Posts tagged gluten free
Pumpkin Chia Breakfast Bowl
Fresh and Balanced

It’s hot hot hot here in the midwest and the last thing I want to be eating for breakfast is something warm!

Nope, not gonna do it.

I’ve been living on smoothies, popsicles and chia seed puddings for breakfasts recently. I’ve run through all the normal chia pudding combos, vanilla, maple, berry etc…and I was craving something different.

PUMPKIN! Pumpkin in summer? Why not?

Now before you roll your eyes and comment how the pumpkin spice latte keeps coming back earlier and earlier, let me stop you.

This isn’t your average pumpkin flavored dish! It’s complex and refreshing at the same time! It may sound like a fall recipe, but the fresh banana and shredded coconut both delight and confuse your taste buds :)!

It’s the perfect summer breakfast that I’ve been eating on repeat lately! Give it a try for yourself!! :)

Fresh and Balanced

Pumpkin Chia Breakfast Bowls

Makes 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup chia seeds

  • 4 cups coconut milk

  • 3 cups pumpkin purée

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

  • 6 tablespoons coconut flakes

  • 6 tablespoons granola

  • 6 bananas


In a large bowl, add chia seeds, coconut milk, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and maple syrup. Whisk to combine. Evenly divide between meal prep containers. Store toppings on the side and slice bananas fresh before eating.

Easy Sausage Breakfast Casserole

I’ll be the first to admit that my breakfast game could be stronger! Lunch? No problem! Dinner? Easy! But breakfast has always been something that has thrown me for a bit of a loop. Once I get tired of scrambled eggs with bacon, avocado toast and oatmeal, I start to scratch my head. My default is to make pancakes or grab a bagel on the run. While Brian may be happy about that, it doesn’t help our waistlines at all! 

That’s where this delicious and flavor packed breakfast casserole steps in. It’s a snap to make and is so delicious! I make this for meal prep all the time now. It’s so nice to have this baking in the oven while I prep lunches and other food! 

You will see in the recipe that I have you saute the veggies before baking, but if you are in an extreme rush just chop, mix and go! The veggies will be more on the crisp side, but sometimes thats a nice switch too! 

As a little secret, the key to making this casserole light and fluffy is to make sure you really whisk the eggs well before pouring over the veggies.



Easy Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Makes 12 pieces


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper 
  • 1 green bell pepper 
  • 1 cup broccoli, finely chopped 
  • 1 cup spinach 
  • 4 chicken apple sausages 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 12 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup egg whites 
  • Salt and pepper 


Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Put everything except eggs and egg whites in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until crisp tender. Evenly pour veggie/sausage mixture in the bottom of a greased 9x13 inch pan. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and egg whites. Pour over the top of the veggie/sausage mixture in the 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until the eggs are set and the center is not runny.

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars

As a child, one of my favorite Halloween traditions was the pumpkin bars my Mom would make. Soft, spicy and glazed with either a thick cream cheese frosting or sugary glaze, I would gladly pass up any candy for one of those decadent bars. I can’t even help that my mouth is watering right now!! Those bars are forever part of my memory and even a whiff of pumpkin spice takes me back to cold Halloween nights and warm pumpkin bars. 

Halloween is next week, and I am still on my Whole30 journey! That being said, my traditional pumpkin bars will not be something I am making this year. However, it’s just not Halloween if I don’t have some kind of pumpkin dessert, so I made these pumpkin cheesecake bars that are totally Whole30 approved! These dairy-free, refined sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan friendly bars are insanely delicious and taste like a pumpkin pie. 

What’s even better about these bars is that they are super duper easy to create. All you need is one blender, a food processor and a 8x8 pan! I used dates to sweeten the crust and the filling, the key here is to make sure you soak your pitted dates into water for 5 minutes so that they will blend smoothly!  




Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars

Makes 12 bars



  • 1/2 cup walnuts 
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 cup pitted dates, soaked in hot water for 5 mins 
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut


  • 1 cup cashews (soaked in room temp water overnight) 
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, soaked in hot water for 5 mins 
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut


For the crust: Combine everything in a food processor and blend until a crumbly mixture is formed. You should be able to squeeze a handful of crumbs and have the mixture remain a clump when you open your hand. Press crust into the bottom of an 8x8 square pan. 

For the filling: In a blender, combine all filling ingredients except pecans, cinnamon and coconut and blend until smooth. Evenly pour filling over crust. Sprinkle pecans, cinnamon and coconut over bars and place in freezer for 2 hours or until firm. Before serving, allow to sit in the fridge for one hour, then cut and serve!

Portobello Mushroom Hamburgers

If you have never had a burger on a Portobello mushroom bun then you are missing out!! The rich flavor, satisfying texture and it’s unique ability soak up whatever delicious sauce you put on it makes it a must try.

I like mushrooms, but had been skeptical for the longest time about trying to use it as a hamburger bun. How could anything be better than a soft whole wheat bun? After trying it, I quickly realized that even the pickiest of eaters would love this application of the Portobello mushroom! 

Make sure you don’t roast your mushroom caps too long or they will will get soggy and soft and won't be able to withhold the weight of a burger. Bake them just until they are tender and pull them out of the oven. 

If you have been following me on Instagram, you know that I am currently participating in the Whole30 challenge. One of the products I have really come to love is the chipotle lime mayo by Primal Kitchen, and no they aren’t paying me to say that lol!  On a rushed weeknight when I don’t have time to make my own mayo, this spicy jar of goodness has saved me so much time! On this burger the spicy pop is a nice accent to the earthy mushroom! 




Portobello Mushroom Burger

Makes 4 servings


  • 8 Portobello mushroom caps, insides and stems removed  
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 1/3 cup yellow onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash’s Onion & Herb Seasoning Blend 
  • 2 eggs, beaten 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Tomato slices 
  • Onion slices 
  • 4 lettuce leaves 
  • Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo with Avocado Oil 
  • Salt and pepper to taste


For the “buns”: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay mushroom caps on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes until mushrooms caps are tender but not mushy. Set aside. 

For the burger: In a large bowl combine turkey, garlic, onion, spices and eggs. Stir until just combine. In a large skillet on the stove, heat olive oil until shimmering. Using a 1/2 measuring cup, drop burgers into pan and flatten with a spatula. Cook until golden brown on one side (about 3 minutes) then flip burger and cook until center is no longer pink. 

Assemble burgers with mushroom caps and top with tomato, onion, lettuce and mayo. Enjoy!