Pumpkin-palooza Sunday

I don’t know about you, but I love Fall.  With the return of reasonable temperatures, Fall is always a busy time in the Houston area, and this year will be no exception.  We have something fun planned almost every weekend from mid-September to early December and I am truly looking forward to all of the adventures.  But last year in our dedication to Whole 30 and our early Paleo effort, we missed out on one of the best flavors of the season – Pumpkin Spice.  So this year, I decided to dedicate this week to all things pumpkin and find some new healthier ways to get my fix.

We started off Sunday with an easy new favorite, Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes from Practical Paleo (say that 5 times fast).  These were really yummy, and showed off that lovely cinnamon & pumpkin flavor as a great starter for the day.  I cooked them a little longer than I probably should have, but they are very likely to make a return visit for weekend breakfasts this fall.

img_1923Then, I started on some savory lunches for the week.  Pureed pumpkin lends itself very well to soups and stews, so I ended up doing a soup and a chili in the crock pot.  The Paleo Pork and Pumpkin Chili from Primally Inspired, has some real kick to it with the chipotle peppers and canned green chiles, and really you can’t tell that its made with pumpkin.  The flavors all meld into a nice even chili flavor, and the pork roast meat is an interesting departure from our classic Texas chili which always uses beef.

For the classic creamy Pumpkin soup, I tried Pumpkin and Chorizo Soup from Primal Palate.  This one really turned interesting.  I kept waffling between bacon and chorizo in this dish, and went with the chorizo only because I thought it might be an interesting flavor combination. IMG_1918.JPG I liked it more than I thought I would, but because I unintentionally ended up using a Hatch Chile chorizo, it had quite a spicy kick to it.  I don’t know that I would use that kind of meat again in the future, but E.J. loved the spicy twist.

Next I tried this Paleo Pumkin Cream Chicken Casserole from PaleOMG.  It was actually pretty simple to put together, and I really enjoyed the bit I tried when it first came out of the oven.  I’m looking forward to enjoying this one for lunches during the week.

I also made this Sweet Potato Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie from  I’d not seen a shepherd’s pie made with a topping like this, but it looked awesome.  I used ground beef instead of turkey , but otherwise followed the recipe exactly.  I have this for lunch today and can’t wait to dig in!img_1922

And for the finale, I made Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies from Paleo Running Momma.  Oh man, these things are TO DIE FOR.  Brendon tried one last night and said they were probably the best brownies he’s ever had.  They’re very dark, with 85% chocolate chunks and the raw cacao that I used instead of cocoa.  Pure awesome.  Definitely making these again!

Happy Pumpkin Season!



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