Avocado Toast

When you’re tired, hungry and need to curb your sweet tooth…avocado toast.

I’m going a week without sugar. In theory, it’s not that hard. But I’ve let my sweet tooth take over the menu, and it’s time to reign it in with whole, nutritious foods.  Avocado toast is one of those awesome, simple creations. Here are common toppings I like to use.

Boiled egg/21 seasoning salute/salt/pepper

Sundried tomato/pesto


Radishes/balsamic vinaigrette

Just be sure to add the sliced avocados and use a quality bread, if you can. (I love Dave’s killer and Ezekiel bread–the heartier and seedier, the better!) ha Toast the bread thoroughly for crunch and to keep the toast intact while savoring.

Happy mid-week. Feed your body well, friends!



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HELLO! I am not back from the dead, although it kinda seems like it around here. I took a pause…to work a bunch, to eat a bunch and, of course, to cook a bunch! What has changed?

The Changes

  • I’m a little healthier {I only ate 3 giant muffins this week and am no longer scared of a treadmill…sorta.}
  • I drink more water {not sure why I told you that}
  • My job title has changed twice {yes, twice in one week, actually}
  • I have a new fire for cooking and sharing with you {I’ve got to start blogging again because I almost blew up the microwave yesterday}

October is almost over, and there are 6 beautiful cans of pumpkin puree in my pantry, beckoning to be molded into a decadent, delicious creation. I have an assortment of organic squash and such to go crazy with, too. And, if you’ve poked around this space at all, I love to take a recipe (or 4 or 5) and merge them and healthify them, based on which ingredients are already in my kitchen. This pumpkin bar is a lazy woman’s approach to a traditional pumpkin pie. And I love all of that delicious, sweet filling but the store-bought crusts leave much to be desired. The shortbread crust and the nutty taste throughout more than make up for the quick, tastier version of a pie. Let’s go!

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Nutty Pumpkin Bars

Sitting on an almond shortbread crust, these Fall treats are sure to please even your nuttiest neighbors and loved ones during the season. Serve warm with English breakfast tea or chilled for a sweet snack. The best part? All original needs for cream are replaced with Coconut Almond milk, which gives an essence of tropical coconut to an already complex, warm pumpkin flavor. Party on your tongue! And, not, there not much to look at, but my job is making tasty stuff. You can pipe some buttercream or cream cheese frosting on them for pretty effect, if you like!

Makes 18 cupcake-sized bars or one 9X13 pan

Almond Shortbread:

1/2 cup almond slivers

1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (110 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Step One: Line/grease 18 muffin cups or a 9X13 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, chop the almonds to a ground meal, then add flour and salt and blend. Set aside.

Step Two: In a mixer (or using your hand and a spoon), cream butter and brown sugar for 2-3 minutes, or until fluffy. Add vanilla and blend. Then, add flour mixture and blend into a dough.

Step Three: Press dough into bottom of muffin cups or baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until semi-firm to the touch like a soft cookie (not doughy). While waiting for it to bake, make the pumpkin filling.

Pumpkin Filling:

2 large eggs

1 – 15 ounce can (425 grams) pure pumpkin (2 cups)

3/4 cup (165 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups (360 ml) coconut almond milk

Step Four: In the mixer, blend eggs. Add pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and all spices and mix until blended. Lastly, add the milk and blend until smooth.

Step Five: When the shortbread is semi-firm, distribute pumpkin filling into the cups (3/4 full). Bake for 20 minutes, or until tops are slightly golden and pumpkin is firm to the touch (not runny or jiggly). Let cool for 5 minutes before running knife around the edges before removing from the pan(s).

Serve warm or chilled. Ice cream on top doesn’t hurt a thing.

Adapted from Source: Joy of Baking




KISS. Keep It Simple, Sillyhead.

How many times a day do you realize you’ve made something harder than it needs to be? In our busy-ness, we don’t take two seconds to think it through…we just go and don’t look back. And I’m so guilty of taking the long way, even when I’m trying to save time/money/resources. Argh.

Good news: food should be easy, simple even! And cooking at home is, perhaps, the simplest thing you might do all day. You know what you’re putting into your awesome body, you aren’t paying extra for fancy restaurant decor and fabulous waitstaff. And you don’t have to wait too long. So let’s KISS. Ha. Let’s make dinner with stuff we have on hand, with no extra evening trips to the grocery store. Especially when it’s dark and raining five days straight in Portland (what!?).

Easy Dinner Tips (for when you have nothing prepped and you’re hangry)

1. Know what you have on hand

  • Make a list of the ingredients you have on hand and tape it inside of your pantry/cabinet/fridge/freezer doors. (This also helps with grocery list making when you run out, plus you won’t have 5 jars of marinara from overbuying.)
  • Make a list of your family’s top 7 dishes, those go-tos. (Ours are tacos, taco salad, breakfast for dinner, shrimp pasta, spaghetti, salmon/asparagus, pizza.) Post this inside the pantry, and keep some of these ingredients always on hand.

2. Eat this combo: protein, fiber and produce. It is naturally human to grab pizza, bread, chips. And we know that doesn’t tame the hangry beast that is your stomach! Grab an apple with peanut butter when you can’t think straight, not cereal. Down some cucumber slices and hummus, not kettle chips. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a healthy snack just to tame the beast quickly.

3. Dress up something boring. (Add veggies and cheese to boxed soup, add nuts and topping to green salads, and be creative with your presentation and flavor/texture combos. Have fun with it!) Here’s an example:

Dressed Up Asparagus

4 servings

  • 1 pound (or so) Asparagus, washed and ends trimmed off
  • 1 1/2 oranges
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 TB oil (olive, avocado, coconut)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

  1. On a cookie sheet lined with foil or non stick spray/liner, spread the Asparagus spears out in one layer. 
  2. Drizzle oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Squeeze half an orange over and toss with tongs or hands. Spread spears out again in one layer. Tops spears with orange slices (see photo above).
  3. Bake for 15-18 minutes, depending on thickness of spears and preference of crunch. Sprinkle a little salt on top, if desired. Eat!

Super simple. Makes boring frozen salmon and plain quinoa a little more fun! (I added the other half of the orange and grated orange rind to the quinoa.)

Happy weekend! Make creative food out of this week’s leftovers!


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