Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Pizza

Soooooo it appears that, in addition to fries, cookies, cupcakes, donuts and all things related to fall, I’m also heavily addicted to pizza.

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There could be worse things…you know, crack, meth, cigarettes, spinach. I’m considering myself lucky (but seriously though, I’m also addicted to spinach).

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Especially when pizza can come in FALL flavors , loaded up with delicious butternut squash and sage and gruyere. Double addict. Oh my god it’s just so good.

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And, you guys, I totally made my own pizza crust for this one. I’m not kidding. I’ll give you the recipe soon, I promise.

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Seriously, this pizza is a little weird, I know, but I’m all about weird things on pizzas and the combo of butternut squash and sage is absolutely killer. I literally ate half of it on my own.

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#pizzaaddict

Recipe

Prep time: 35 minutes | Bake time: about 15-18 minutes | Total time: about 1 hour

Yield: 2-4 servings

  • 1  pizza dough- store bought is totally legit
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cut in time 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground sage
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ¾ cups grated cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cups grated Gruyere cheese
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves

Preheat oven to 425 º F. Add the squash to the baking sheet and add 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, ground sage and minced garlic to the baking sheet.  Toss to coat and roast for about 25-30 minutes, until the squash is fork tender. Remove and let cool. Maintain the oven temp at 425 º F.

While the squash is roasting, caramelize the onions. Add the chopped onion and butter to a sautee pan and sautee over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes until the onions are slightly browned, soft and translucent. Your house will smell amazing. Set aside.

Lightly grease a baking sheet or pizza stone and spread dough out over pan. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over the pizza. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the pizza crust. Do the same with the caramelized onions, then the squash. Then take the sage leaves, tear each of them in half and distribute them over the pizza. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until cheese is melted and edges of the pizza are slightly golden brown.  Remove from oven, cut as desired, and enjoy your perfect homemade pizza!

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Healthy Oat Cookies {Vegan and Gluten Free}

Oh hey! Hi! You guys, I’m back!

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Oh my goodness, it feels like forever. Over a whole week without blogging! I am so sorry, but I’m also kind of not because I went on vacation to the Basin Harbor Club and it was awesome. I ate and swam and ate and kayaked and ate and paddle boarded and ate and drank. Perfection. Then I went to Burlington and spent the weekend with my best friends from college. We boated, grilled and ate pumpkin pie while wearing sweatshirts. That’s right. Pumpkin pie with sweatshirts. It felt like fall and I LOVED IT. Apple picking, cider and pumpkin baking is so so close!

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Anywayyssss. Given my moderate (ahem) overeating this last week, I thought I’d share a healthy cookie recipe with you today. After vacation, a girl still needs her cookies, but they might as well be somewhat healthy, right??

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These little bites of goodness are chewy and delicious, and you can basically add in anything your heart desires. I used peanut butter, coconut, white chocolate and strawberries. These were super yummy, but might have been even better had I used cashew or almond butter. But I cant keep that stuff in my house because the entire jar would be gone in a day. True story.

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So, if you need a healthy cookie to get you back on track after vaca, or just because you want to eat 12 cookies and once and not feel cookie guilt afterwards (cookie guilt=the worst kind of guilt), these are for you. Enjoy!

Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes | Bake time: 10-12 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes

Yield: Approximately 12 cookies

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 overripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (or any other nut butter)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 packets stevia
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsp white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup diced fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 º F.  In a large bowl, mix oats, banana, and peanut butter. Add cinnamon, vanilla and stevia and mix until combined. Fold in coconut, chocolate and strawberries. Spoon cookies on to baking sheets and bake for approximately 10-12 minutes. Remove and let cool for approximately 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Cake Batter Donuts

I knew it.

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I knew that once I started down the donut path with those cake donuts, the fall down the slippery slope to full on fried donuts with with crazy, delicious toppings was not far off. Totally knew it.

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But it’s totally ok. I’m 100 % fine with it. Because look at those donuts . Fried, light, airy goodness with chocolate fudge and CAKE BATTER on top. That’s right. Cake batter. No big deal.

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These were actually super easy because the donut is a fried up butter milk biscuit right from the can (no 8 hour yeast rising batter here- ain’t nobody got time for that). The chocolate topping is ice cream fudge topping, which is awesome. The cake batter flavor is boxed cake mix mixed with water and drizzled over the top. Shortcuts are fun sometimes, and completely allowed.

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On a side note you guys, this is my last post before leaving on vacation for a week to go to Basin Harbor Club in Vermont. I haven’t decided whether I’ll post or not. I may just take a completely break from life for a week, which I think is also completely allowed (just like shortcuts). It’s ok, I’ll come back:). In the meantime you can crush a couple of batches of these donuts. Enjoy and see you soon!

Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total time: 15 minutes

Yield:  8 donuts and 8 donut holes

  • 1 can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • about 3 cups of oil
  • 1 bottle hot fudge
  • 1/2 cup cake mix
  • 2-3 tbsp water

Fill the bottom of pan 2 inches thick with oil and heat oil until a drop of water placed in oil sizzles gently. If it sounds hards and angry, your oil is too hot; just turn it down a little! When your oil is ready, flatten out each biscuit and cut out the middle with a piping tip. Drop each donut in the oil and fry each side until golden brow, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from oil and place on a cooling rack. When cool enough to handle, dip the top of the donuts in the fudge. Mix the cake batter and water until batter is thin enough to drizzle over the donuts, then drizzle it over each donut. Add sprinkles if desired). Eat up!

Coconut Mocha Cupcakes

These might be the most delicious cupcakes I’ve ever made.

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I’m not kidding. I’ve never gotten more rave reviews on a baked good before in my life and I only made 12 of these pups.

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And the flavor combination was so different! One of my lovely co-workers suggested a chocolate coconut cupcake, and I was a little skeptical. I thought my trusty taste testers would be too.

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But I was wrong. Sooooo sooo wrong. I nearly had to fight off the security guard while bringing these in to my hard working friends at the hospital (a little ironic, no?).

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The cupcakes were the perfect consistency and had just the right subtle undertones of coffee. The frosting was light, fluffy and loaded with coconut flakes. The mocha drizzle and toasted coconut on top just reinforced all the flavors in the cupcake.

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I mean, really, have you ever seen a more beautiful sight that an excessively frosted cupcake chalk-full of chocolate, coffee and coconut? If you have, I want proof. Because cupcakes like this are what makes baked goods worth baking.

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Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes | Bake time: 15-18 minutes | Total time : 1 hour (including cooling and frosting)

Yield: 12 cupcakes

  • 1 1/8 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons espresso powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Frosting

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 2/3 cups powdered sugar + more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted (for topping)

Mocha Syrup

  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons dark cocoa powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350 º F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 liners and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until smooth. Add in vanilla, coconut milk and melted butter and combine. Sift flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda and salt together and then add to the wet ingredients, mix until no lumps remain. Fold in the yogurt and finally the chocolate chips. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full and bake for 15-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in to the center comes out clean. Set aside and let cool completely

For the frosting, add butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and coconut milk to a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Blend on low speed to combine them increase to high speed and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Fold in the shredded coconut. Frost the cupcakes as desired and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

For the mocha drizzle, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and drizzle over frosted cupcakes as desired. Enjoy!

Tofu and Quinoa Tahini Salad

Gaahhh you guys. I can’t get enough of quinoa salads. I mean really. They’re healthy, filling and oh-so-flavorful.

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And they’re PERFECT for dinner when life gets crazy. Like right now. Life is so crazy.

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I’ve been working often and trying to squeeze in as much summer fun as possible before classes pick up again in a three weeks. Oh my god three weeks??? I can’t even. Finding time to blog in between has been a moderate challenge.

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But I digress. I made this salad, ate approximately fifty percent of it straight out of the bowl, then froze the rest in individual portions. I put one in the fridge to defrost the night before I want to eat it and then devour it when I’m ready for  dinner. It’s prefect and satisfying for those nights when I’m dining solo.

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Whether you are making this for yourself, a crowd or just because you thought it looked super yummy, I promise you’ll love it. Even you tofu haters. You’ll love it.

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Recipe

Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: About 6 (if you decided to share).

  • 3/4 cups quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1 blocks extra firm tofu (1 box)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 small red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped fine
  • 1 cup corn, off the cob
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water (depending on how thick you like your dressing)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Red pepper flakes to taste

In a medium pot, combine quinoa and vegetable stock. Bring stock  to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let the quinoa absorb all the liquid, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Drain tofu of water (I pressed out the excess water in between a few sheets of paper towel). Cut in to approximately 1/2 to 1 inch cubes.  In a sautee pan, combine tofu, olive oil, soy sauce and sesame oil until tofu is golden brown. Once tofu is cooked, add the vegetables and sautee for an additional 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the quinoa.

In a separate bowl while the veggies are cooking, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Pour the dressing over the salad while it’s still warm so that the grains absorb all the dressing’s yummy goodness! Enjoy!

Adapted from Meghan Templer.