Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

I've made pumpkin muffins before... usually I get the craving sometime in the fall when everything pumpkin is around! You can see my posts for pumpkin muffins with a cinnamon and sugar toping and pumpkin cream cheese muffins with pecan streusel!!! They are both insanely delicious!

This fall, I was craving a pumpkin muffin that was more healthy. This may or may not have been prompted by my nutrition classes giving me a daily dose of nutrition and health!

Regardless, I went with my craving in search of a healthier pumpkin muffin. And I found a good one!! These muffins are super dense, thick and chewy, just like I like them! I also used whole wheat flour and oats for added fiber, and pumpkin and chia seeds for added protein! I like the extra crunch and texture in these muffins! Since they are loaded with fiber, they have some strong staying power, which is great for those days when I don't get home for lunch!

If you need to get in a healthy version of something with Halloween and Thanksgiving coming up, give these muffins a try! You won't feel guilty for eating a little extra batter while you're preparing them!!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
Adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers

Makes 12 muffins


3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
Optional mix-ins: nuts, chocolate chips, raisins. I added in pumpkin seeds and chia seeds.


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line muffin pan with muffin cups, or spray with cooking spray.

2. Combine whole wheat flour through sugar in a large bowl and mix to evenly distribute ingredients.

3. In a separate bowl, mix egg, pumpkin, milk and canola oil

4. Pour pumpkin mixture into flour mixture and stir until batter is thick and fully mixed

5. Fold in optional mix-ins

6. Pour batter into muffin cups and bake for 18 minutes or until tops of the muffins bounce back when lightly touched

7. Cool and enjoy. You can top with cinnamon, butter, or pumpkin butter! I prefer them plain because they are delicious on their own!

Lentil and Swiss Chard Risotto

Since I had time to cook a nice meal over Fall Break, and I had a craving for lentils, I decided a good risotto would do the trick! I found this recipe by Martha Stewart, and simplified the process a bit. It was delicious and we had tons of leftovers! I will be making it again for sure!

Lentil and Swiss Chard Risotto
Adapted from Martha Stewart


1 bay leaf
fresh thyme sprigs
1 cup green lentils
1 large bunch Swiss chard
3 large leeks, white and light-green parts only, cut into small semicircles
4 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth can be used as well)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/4 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped radicchio, for garnish


1. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups water, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes. Add lentils, reduce heat to low, and simmer until tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain lentils and discard bay leaf and thyme.

2. Meanwhile, wash the Swiss chard and chop into 2 inch pieces. Discard the larger stems. Cook in a large skillet, tossing constantly, until just wilted, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

3. In the large skillet, heat olive oil and add leeks, onions, and garlic and cook stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes. Add rice and continue stirring until the edges of the rice are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until nearly all the wine is absorbed, about 30 seconds.

4. Raise the heat to medium high, add salt and pepper. Gradually add chicken broth until it is all absorbed by the rice, stirring constantly, until rice is creamy, about 15-20 minutes.

5. Turn the heat to low, and stir in the lentils, Swiss chard, and Parmesan. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Divide risotto among serving dishes and serve immediately.

6. We also added an over easy egg on top of our risotto, as per another risotto recipe, and it was delicious! Feel free to enjoy the dish either way!

Back to Running! (with tendonitis)...

Yes, the name of my blog is Runner Foodie. You'd think I'd post more about running, right? Well, do you remember last year, when I had all sorts of running struggles? Well, let's just say that after a long year of trying to recover, I'm still sort of injured.

My ankle has been so sore the past year whenever I ran as little as 2-3 miles. My frustration about not getting a good workout drove me to try the Insanity program (which I loved!) and I completed 2 cycles of it. I felt like my ankle got stronger by doing some cross training, so that's when I decided to go to the doctor and try to run again.

I went to a doctor this fall, and said that I have residual tendonitis from my injury last year that hasn't healed. She hooked me up with some cool orthotics to wear in my running shoes. They've really been helping my ankle feel better when I run, so I've been able to increase my distance to 5 miles! This is HUGE. It's so nice to get a good run in, now that school has started up and I'm more busy with less time to devote to a workout.

However, after a couple of months running 5 miles at a time, my ankle is still getting pretty sore towards the end of a run. I think it's time to go back to the doctor and get something figured out about this ankle of mine. I don't want to be injured for life! Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure I'm not injuring it further, and I'll continue to run and write about it!

Midterms/Fall Break

I successfully made it though my first midterms week of graduate school last week! I'm happy to report that the tests went well!! Dimitri helped me study:

A lot!

Our Fall Break was last weekend and was just a short 4 day weekend, but I really needed it! Bryan had to work 3 of the 4 days I was off (late nights too!), so I had plenty of time to myself, which is nice sometimes. I didn't do any schoolwork! I used my time to finish the Stephen King novel I was reading, 11/22/63 (it was really good, if anyone is looking for a long read!!), sleep, work for my job, run, bake, and cook!! Yes, you'll see some upcoming posts regarding some of these activities!

Bring on the rest of the semester!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

You know it's officially fall when everything includes pumpkin!! Last weekend I had a craving for pumpkin bread, and I also needed to do some baking for birthday gifts and thank you gifts to friends :)

To my surprise, when I went to search through my recipes, I didn't have a pumpkin bread recipe yet, and I'm so glad I found this one. It's delicious, moist, and flavorful! Next time, I will decrease the sugar amount a bit because it was a little too sweet for me. I also added walnuts and pecans (1/2 and 1/2) which was a great idea to add a variety of crunch! Topped with a thin layer of butter, these pumpkin bread slices were the perfect fall snack!

Pumpkin Bread
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Yields: 2 8x4 loaves
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes


3-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup vegetable oil
2-2/3 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 cups (15 ounces) canned pumpkin
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I used half a cup of each)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 8½x4½-inch loaf pans.

2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil and sugar until combined. Add the eggs, pumpkin, water and vanilla and whisk until thoroughly combined and smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix gently until combined. Using a large spoon or spatula, stir in the nuts.

4. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 60 to 80 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

5. Remove the bread from the oven and place the pans on a cooling rack. Once the breads are completely cool, turn out of the pans. You can serve immediately or, for even better flavor and moistness, wrap the loaves in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight.