Fall in American no longer means the leaves are changing colors or the weather is get cooler… it means pumpkin spice everything! Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice Jell-O pudding, pumpkin spice creamers and cookies and liquors!

And, you know what? I friggin LOVE it!

Here’s my logic…


Fall=pumpkin spice everything.

Therefore, Sara+pumpkin spice everything= love.

(Undergrad philosophy 101 did teach me something after all.)

However, I don’t enjoy how pumpkin spice everything usually means processed everything. So, I’ve made a few deliciously non-processed pumpkin-laden things over the past few weeks and thought I’d share. (especially since the last time I posted was way way way way too long ago).

Pumpkin Spice Oat Bars


  • 2.5C rolled oats
  • 1 tsp powdered stevia
  • 1 TBPS cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of all spice
  • 1C pumpkin puree
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • any other add-ins you enjoy (craisins or fresh cranberries with a little extra melted honey are a great addition! and I usually add in a scoop or two of protein powder to make them a more well-rounded snack)
  • TIP: add a dash of almond milk if it looks too dry or a little more pumpkin

Mix dry, add wet, PRESS (really press) into a pan (smaller pan if you want em thicker, bigger pan if you want em thin… but the thinner they are the more likely they are to crumble!)

Bake in 350 degree oven  for ~10-12 minutes or until the tops are dry to the touch.

Overnight Slow-cooker Pumpkin Butter


  • 1 medium “pumpkin pie” pumpkin
  • 1/2C coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of all spice
  • 2 TBPS cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 C water
  1. Gut the pumpkin like you would a jack-o-lantern. (Clean and roast the seeds if you love some peppitas on your oatmeal like I do).
  2. Split it in half and place flesh side down in a casserole dish with about 1 in of water in the bottom.
  3. Roast in 350 degree over until you can pierce the skin easily with a knife.
  4. Allow to cool and then skin the pumpkin.
  5. Place pumpkin flesh and all other ingredients in a crockpot.
  6. Allow to cook on low overnight (8 hours) or on high for ~4 hours.
  7. Puree in a high-end blender or with a blender stick.
  8. Enjoy on everything… even cardboard. 😀

TIP: if you’re having a hard time blending it add some apple cider/juice to it to help the process.

Enjoy all the tasty pumpkin treats this season! And, feel free to share your faves below!


Roasty Toasty Weekend (Recipes galore)

It’s HERE!



It makes me want to curl up with a cup of tea and a blanket, get all nice and toasty and read all day, but alas… things called school and work (and cleaning off the car in order to go to school and work) must happen.

And schoolwork went slightly by the wayside this weekend as I roasted and toasted all of this…

food 11.12.13


Upper left: Honey Roasted Cranberries and Carrots Upper right: #GF, #DF Buckwheat Waffles with Ocean Spray’s Cranberry Relish on top (tip… I cook my relish for about 10min with some whole berries in it to get it to gel a bit…mmm) Lower left: BBBrownies & PB (recipe coming later) Lower right: Roasted Brocc & Walnuts

And now the recipes! Let’s start with the easy ones (healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated 🙂

Honey Roasted Cranberries and Carrots

  • About a dozen medium carrots, peeled and quartered
  • 1.5C fresh cranberries (if you want it sweeter you could use craisins)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic (I know that’s weird, but it’s good I promise)
  • 2 TBSP honey (you can adjust the sweetness by adjusting the honey or adding a little extra sugar
  1. Season
  2. Mix
  3. Roast @400 for ~45min or until the carrots are tender (mix them every once in awhile)

Roasted Brocc & Walnuts (aka mouth candy)

  • 4C Brocc florets
  • 1C Walnuts
  • 1-2TBSP olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, paprika
  1. Place brocc onto a sheet pan and drizzle with as much or as little olive oil as you’d like
  2. Add seasonings
  3. Roast @350 for 30min
  4. Add walnuts to brocc and mix around
  5. Roast another 15-20min or until brocc is tender and walnuts are toasty… yum

#GF, #DF Buckwheat Waffles (this is a time and time again tested recipe, and I think I’ve finally gotten something GdoubleODgood… and Buckwheat is so good for you!)

  • 2C Buckwheat Flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, separate the whites into a glass/metal bowl
  • 2TBSP honey
  • 2TBSP coconut oil
  • 1.5tsp vanilla
  • 1C almond milk
  1. Mix dry together
  2. Melt honey (if raw) and coconut oil together
  3. Add honey/coco mix, vanilla, egg yolks and almond milk to dry mix
  4. Whip egg whites into soft peaks
  5. Fold whites into batter
  6. Make waffles!

(NOTE: I use an ice cream disher to measure out my waffle mixture…it’s ~1.5 scoops for each waffle, but that depends on your maker)

Hope you enjoy all of these as much as I am for breakfasy, lunch and dinner this week 🙂

I’m Back and I’m in Love! Plus…#GF Orange Chicken

After a long long long hiatus from updating everyone, I’m back! I was in Florida for a few weeks visiting these cuties… kiddosinFL

And then flew back to DC to say goodbye to some great friends, close a chapter in my life, and cover my cute “nephew” in hugs and kisses!


NOW…I’m officially a Pittsburgher again, a graduate student, and I’m in LOVE! With my new job that is 😉 I’m the Fitness Graduate Student Assistant for the Intramurals and Recreation Department at the University of Pittsburgh, and I couldn’t be happier! This Saturday I got to don my FItness Staff shirt for the first time as we conducted fitness classes all over campus…dork status? Yes! And yet I still LOVE it!


And… I passed my ACSM Group Exercise Instructor Certification, so now I’m legit… or in the words of MC Hammer…

So, now that I have to pack my lunch four days a week, I’ve started cooking larger meals at night (and trying new things). The other night I made a #GF version of Orange Chicken that was seriously amazing!

Orange Chicken

#GF Orange Chicken Over Brown Rice

  • 2 Chicken Breasts, cut into 1in cubes
  • buckwheat flour
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 TBSP ginger
  • coconut oil (2-3TBSP)
  • 1C plus 1/4C orange juice
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1TBSP seasame oil
  • 2 medium carrots, julienned
  • 1 small or 1/2 a large zucchini, julienned
  • 1/2 a head of small, green cabbage
  • 1/2 a white onion
  • 1 TBSP siratcha sauce or red chili paste (you’ll need extra water or OJ if you use a paste) and use LESS if you don’t like a little kick!
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce or aminos
  • 2C cooked brown rice

Chicken: Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan. Mix buckwheat flour & spices together, coat chicken cubs in mixture. Fry chicken in small batches. Sauce: As you’re making the chicken… put 1C OJ, siratcha, ginger and soy/aminos into a small sauce pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until it thickens slightly. Veggies: Once the chicken is finished cooking, deglaze the pan with the remaining OJ. Add sesame oil and ginger. Put in onions and carrots and allow to simmer for about 5min or until onions are translucent. Put in cabbage and sprinkle generously with salt. Cover frying pan for about 5-7min or until cabbage has started to wilt. Stir all the veggies together, add in zucchini and stir fry for until all veggies are cooked through BUT NOT SOFT!

Put chicken into sauce right before ready to serve. I stacked up rice, veggies, and then spooned on some of the chicken. I added chopped green onions to the top of mine for some extra crunch. YUM YUM YUM!