My favorite time of year starts around October 24. Everyone is getting ready for Halloween, and the pumpkin craze is full steam ahead. People don’t look at me weird for adding pumpkin to everything I make and fall is finally in full force. I used to love summer. Now I loathe it, because my daughter gets wayyy too hot if we take her outside, so we’re like little recluses in our house.
With the Holidays surrounding us, it can be rather difficult to maintain your diet. I know that for me, we have a huge leftover pizza from Cecilia’s birthday, and with final projects for school, Christmas projects and trying to get my small business going, I have been living on pizza and cupcakes. Luckily, I treat myself every morning to this wonderful pumpkin muffin I found on Recipe Girl.
Photo from Recipe Girl
I wanted to make the same muffin but a little cleaner, so I consulted my favorite clean eating site – The Gracious Pantry – for the food substitution chart to see what I could do with this recipe. And here are the changes I made:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (I would have done 3 cups whole wheat flour, if I had enough!)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup salted butter, melted 1/4 cup apple sauce, 1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup granulated white sugar 3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream 1/4 cup yogurt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
I also opted out of making the glaze, which was part of the recipe. I’m sure there is a clean glaze I could make, but I didn’t worry about it this time. You can get the full recipe – including the glaze – over at Recipe Girl, and you can download How to Convert Recipes at The Gracious Pantry.
I will be sharing more and more recipes that are cleaned up a little and perfect for the Holidays in the next couple of weeks. If you have a healthy holiday recipe you would like to share, or you would like to see a favorite recipe of yours cleaned up – please let me know in the comments and share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #healthyholidays. You can find more healthy holiday inspiration on my Pinterest!
Last week, I decided to try the Vegetarian Lentil Soup that I shared from Relishing It. Turns out, I didn’t have all the ingredients listed in the recipe. Also, I might have forgotten that I needed to cook the dry lentils before adding them to the soup, which led to quite the experiment in lentil extraction. Needless to say, I had to improvise a little. And the soup turned out good. So good, in fact, that I decided to share my version of the recipe with you.
2 cups dry brown lentils, rinsed – let’s not revisit the lentil mishap
2/3 cup dry red beans (or 1 can), rinsed – (1) 16.5 oz can of kidney beans – don’t drain it
2/3 cup dry black beans (or 1 can), rinsed – (1) 16.5 oz can of black beans – again, don’t drain
- (1) 16.5 oz can of pinto beans – you catch my drift
- 4 potatoes – peeled and diced
- 1 cup of carrots – chopped
- 2 celery stalks – chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 quart puréed or crushed tomatoes
- 1 quart vegetable broth (or use chicken, if you’re not trying to stay vegetarian)
1 heaping cup frozen corn – (1) 16.5 oz can of corn
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- juice of one lime
- handful of spinach
- scallions, jalapeños, sour cream (if vegan isn’t your aim) and limes as garnish options
The taco seasoning recipe is below. After all the lentil drama, I was pretty beat. So, I did a few shakes of:
- ground cumin
- garlic powder
- chili powder
- black pepper
For the Taco Seasoning:
(makes a scant 1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
You can find the entire recipe by visiting Relishing It here. I did not use a dutch oven – just a regular soup pot. I threw the potatoes and carrots in first, since they take the longest, and I threw everything else in as I chopped it. I also topped mine with fresh avocado…which of course was perfect…because it’s avocado. We decided that, again, it could use a little more of a kick so I will add some chilli peppers next time. We also reheated it up today and threw in a cup of rice to add a little variety to it. Few days later, and it was still just as good and hearty. I love soup season!
Do you have a favorite healthy soup recipe? Or did you give this one a go? Share in the comments and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #myhealthylife. You can also find more healthy inspiration on my Pinterest! I will continue to share more recipes, exercises and blogs that I find awesome and worthy of sharing…so please let me know of any that you would love to see on the blog!