Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Pumpkin Spiced Icing (vegan)

These vegan, melt in your mouth, pumpkin spiced, soft pillows of cookie deliciousness are topped with a vegan, all-natural cashew cream icing and are simply irresistible. Okay… so, that sentence was much too long, but there’s just so much to say about these soft pumpkin cookies! If you only make one pumpkin recipe, this Fall- this is your recipe!

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies with a Pumpkin Spiced Cashew Icing- Soft pillowy deliciousness!

I’m so excited with how wonderfully scrumptious these cookies came out. I wanted a really soft “Lofthouse Style” cookie without using a cup of butter… or any butter, for that matter. I totally did it, with a complete list of all-natural ingredients… even the “icing” is super healthy. But don’t worry- I didn’t sacrifice any taste. Your friends and family will be completely surprised when they find out the icing isn’t cream cheese icing, but instead is made almost entirely from cashews…. that is if you want to tell them. Your secret’s safe with me!

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies with a Pumpkin Spiced Cashew Icing- Soft pillowy deliciousness!

I so recommend the icing because the cookies are very lightly sweetened and adding the icing really takes the cookies to the next level of yumminess. I do know, though, from personal experience that these cookies are pretty good with a drizzle of honey, a dab of Nutella or a dip of almond butter. I really enjoyed them without anything; but if you like your cookies really sweet and you’re not making the icing, add another 1/4 cup of sugar.

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies with a Pumpkin Spiced Cashew Icing- Soft pillowy deliciousness!

Did you know that pumpkin puree can replace eggs in recipes? Yes, indeed, pumpkin is magical in so many ways. This entire recipe, including the icing is naturally vegan- no eggs, no butter and no cream cheese. I love vegan cookie recipes because there’s no worry with taste-testing the dough. You know- just to make sure it has all of the right seasonings.

These pumpkin cookies won’t spread while baking. If you like your cookies flat; roll the dough into a ball and then flatten your ball into a pancake shape before transferring to the baking sheet. I only flattened my dough slightly.

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies with a Pumpkin Spiced Cashew Icing- Soft pillowy deliciousness!

I wanted to keep my pumpkin cookies simple, but chocolate chips would be a great addition. In fact, if you’re not really into making the icing, add chocolate chips. This will increase the sweetness and you can never go wrong with chocolate.

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies with a Pumpkin Spiced Cashew Icing- Soft pillowy deliciousness!

Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Pumpkin Spiced Icing (vegan)

Yield: 26 cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies with a Pumpkin Spiced Cashew Icing- Soft pillowy deliciousness!

Ingredients

    For the cookies:
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (other oils will work)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (brown sugar works too)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (or additional oil)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour (I used spelt and if you prefer all-purpose would also work)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2-4 tablespoons almond milk (as needed for mixing)
  • For the icing:
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for a few hours or overnight
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or other milk), may need a few tablespoons more of almond milk for consistency

Instructions

    For the cookies:
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. Mix in applesauce, pumpkin and vanilla. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin spice. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together. Add almond milk, only as needed for mixing. I used about 2 tablespoons almond milk to liquefy things a bit for mixing.
  • Cover the dough and chill for at least 30 minutes. This is a must. While dough is chilling, make the icing.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • Roll dough into tablespoon-sized balls. Flatten dough to desired shape. Dough will not spread while baking. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely before icing them.
  • Cookies are best stored in a covered container and in the fridge.
  • For the icing:
  • After cashews have soaked, drain water and combine all icing ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Store leftovers in the fridge for several days.
http://www.hungryhealthygirl.com/2014/10/20/soft-pumpkin-cookies/

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies with a Pumpkin Spiced Cashew Icing- Soft pillowy deliciousness!

Something to think about….

Are you more a fan of the crispy cookie or soft cookie? I’m for sure, team soft cookie!

Have you ever tried a cashew icing, like this one? What are you waiting for? Cashew cream is so yummy. I also like to use it as a spread for toast or crackers.

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Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

This vegan pumpkin black bean chili is so hearty and satisfying you’ll never miss the meat. The pumpkin adds a delicious creaminess to this nutritious chili the whole family will love.

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili- a quick and easy chili with pumpkin that adds a very mild flavor, but loads of depth and creaminess!

Now, don’t get scared off thinking pumpkin is only for sweet recipes. The pumpkin flavor is very mild and acts as a binder, adding depth, creaminess and nutrients. In fact, I bet your family would never even guess the secret ingredient! There is plenty of fiber, protein, nutrients and texture in this vegan chili; your carnivore friends won’t even notice that there isn’t any meat.

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili- a quick and easy chili with pumpkin that adds a very mild flavor, but loads of depth and creaminess!

This chili is so easy to prep and is ready for serving in about 30 minutes; making it a fabulous recipe for the hectic holiday season. It would be perfect to cook up if visitors will be staying with you over the holidays. If you’re really pressed for time; you can make this chili ahead of time and then freeze it until the big day. It’s no wonder chili is a Fall and Winter staple; this one pot meal is easy to cook, serve and clean up!

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili- a quick and easy chili with pumpkin that adds a very mild flavor, but loads of depth and creaminess!

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: serves 8

Serving Size: 1 cup

This vegan pumpkin black bean chili is so hearty and satisfying you'll never miss the meat. The pumpkin adds a delicious creaminess to this nutritious chili the whole family will love.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 green onions (white and light green parts), thinly sliced (slice dark parts and use for garnish)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, un-drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Heat oil in large pot over med-high heat.
  • Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes. Add garlic, stir and cook another minute.
  • Stir in cumin and thyme. Add beans, pumpkin, tomatoes and juice and broth; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low; cook for 10 minutes. Stir in salt and cayenne pepper.
  • Top each serving with green onions and other desired garnish; sour cream, Greek yogurt, avocado, salsa and/or cilantro.

Notes

adapted from Nestle brand Nutrition Facts 8, 1 cup Servings Amount Per Serving

Calories 143.3

Total Fat 2.6 g

Saturated Fat 0.3 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g

Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g

Cholesterol 0.0 mg

Sodium 243.3 mg

Potassium 515.9 mg

Total Carbohydrate 29.0 g Dietary Fiber 8.8 g Sugars 3.6 g Protein 8.2 g

http://www.hungryhealthygirl.com/2014/10/19/pumpkin-black-bean-chili/

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili- a quick and easy chili with pumpkin that adds a very mild flavor, but loads of depth and creaminess!

Don’t forget, chili is so tasty leftover and is the perfect meal for workweek lunches. Portion out a few single-serve microwavable containers, so you can just grab and go, in the morning.

Something to think about….

Have you ever tried pumpkin in your chili? I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Have you had soup or chili, yet, this season?

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Book Review: One Plus One

TGIF! Let’s take a little break from the food. I want to share my latest read, One Plus One, with you.

One Plus One

If you’ve read some of my previous book reviews, you’re probably aware that I’m a huge fan of the author, Jojo Moyes. Her writing is whimsical and heartfelt with just the right amount of humor to keep things from getting too heavy. Love her! On the blog, you can find reviews for; Me Before You, The Girl You Left Behind and The Last Letter From Your Lover.

Official summary of the book:
Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.

My thoughts:
Honestly, after reading the official summary of the book, I wasn’t really interested in reading the novel. However, I had thoroughly enjoyed the three other novels from Moyes; so I figured it was worth a try. I’m so glad I gave this sweet story a chance.

All of the characters were so unique and strangely lovable in their own ways, especially single mom- Jess Thomas. This story is equal parts sad, sweet, hopeful, funny and just downright wonderful. When I came to the end of this story, I was just so sad to be finished. I think we need a part 2, Jojo!

Something to think about….

Have you read One Plus One?

Have you read any of Jojo Moyes’ books?

What great book have you read lately? I’m just started, Still Alice, but I’m always open to knew recommendations. Still Alice is set to release as a movie, starring Julienne Moore, in January.

Happy reading and happy weekend!

Mexican Lasagna

This easy lasagna goes Mexican with the use of tortillas, salsa and seasonings. A high-protein, gluten-free, healthy Mexican Lasagna dinner that’s a crowd-pleaser for sure! 

Mexican Lasagna- The traditional lasagna gets a kick in this Mexican inspired meal!

This Mexican Lasagna is easily adapted to your liking. I didn’t add as many veggies, as I typically would because my very picky daughter was coming over dinner. Black beans would make a great addition and if you’re vegan, use a ground meatless substitute. Toppings are up to you- avocado or guacamole is especially delicious and sour cream, cilantro, and salsa would also be fabulous.

The cottage cheese works really well to keep the lasagna creamy, but also increase the protein and keep the calories on the low side.

Mexican Lasagna- The traditional lasagna gets a kick in this Mexican inspired meal!

Make this dish ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to pop it in the oven; to make busy weeknights a breeze. The leftovers are really yummy, too! I served my Mexican Lasagna with refried black beans (Trader Joe’s refried black beans are awesome) and plenty of chips, guacamole and salsa. Mexican food is my favorite!!

Mexican Lasagna- The traditional lasagna gets a kick in this Mexican inspired meal!

Mexican Lasagna

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: serves 8

Give the traditional lasagna a kick with this Mexican inspired meal!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground meat (I used turkey)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups salsa
  • 1 cup corn (can use frozen or canned, drain as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8-12 corn tortillas, divided and cut to fit lasagna
  • 1 (16 oz.) container cottage cheese (I used an organic low-fat version)
  • 1/2-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, for sprinkling over the top of the lasagna

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brown meat in a large skillet on med-high heat, drain as needed. Return meat to skillet and add onions and green pepper, cook until tender; stirring occasionally.
  • Add salsa, corn and seasonings; stir well.
  • Layer one third of the meat mixture and one half each of the tortillas and cottage cheese in 13x9-inch baking dish. Repeat layers; cover with remaining meat sauce and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with guacamole, avocado, sour cream, black olives, cilantro and/or additional salsa. Enjoy!

Notes

adapted from Kraft foods Mexican Lasagna recipe

http://www.hungryhealthygirl.com/2014/10/16/mexican-lasagna-2/

Mexican Lasagna- The traditional lasagna gets a kick in this Mexican inspired meal!

Something to think about….

Have you ever made an untraditional lasagna? What did you use?

Which do you prefer Italian food or Mexican food? I love both, but I think I would have to go with Mexican.

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My Latest Eats and Treats!

How’s it shakin’? I can’t complain, here. We’ve had beautiful weather in Texas, this past week. Most importantly, though, I’m healthy, happy and ALIVE!

It’s What I Ate Wednesday, so it’s time to take a look back at what I’ve been chowing down on, lately. I did quite a bit of cooking this past weekend, so I’ve got lots of goodies to share with you. I think this coming weekend, I need to do some baking- what do you think? I’ve got a healthy pecan pie recipe idea, I’m just dying to try.

I’m so thankful that I prepared Apple Maple Oatmeal in the slow cooker, on Saturday. It’s made breakfast super easy and SUPER delicious. I’m not even exaggerating when I say; I think this is my favorite oatmeal ever- and you guys know how much I love my oatmeal.

Overnight Apple Maple Oatmeal in the Slow Cooker- You'll be dreaming of this deliciousness all night long!

Snacks have been more of the same- apple slices with nut butter, baby carrots, boiled eggs and dried figs dipped in snickerdoodle almond butter.

Lunches have pretty much been whatever recipe I’m working on for the blog or leftovers of whatever recipe I’m working on for the blog…. This Pumpkin Black Bean Chili is coming to a blog near you very soon and is so yummy! Brad and I have been eating the leftovers for the past couple of days- it makes for an easy, delish meal to warm up at work.

Pumpkin Black Bean Chili- a quick and easy chili with pumpkin that adds a very mild flavor, but loads of depth and creaminess!

Another yummy meal I ate for lunch over the weekend was Mac & Cheese with Chicken Sausage and Peas, courtesy of Annie’s. Head over to my post from yesterday and enter to win a whole bunch of goodies from Annie’s!

Mac & Cheese with Chicken Sausage and Peas- The kiddies and the grownups will love this Mac & Cheese!

Sunday night, for dinner, Alexis (my older daughter) and her boyfriend came over to eat with us and I made a Mexican Lasagna that I will be sharing soon. It got thumbs up from the whole family!

Mexican Lasagna

I can’t wait to share lots of new recipes with y’all!

Something to think about…

What deliciousness have you been enjoying, lately?

Have you ever tried any of Annie’s products?

Have you ever had pumpkin chili?

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