I don’t care how basic it is. I love pumpkin everything. There, I said it and there’s no shame in my game. Lattes, bread, cookies, pasta, you name it and chances are I’ve made it and devoured it. But of all of the pumpkin treats I’ve made, these mini pumpkin cheesecakes are by far my favorite.
Unlike traditional cheesecake that is labor intensive, requires a water bath and takes forever to bake, these mini cheesecakes take 30 minutes in the oven, have a super simple ingredient list and bake in cupcake tins. So easy!
We were having friends over for the Steeler’s game on Sunday so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a batch.
I’ve been making these for years with all sorts of flavor combinations using different fillings and cookies as the crust. For this batch, I used Goodie Girl’s seasonal Caramel Apple flavored cookies with pumpkin spice filling and whipped topping. They were to die for and the Goodie Girl cookies worked wonderfully. They had great crunch, and the caramel apple flavor added a really nice tart kick.
If your store doesn’t carry the caramel apple flavor, I think their toffee crunch or even chocolate chip cookies would work well also.
If you are looking for an easy fall treat that is perfect for parties, give these a try!
Ingredients (Prep Time: 15 min. TotalTime: 50 min. Serves: 15):
For the Crust:
- 1 box Goodie Girl Caramel Apple Cookies (about 2 cups of crumbs)
- 4 tbsp butter (melted)
For the Filling:
- 12 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
- 2 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
For the Whipped Topping:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners (you will need 15).
- In a food processor, pulse cookies until they are fine crumbs. Add in melted butter and pulse until well incorporated.
- Distribute cookie mixture among cupcake tins (about 2 tablespoons per tin) and press into the bottom. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until they just start to brown.
- In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, greek yogurt, sugar, egg, vanilla and pumpkin puree until smooth.
- Distribute cheesecake mixture evenly among cupcake tins. Bake for 25 minutes until the middle isn’t jiggly and the top has browned a tiny bit. Once removed from oven, let them cool completely.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whip heavy cream until peaks just start to form. Then, mix in cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin spice until they are well incorporated and smooth.
- Serve cheesecakes with a generous dollop of whipped topping and enjoy this delicious, seasonal treat!
Fall weather is officially here and I’m excited because I get to share the fall recipes I’ve been working on. As much as I love summer and warm weather, I also love the comfort food that comes with the season change.
In my opinion, chicken pot pie epitomizes comfort food but can be a bit heavy. I decided to play around with a typical chicken pot pie recipe, lighten it up, and add in some fall flavors.
The filling is full of vegetables and is flavorful without being overly creamy. The crust is slightly more chewy than a typical pie crust, but I enjoy it because it feels more substantial and isn’t super oily.
This recipe is low mess since I made the filling in a large (12 inch) cast iron pan and threw the crust loosely on top before tossing it in the oven. If you don’t own a cast iron pan, you can still make this recipe by transferring ingredients into a pie dish and baking it.
I mentioned in a recent post that I’m working with Chēbē to create a few recipes using their baking mixes. I absolutely love their products because they’re versatile, grain free, and they taste great. I used their all purpose baking mix for the crust in this recipe and it worked wonderfully.
It was easy to work with and didn’t fall apart or crumble like some of the other crusts I’ve tried in the past. I have seen Chēbē products in Whole Food’s or you can order boxes through their website.
If you are looking for the perfect recipe to kick off fall with, give this a try!
Ingredients (Prep Time: 35 min. Total Time: 90 min. Serves: 6)
For the Crust:
- 1 package Chēbē All Purpose Baking Mix
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into tiny cubes
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 2 Tbsp. water
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together Chēbē All Purpose Baking mix and baking soda.
- Using a fork, mash the butter into the flour mixture until it is crumbly and well incorporated.
- Add in eggs, milk and water and mix until stretchy and smooth. Form mixture into a ball. If the dough is a bit dry, add in more milk 1 Tbsp. at a time.
- Cut two large pieces of parchment paper and lay dough between them. Roll into a 12 inch round and place it in the freezer while you finish the filling portion of the recipe (leave it in between the parchment paper).
For the Filling:
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh sage, minced
- 3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 4 cups shredded kale
- 1/4 cup gluten-free flour (I use cup4cup)
- 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 3 cups)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add in onions and sauté until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Once softened, add in garlic, sage, carrots, celery, and squash. Sauté until the celery begins to turn translucent, about 5 more minutes.
- Add in kale and sauté until it just starts to wilt. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, stir until combined.
- Pour in chicken broth bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir constantly until it the mixture begins to thicken up, about 5 minutes.
- Once thickened, turn off the heat and add shredded chicken.
- Remove dough from freezer and peel off parchment paper. Lay dough round over the top of the filling mixture in the skillet.
- Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
- Remove from oven and allow the pie to cool for 15 minute before serving. Enjoy!
Several years ago, I tried Chēbē’s products at an expo and fell in love. The mix itself is free from pretty much every allergen, is vegan, and tastes wonderful. It is incredibly versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. I have recently partnered up with Chēbē and will be developing a few recipes with their products over the next couple of months.
The first recipe I came up with is this Feta, Olive and Rosemary Focaccia. Since the dough is made with tapioca and there is cheese added to it, the bread is perfectly crispy on the outside while keeping a chewy texture inside.
If you wanted to use this for sandwiches, I could see it being delicious with Italian meats, vinegar and spices. That being said, it’s packed with flavor on its own and I enjoyed it dipped in a bit of olive oil with a glass of red wine. I will warn you, it is incredibly addictive and it didn’t last 24 hours in our apartment before we finished the whole loaf (there are only 2 of us).
If you are interested in trying out this recipe, I have seen Chēbē products in Whole Food’s or you can order boxes through their website.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!
Ingredients (Prep Time: 15 min. Total Time: 60 min. Serves: 8):
- 1 package Chēbē Focaccia Bread mix
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, diced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
- 4 Tbsp. milk
- Thinly sliced lemon rounds
- A few extra olives
- A sprinkle of flaky sea salt and black pepper
- Olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with 1 tsp. of olive oil.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine Chebe Focaccia bread mix, mozzarella, feta, eggs, olive oil, kalamata olives, rosemary and milk.
- Knead with your hands until everything is well incorporated and the mix is smooth, springy and dough like.
- Place dough on baking tray and press out into an oval shape, about 10 inches across at its widest point.
- Using your finger or the back of a spoon, poke 10 or 15 dents in the top of the dough.
- Brush the top of the focaccia with a bit of olive oil and top with lemon rounds, olives, feta, rosemary, salt and pepper.
- Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, let cool slightly and enjoy!
I’ve always considered Mac & Cheese an ultimate comfort foods However, as I got older, I started eating gluten-free and my taste buds evolved a bit and boxed mac and cheese lost its appeal.
I came up with a healthy gluten-free mac and cheese recipe using Banza noodles made from chickpeas. They are high protein and have a unique texture. I think they taste especially great in this mac & cheese recipe and add something interesting to it.
A fellow blogger recommended cooking the noodles in chicken broth for extra flavor which was a great idea. I also threw in some broccoli to cut down on the carbs a bit and add some extra veggies. However, that is totally optional and can be omitted. This is a great recipe for a healthier twist on classic Mac & Cheese that both kids and adults will enjoy. This recipe will make about 3-4 servings as a side dish or 2-3 servings as a meal.
Ingredients (Total time: 30 min. Serves: 8):
- 1 box Banza Noodles
- 2 cubes chicken bullion
- 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. gluten-free all purpose flour (I usually use Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1 ½ cups 2% milk
- ¼ tsp. paprika
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar
- ½ cups shredded parmesan
- extra salt and pepper to taste
- Cook noodles in a medium pot according to package directions, but throw 2 cubes of chicken bullion into the boiling water. Once cooked, drain, place back into pot and set aside.
- Steam broccoli until completely cooked, drain and place in pot with noodles.
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and stir in flour. Let the mixture bubble for about 1 or 2 minutes stirring the entire time.
- Slowly add milk to flour mixture about ¼ cup at a time whisking the entire time. Once the sauce starts to thicken, add the next ¼ cup of milk. Repeat until you have added all the milk and until the sauce is nicely thickened. Continuing to whisk the entire time.
- Whisk in paprika and garlic powder. Once incorporated, add in all of the cheese and whisk until totally melted.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and broccoli and mix in cheese sauce.
I am currently about 1/3 of the way through my first Whole 30. At the end of the month, I am going to post a bunch of tips as well as more about my experience with the challenge. For now, I have a recipe that I came up with last week for a curry chicken salad.
I made a big batch of it last Sunday and had it multiple times during the week. It was a nice break from some of the more plain meals I have been making and was very flavorful and filling.
This recipe makes about 8 hearty servings and is completely compliant. Just make sure you check the labels on all of your ingredients. If you prefer, you can easily swap the almonds for cashews or pecans. This would also be delicious with fresh grapes instead of raisins I just didn’t have the patience to cut a bunch of grapes in half.
If you’re not doing Whole 30 this is still a great dinner idea, you just don’t need to be as worried with the mayo that you use.
Ingredients (Serves: 8):
- 2.5 lbs chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 ½ cup compliant mayo (either primal kitchen or homemade)
- 3 Tbsp. mild curry powder
- ¾ cup raisins
- 2/3 cup diced celery
- 2/3 cup diced carrots
- 2/3 cup diced red onion
- 1 ½ medium apples chopped (I used gala)
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- Salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Toss chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake, depending on thickness, for 12 – 15 minutes until cooked through. Set aside and allow to cool off.
- In a large mixing bowl combine mayo and curry powder. Add in raisins, celery, carrots, red onion, apples, and almonds.
- Once chicken has cooled off, either shred or cut into small cubes. Mix in with vegetables and mayo until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Refrigerate at least 3 – 4 hours or overnight before serving.
- Serve with lettuce cups of either romaine or butter lettuce to make wraps.