WIAW #9 – Pumpkin My Life

I think that it is entirely possible I could fill my day (or at least the week) with pumpkin products.  Skeptical? Let me explain, or rather show  you…

But first, I have to express my confusion as to why people think I am a freshman!  Seriously, do I have a certain naive or confused or overly excited look on my face?  No, I don’t think so (unless I am talking about food, then yes, I do have a very excited look on my face and thus may look like a freshman entering college and a world of independence).  Please people, I’ve been around for a few years, I live of campus, I have my life together (sort of).  I am NOT a freshman.  Well, now that is over with, let’s see how I did with my pumpkin challenge.


Pumpkin Greek Yogurt by the wonderful Trader Joe’s topped with my delicious Pumpkin Spice Granola.  See recipe here!  Or, I have also created my own Pumpkin Chia Puddings, which provide a nice change of pace from the berry and peach mixes I had going on a few weeks ago.  Too busy?  Pick up a pumpkin smoothie from Jamba Juice (or make your own)

Lunch is my least favorite part of the day by far.  I am running between classes and rarely have time to eat unless it is during class.  I have issues eating too close to breakfast and then if I wait too long, I’m starving and then eat too much at dinner (usually the not so healthy stuff…) So, I tend to fall back to my habits of fruit, water, sometimes coffee, and an energy bar.  Not the best idea, I know, but it’s reliable and does the trick.  Enough energy at least to get me through ethics. Most of the time.

Can you believe they already have holiday themed Cliff Bars? I had never sampled the pumpkin and while it still had the distinct “Cliff Bar” taste, I could certainly pick up the hints of pumpkin spice that accompany those tasty seasonal pies.

I was blog-hopping earlier this week and saw that Theresa had picked up an iced coffee with a pump of pumpkin syrup.  Well, it sounded so good that I convinced myself it was necessary to order one right then and there.  Good thing I was in the library and could walk down to the cafe.  It was mighty tasty and it might start to become a staple in my diet.   The key is to not get too many pumps of syrup though.  If you don’t specify, the baristas go to town and you could end up with who knows how much sugar in your drink.  Yeah, I’m not good with restricting sugar as it is, so adding more to my coffee, probably isn’t the best idea.  Whatever.  Goodness, how did I get onto this pumpkin and coffee addiction?

Snack time usually depends on where I am located, what time it is, and how much I have already consumed throughout the day.  The usual suspects include: apples (from our apple picking adventure), celery, carrots, watermelon, or Costco “Greek yogurt” trail mix. (how much yogurt was used in the process of making the trail mix, I have no clue, but it tastes good)

This weekend, my roommate and I experimented with paella, which did NOT have pumpkin in it, but that would be a good idea.  Maybe not.  But, we did make a large enough amount to allow for leftovers for future dinners.

I even used it with grilled peppers, onion, cherry tomatoes, a TJ salmon burger, and over a bed of mixed greens. The salmon burger was more of an experiment and I am still not entirely sure how I feel about it.  How do you even cook a salmon patty and know it is cooked all the way through?  It is already a pink fish, so it’s not like a burger that obviously is cooked when it turned a different color. 

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  What about pumpkin for dinner?  Don’t worry, I got it covered 🙂 How about pumpkin quesadillas?  This recipe torn from the latest Rachel Ray magazine, Halloween themed of course.

Pumpkin Quesadillas (serves 4)
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1 tsp ground cumin
8 x 8-inch wheat tortillas
4 oz cheese (mix of Mexican mix/feta) goat cheese recommended
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (toasted)
Few Tbsp oil

In a bowl, stir pumpkin and cumin; season.  Spread over 4 tortillas.  Sprinkle with cheese and nuts. Top with remaining tortillas.  In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium-low.  Cook quesadillas 1 at a time, turning once and adding more oil between batches, until browned (~3 minutes).  Cut into wedges.  🙂

Nothing like Trader Joe’s pumpkin ice cream to finish the day off.  Feeling a little wild? Add some of the pumpkin granola on top as well.  If you are more of a frozen yogurt fan, check out my recipe below.

Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt
1 can pumpkin puree
1 tub Chobani Greek Nonfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup sugar (optional)

Mix in a bowl and set aside for about 10 minutes.  Place in ice cream machine and let it spin for about 15-20 minutes.  Set it in the freezer until it has reached your favorite consistency.  I like mine thicker, hence why I go for the ice cream…you can just as easily place one of Trader Joe’s pre-mixed pumpkin yogurts in the fridge for a quick snack too.  Got to love that protein.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I have turned orange by the time I go home for Thanksgiving.  I may even emit a pumpkin spice odor when I run, but that might have taken it one step too far.

If you haven’t seen this movie or haven’t become involved with this piece of pop culture, I strongly encourage you to check out this link.  It’s great when people break out dancing to the horse dance at parties and is even better when they attempt to sing the lyrics.  Unless you are fluent in Korean, I’m sure you are just screaming gibberish. (Click picture and you will be re-connected) At when I hear it on my pandora station at the gym, brilliance at its best. 

Even better is this spinoff with Mitt Romney dancing to “Mitt Romney Style.” Pure genius.

My sister sent me this today and I think we have found our purpose in life.

Happy Wednesday, keep experimenting, but most of all, “Keep Calm and Carry On”

“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”
– Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

24 thoughts on “WIAW #9 – Pumpkin My Life

    • They TOTALLY ARE! I wonder if ThinkThin Products would make one, I really like how those have such low amounts of sugar. Or I should look into Luna Bar pumpkin products…oh the potential

    • Glad you liked it!

      I’m trying my best on the pumpkin side. I’m not sure what will be next after that. I remember a few years ago when there wasn’t as much pumpkin due to a crop shortage!

    • Isn’t it delicious? I don’t know what I will do when they stop carrying pumpkin. Sometimes that happens when the holidays are over. I will have to throw myself into any current trend 🙂 Still on the recipe list: pumpkin mac & cheese, enchiladas, donuts, and possibly bagels!

    • Well, it probably depends on how much you would like to make. We only have the large containers (32 oz Chobani yogurt & 29 oz pumpkin) but Trader Joe’s sells smaller ones. I would recommend 1 (15oz) can pumpkin and 1.5-2 cups yogurt. It all depends on how strong of a flavor you would like your yogurt to have. More pumpkin, add a little more. More yogurty, do the same. Also, for not such a tart flavor, you can always sub in a vanilla Greek yogurt (better flavor, still a lot of protein!) Make sure to include some vanilla extract, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice for extra oomph 🙂

  1. Pingback: WIAW #12 – My Monstrous Mash | California Endless Summer

  2. I absolutely adore pumpkin as well! Glad to see I’m not the only one who can devote an entire post to all things pumpkin 🙂 I cannot wait to try those pumpkin quesadillas. Brilliant idea!

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