happiness?

The next time you are at your local grocery store, pick up a can of pumpkin puree, and make this recipe. It is a dessert you can feel good about eating.

Recipe – Crustless Pumpkin Pie – Vegan, gluten free, soy free

Ingredients:

2 tsp cinammon

1 tsp. dried ginger

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/3 cup oat flour

2 tbsp corn starch

1 – 15 oz can of pumpkin puree

1 cup coconut milk (I mostly used the solidified cream from the top, with a little bit of the liquid)

1/2 cup maple syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together cinammon, ginger, sea salt, oat flour and corn starch.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and maple syrup.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix well. Ensure all lumps are gone.
  5. Pour into an 11 inch glass pie plate.
  6. Bake for 35 mins.
  7. Remove from oven. Middle of the pie should be set.
  8. Cool on wire rack.

I served this pie topped with a bit of coconut cream, drizzled with maple syrup, and dusted with cinnamon. It was a hit with everyone in the family, including the kids.

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Posted in Baking, Gluten free, Vegan | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Friday night decluttering

The kids were in bed early tonight, and I decided to spend a bit of time on one of my favorite activities – decluttering.

The thing I’ve discovered about decluttering is that it has to be an ongoing activity. You can’t declutter a room and then think – I’m done, this room will remain clutter free forever. Perhaps if I lived alone (not that I would ever want to!!!) this would be true. However, in a world with kids and a husband, my decluttering work is never done.

Tonight I tackled our living room/dining room. My main focus was on the kids’ toys. In one hour, I got rid of two garbage bags worth of toys and books that they rarely use. I am pretty efficient with my decluttering lately. This means that I am not sentimental about things and I do not spend much time debating whether or not to keep something. If the kids don’t play with it often and/or we don’t have room to store it, out it goes. I like to think that these items go to kids who really need them, and this makes the process easier.

While I am quite rational about this, my kids certainly are not. Kids will hold on to every single toy in the house if you let them. This is why I declutter when they are asleep. I hope that as they get older, I can start to include them on decluttering, as it is certainly an important skill to learn.

I know I can’t declutter my whole house in one day, and I’m ok with that. I don’t let perfectionism get in my way – every little bit of decluttering helps my home become the peaceful haven that I want it to be.

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Banana blueberry carob smoothie

Sometimes I get into a smoothie rut. I have a few basic combinations that I rotate, but sometimes my palate is looking for new flavours.

I often look to other blogs for smoothie inspiration. A few days ago, Gena over at Choosing Raw posted about a flavour idea that caught my eye: a blueberry carob smoothie. I bought some carob powder a few weeks ago and was not quite sure what to do with it. With Gena’s recipe in mind, I decided to add it to a smoothie.

I loosely followed Gena’s instructions and combined a banana, frozen wild blueberries, purple kale, coconut milk, cinnamon, carob powder, a medjool date, Sunwarrior protein powder, and some ice.

The smoothie was absolutely delicious. As Gena points out, the carob added a certain sweetness that really compliments the blueberries. The carob also completely covered the taste of the kale and protein powder. I don’t mind the taste of either, but it was still nice.

Have you made any interesting smoothies lately?

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Posted in NaBloPoMo, smoothies, Vegan | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

A Whole Foods Lunch

I have been doing a lot of our grocery shopping lately at Whole Foods. It may be more expensive than other grocery stores, but the produce is so much fresher – especially the organic items. I don’t know of another grocery store that consistently has fresh organic kale week after week. If it exists, please let me know. We also buy little to no meat on a weekly basis, and that saves a lot of money on the grocery bill.

When I’m at Whole Foods, I sometimes treat myself to lunch at their salad bar. It truly is outstanding. Today I had a selection of vegan and gluten-free items. My lunch consisted of curried chickpeas, quinoa with sweet potato and spinach, steamed kale, raw kale salad with beets, coleslaw, and a salad made from cauliflower, broccoli and carrots.

Benjamin and I shared this when we came home from the store. I think he loves their salad bar as much as I do. It was good till the last drop.

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Posted in Food, Gluten free, NaBloPoMo, Vegan | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Happy birthday to me

Another birthday has come and gone.

This year, the celebration began with an early morning run on a cold and crisp day.

We ended the day with some delicious, gluten free vegan cupcakes.

And what happened in between the beginning and the end? A lovely day spent with my husband and kids. Who could for anything more?

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Posted in Gluten free, NaBloPoMo, Running, Vegan | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A work of art

I have a love hate relationship with Yorkdale Mall. I hate it because it is hard to go there without buying something that I really don’t need. Malls truly are an example of excess consumption. Nevertheless, I also love Yorkdale it because it can be a good place to walk and entertain the kids on brutally cold winter days or scorching hot summer days.

Last week I found myself checking out the new expansion at Yorkdale. There are a number of brand new stores, including the North Face, Kate Spade and Ann Taylor. There are also a number of stores that moved to new space in the expansion, including two of my favourites, Club Monaco and Lululemon.

I was really struck by Lululemon’s new facade. There are no windows and no mannequins. Instead, the entire facade is a 3D mosaic made out of 35,000 small wooden blocks, that when viewed together look like a maple leaf.

These wooden blocks come from over 20 different species of trees. They are leftovers from the workshop of Brothers Dessler, two Toronto woodworkers.

It is really not often that the facade of a store is worth talking about, but I really feel like this is something special to see.

The Brothers Dessler hope their mosaic creates a moment of reflection, rather than consumption. That is difficult to achieve in a mall, especially during the holiday season. I hope that it works for the many people who walk by the store in the upcoming weeks.

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Posted in NaBloPoMo, Running, Yoga | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Runmute

Today I experienced my first commuting run, or as I like to call it, a runmute. What does this mean, you ask? I commuted somewhere via running. I had to be downtown this morning for a few hours, so I took the subway there, and ran home. The distance was only 5k, but it was all uphill, which made it a challenge.

To accomplish this, I wore my running capris, t-shirt and jacket, and running shoes downtown to my appointment. It was chilly in the morning so I wore my winter coat and brought a backpack with that contained some snacks, water, my wallet and my phone.

I know I talk a lot about Lululemon, but one reason I love their gear so much is that it is functional, but also fashionable. So it all easily translated from appointment to running, looking and feeling appropriate for both.

When I was done my appointment, I stuffed my winter coat into my backpack and off I went!

It was such an amazingly gorgeous day today that I had to stop 1k into my run to take my (light weight) running jacket off. Yes, I ran in capris and a t shirt at the end of November. What a treat!!

I remember when I used to work downtown, I had a colleague who ran to work, and I thought he was crazy! Now I think back to those days and wish that I had joined him. It must have felt amazing to start a day of work after a refreshing run (rather than a smelly subway ride).

I plan on continuing my rumute, even as we move into winter. Just add another layer or two, and I am set!

Have you ever runmuted? Or commuted on a bike?

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Posted in Exercise, NaBloPoMo, Running | Tagged , | 2 Comments