Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin Cheesecake

It must be the time of the year or the fact that Halloween and Thanksgiving are revolved around food!! Whatever the reason I find myself seeking out the sweets!! I have been eating clean for over two years now and I find it easy to just change the way you make something you love!!
How about PUMPKIN Cheesecake!!! YEAH!! Here ya Go!! I found this recipe on the Gracious Pantry website. Pumpkin Love !!

Sara Stakeley
Pumpkin Love

Clean Pumpkin Cheesecake

(Makes 8 servings)


  • 3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2/3 cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 dates, pits removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice, no sugar added if purchased


  1. Place everything in your blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a greased or parchment lined cake pan (about 7 inches) or do as I did and use a mini scone pan.
  2. Bake at 350 F. for 25-30 minutes. It’s done when the top is golden brown.

Read more:
© The Gracious Pantry. All rights reserved. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cajun Jambalaya

Mess-free foil packets are a preferred cooking method for good reason: cleanup is a breeze (crumple and toss foil!) and you're guaranteed a tender, flavorful Cajun Jambalaya!

Serves: 4
Makes: 6 cups
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
  • 1/2 lb raw shrimp, 26/30 size, peeled and deveined, tail on
  • 4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 all-natural low-sodium turkey sausage, sliced
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and discarded, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt-free Cajun seasoning
  • 1 cup all-natural instant brown rice
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss together all ingredients except cooking spray, mixing well until combined.
  3. Prepare 2 foil pouches. Spray each piece of foil with cooking spray. Divide mixture evenly among both pieces of foil and seal.
  4. Place pouches on a baking tray and slide onto middle rack of preheated oven for 25 minutes or until rice and proteins are fully cooked. (NOTE: When cooked, rice will be soft and proteins will be firm and opaque.) To test for doneness, carefully open 1 pouch and taste a few grains of rice from the center of the pouch. If necessary, close pouch and return to oven for 5 more minutes.
  5. Carefully open pouch and pour mixture into a large serving bowl; serve immediately.
Nutrients per serving (1 1/2 cups Cajun Jambalaya): Calories: 339, Total Fat: 5 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Omega-3s: 350 mg, Omega-6s: 840 mg, Carbs: 24 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 46 g, Sodium: 354 mg, Cholesterol: 171 mg

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DIY Pumpkin facial


Halloween week has arrived and we have one thing on our minds: pumpkins! We love them on our front porch and in our favorite recipes, but we also enjoy them on our faces. We’re talking about pumpkin face masks, ladies! I’ve got everything you need to know to recreate a spa quality facial at home.

Sara Stakeley
'Tis the season for fun fall spa treatments and at-home DIY facials, beauties!

pumpkinWhy pumpkin?

Besides the fact that pumpkins are seasonally appropriate, they're also great for your skin. Pumpkins are rich in Vitamins A and C and various enzymes that help nourish and brighten skin. Who knew, right?
Pumpkin treatments are all the rage this season and Halo Salon and Spa is offering two different pumpkin-themed treatments: The PCA Pumpkin Peel and the Pumpkin Pedicure. Both treatments use similar ingredients to nourish the skin, and you can do a similar treatment at home for your face. I'll show you how!

DIY pumpkin facial mask recipe

What you'll need: 
Sara Stakeley
Pumpkin Facial

  • Pureed, cooked fresh no seeds or canned organic 100% pure pumpkin  
  • Unflavored  Greek yogurt
  • Honey
  • Ground almonds or Oatmeal if allergic to nuts
  • Olive oil (Dry Skin)
  • Cinnamon (Breakout prone skin) *Will tingle a little*

Get beautified:
  1. Start by mixing 2 cups of pureed, cooked fresh or canned pumpkin.
  2. Add 4 tablespoons unflavored yogurt, 4 tablespoons honey, 1/3 cup ground almonds or Oatmeal, 1/4 teaspoon olive oil (Dry) or Cinnamon (acne).
  3. Mix and apply to clean, moist skin.
  4. The enzymes are more active when moist, so sit in a warm tub or shower for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Remove with a clean washcloth.
  6. Apply moisturizer and enjoy soft clean skin!
  7. Cover & Refrigerate the rest of the mixture and use within a week.

 Let me know if you try it !!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkin!! Pumpkin! Pumpkin! I feel like it is everywhere and I can't get enough of it!

Total Time: 22 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 12 min.
Yield: 9 servings, 2 cookies each
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp. sea salt
1¼ cups pumpkin puree
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup raisins (or unsweetened dried cranberries)
¼ cup chopped raw pecans

1. Preheat oven for 350° F.
2. Lightly coat baking sheet with spray. Set aside.
3. Combine oats, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well.
4. Add pumpkin, maple syrup, raisins, and pecans; mix well.
5. Drop by rounded Tbsp. onto prepared baking sheet; flatten cookies with a spatula.
6. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes or until firm.

Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 103
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 67 mg
Carbohydrate: 18 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sugar: 9 g
Protein: 2 g

1 single snack

Monday, October 21, 2013

How to beat the Halloween Candy Bowl !!

Halloween or fall treats pushing you over the edge?

I love my daily Shakelogy! But when it taste as good as a candy bar or cinnamon roll, can you really not want to try it?  Plus, knowing it is super healthy for me!  Ok,I don’t care if I mix up a Shake for my Dessert, or now even have a Snickers for lunch.
Learn everything there is to know about Shakeology, including why doctors are recommending it to their patients and to Order yours today visit:
  With our bottom of the bag guarantee and a simple email/call to cancel any future orders, you really have nothing to lose to give it a try.  Oh, except for some of those unwanted inches off the waist.  (Studies show people that replace 1 meal a day with shakeology lose on average 10 lbs and 2 inches on their waist in 90 days!)

Pumpkin Pie Shakeology




1 scoop chocolate Shakeology
1 spoonful of unsweetened canned... pumpkin
1 shake of pumpkin pie spice
 1/2 c almond milk
3/4 c water
Ice and Blend!!!

Pecan Cinnamon Roll Shakeology

1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8 pecan halves
1 cup almond milk
Ice to taste

Butterfingers Chocolate Shakeology Recipe

1 Scoop of Chocolate Shakeology
1 cup of unsweetened Almond Milk
1 1/2 TBSP of Butterscotch pudding mix
1 1/2 TBSP of PB2 (or peanut butter)
Ice and Blend to Taste

Snickers Recipe for Shakeology

Some ice & 5 oz. of water
4 oz almond milk
2T PB2 (or peanut butter, the more natural the healthier)
1T slivered almonds
1T Sugar Free Caramel syrup
1 scoop chocolate shakeology.

Hope this helps!!
Have a healthy and happy fall :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Healthy Cookie Dough Dip

I love this recipe by Chocolate covered Katie I have made it for parties and everyone young and old had no idea that they where eating healthy!! And when I told them it was made with BEANS!!! The look on their faces was priceless!! Enjoy!



Inspired by:
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas or white beans (1 can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
  • 1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
  • tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter of choice (You can get away with using only 3 tbsp. If you use peanut butter, it’ll have a slight “pb cookie dough” taste, so if you don’t want this, try the Deep Dish Cookie Pie instead. Just don’t bake it.)
  • up to 1/4 cup milk of choice, only if needed
  • Sweetener of choice (see note below, for amount)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 to 3 tbsp oats (Ground flax will also work)
Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a good food processor (not blender), and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips.  (Some commenters have had success with a blender, but I did not. Try that at your own risk, and know the results will be better in a high-quality food processor such as a Cuisinart.) If made correctly and blended long enough, this should have the exact texture of real cookie dough!

Sweetener Notes: I used 2/3 cup brown sugar when I first made this for the party. Liquid sweeteners (agave, maple, etc.) are fine as well, as is evaporated cane juice. You can easily get away with less sugar– some people will be perfectly fine with just 3 tbsp for the whole recipe! And if you don’t want any sugar, be sure to check out the “no-sugar” version linked above. (You can also use stevia, if you like the taste of stevia-sweetened desserts. Try 2-3 packets of NuNaturals stevia, and add more sweetener if needed. I wouldn’t recommend serving an all-stevia version to party guests, though.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Stuff Pepper Soup

It is fall here and Pittsburgh and it is a great time for soup!
 I love cooking soup at home and the house smells amazing!!  

1 lbs. of ground turkey

2 green pepper chopped(cut a few extra to top the soup with)
1/2 cup of onion chopped

1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of onion salt

1/4 teaspoon of white pepper
1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon of oregano leaves
1 teaspoon of low sodium beef broth
4-5 cups of water
1 (28 oz. can) of diced tomatoes (low sodium not drained)
1  cup of brown rice
4 Tablespoons of real Parmesan cheese (not the kind in the shaker)

1/2 cup of low fat cheddar cheese to top the soup with(optional)


First take your onions, garlic, pepper, and olive oil in your pan and turn on medium heat letting it simmer until onions are translucent. Next step is to keep  the heat on medium and add your can of diced tomatoes with out draining them I measure out 1 cup of uncooked brown rice and add it to my pot also 4 cups of water.  Next I add all of the above spices (and Parmesan cheese) onion salt, white pepper , garlic salt, oregano leaves, & sodium beef broth  to the soup and continue to simmer.
Next I use a small nonstick pan to brown my ground turkey still letting my soup simmer on almost a low boil.
After meat is browned it to add it to your soup pot and continue on medium heat to low heat.  As it simmers the soup will get a bit thicker you might need to add another 1/2 cup or 1 cup of water depending on the consistency you want. All to do now is wait, put the lid on and turn heat to low and let all the ingredients simmer together for 45 minutes.  Soup is always better the second day.  Yes you can eat a bowl right after making it but soup always has way more flavor the longer you let it sit!! And this soup freezes well for another day or a easy lunch!!

What is your favorite type of soup to make?  This is a great example of what clean eating is all about.  It's taking a recipes that many of us would all ready make, making a few small changes and then your good to go it's clean and ready to eat

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Here's the scoop on how to create your own fabulous stir-fry any day of the week. Let your kids get in on the creative process. There is no right or wrong ingredient list. Whatever happens to be in your refrigerator often works. Well, maybe not those leftover pizzas.....Be sure to have a steaming hot dish of brown rice ready to serve with your stir-fry creation.

If serving 4 people use 1 lb. of lean protein: beef tenderloin; boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breast; firm tofu; large shrimp

2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 tsp lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger root
4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive, canola or avocado oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 Lbs of fresh vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces for the stir-fry (see chart below)

NOTE: To avoid gluten, make sure to use gluten-free tamari rather than soy sauce, and make sure any stock is gluten free.


1. Marinate the protein choice - beef, poultry, tofu or shrimp - in soy sauce or tamari and lemon juice, in a small glass bowl.

2. In another small bowl, mix garlic, ginger, scallions, 2 Tbsp oil and sesame oil

3. In a large skillet heat 1 tsp oil over high heat. Add protein choice and brown. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a plate.

4. Stir-fry the vegetables in batches, adding more oil as you go if needed. Transfer each cooked batch to the bowl containing the cooked protein and cover with a plate.

5. Put ginger and garlic mixture in the skillet and heat through. Place all cooked ingredients back in the skillet and toss while reheating the mixture. You can add a stir-fry sauce at this point (recipe for stir-fry sauce follows).


1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock, vegetable stock or water

4 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

4 Tbsp fresh-squeezed orange juice

2 Tbsp hoisin sauce

2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

2 Tbsp corn starch

4 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Pinch of sea salt
1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

2. Add the sauce to the stir-fry mixture near the end of the cooking process. Heat through until mixture is bubbly.


Calories: 42 | Calories from Fat: 10| Protein 1g | Carbs: 6g | Dietary Fiber: 0.25g | Sugars: 3g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 662.5mg
STIR-FRY VEGGIES  Some vegetables take longer to cook in the stir-fry process so it is important to know which are fast cooking and which are slow. Here's your handy reference:

Cooking Times:

1 - 5 Minutes: onions, sweet peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, bok choy, carrots, celery, garlic, edamame

Fast Cooking: spinach, green onions, napa cabbage, snow peas, leafy greens, zucchini, corn, water chestnuts

Long Cooking (more than 5 minutes): hard squash, green or yellow beans, broccoli, broccoli rabe, cauliflower, hard cabbage varieties - green or purple.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

It's fall and I CRAVE everything and anything Pumpkin!! This is super easy to make and will go great with your pumpkin spice coffee in the morning!!
Making your oatmeal taste like pumpkin pie is as delicious as it is healthy! Pumpkin puree and spices add flavor without adding fat!!

 Total Time: 30 min. Prep Time: 5 min. Cooking Time: 25 min. Yield: 2 servings
1¼ cups water
½ cup steel-cut oats (or old-fashioned rolled oats)
½ cup pumpkin puree
¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp. chopped pecans (or walnuts)
2 tsp. pure maple syrup (or raw honey)
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1. Bring water to boil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oats; cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat.2. Add pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and pecans; mix well.3. Divide evenly between two serving bowls; top each with maple syrup and ¼ cup almond milk.

Tip: When using old-fashioned rolled oats, reduce cooking time to 5 to 7 minutes.

Enjoy!! If you try it let me know what you think!!