Pumpkin Spice Mango Yogurt Pudding

My sister, Christine recently sent me a recipe for a pumpkin smoothie with a banana and Greek yogurt base. This reminded me of a mango sweet potato smoothie I used to make with yogurt. I set out to fuse these recipes into a pumpkin spice mango smoothie and the result was so deliciously creamy that I ate it with a spoon and decided to call it pudding. Get your pumpkin spice fill with this rich pudding that is delicious enough to be a dessert and healthy enough to eat for breakfast.



makes 2 servings (It is pretty thick, so I do not recommend doubling as it may not blend properly. If you have a crowd, just make it in batches.)

  • 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt (you can sub in low-fat yogurt, but you will lose some of the richness)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 tablespoon honey (use up to 3 tablespoons if you want it really sweet or go without if you are trying to cut out sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
  • pinch of salt



  1. Place all ingredients in Vitamix and blend. You might have better luck starting on a low variable speed and gradually increasing to high speed.


Tomato Cheesy Grits

These tomato cheesy grits are perfect for brunch or dinner. The fresh tomato puree with homegrown basil gives it a delightful taste. We paired it with spicy Italian turkey sausage for a perfect breakfast. I’m sure it would also be delicious with a poached egg or a side of hash browns.



serves 2

  • 1 cup tomato (2 medium size tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking grits
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar is probably my favorite)
  • 1 sprig green onion or chives, chopped



  1. Blend tomato, red onion, garlic and basil leaves in blender to make a puree.
  2. Pour into saucepan with 1 cup water and salt. Bring to boil.
  3. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly (seriously, don’t stop stirring, you don’t want lumpy grits). Reduce heat to medium as needed to prevent boiling over.
  4. Once grits have thickened (about 5 minutes), add butter, pepper and cheese.
  5. Pour into bowls and top with green onions to serve.


Hearty Whole Wheat and Oat Sun Dried Tomato Basil Buns

Making bread is an art I haven’t quite mastered, but the basics are much simpler than you think. I find that making smaller buns or rolls is much more forgiving than a large loaf. It is easier to tell when they are finished cooking and if they rise a little more or less than expected, it is not such a big deal. If you have never made your own bread, you are missing out on something truly amazing. Fresh bread is delicious and so much healthier than that spongy stuff they call bread in the store. Did I mention it is A LOT cheaper than those bakery artisan loaves (the only thing that even comes close to fresh homemade).  If you aren’t a fan of hearty breads (when my sister was little, she called it “gravel bread”), maybe try another recipe first, but I love the rich taste of this whole wheat oat bread and the health benefits of whole grains make it so much healthier than any kind of white bread. Making bread takes several hours, but the hands on time for this recipe isn’t very long at all, meaning it is easier than you think. Give it a try. It will be worth it. As a side note, fresh bread does not have a chemically enhanced indefinite shelf life like store-bought breads. If you plan to keep it longer than 5 days, I recommend putting it in the refrigerator or freezer to keep it from molding.

Tomato Basil Buns 5




makes about 20 medium to large buns

  • 2 cups warm water (not scalding hot, but like a fairly warm bath)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 packet (or 2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup dried basil
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups sun dried tomatoes chopped into small pieces
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour 

Tomato Basil Buns 2

Tomato Basil Buns 3

Tomato Basil Buns 4



  1. Combine warm water and honey then gently stir in yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes or until bubbly.
  2. Mix in all remaining ingredients until dough forms into a ball. (If sticky add a little more flour).
  3. Knead 5 minutes by hand or in mixer.
  4. Cover with a towel and let rise one hour or until doubled in size. Bread likes a warm environment while rising. If your house is cool, turn on your oven for about 2 minutes, then turn it off and put the bread in to rise. Make sure it is not too hot or you will kill the yeast.
  5. Grease 2 large cookie sheets.
  6. After an hour, punch down and form into rolls. Place on cookie sheets with a little space between. I made mine pretty flat in the picture because I wanted to use them as sandwich rounds, but you can make smaller round rolls if you want more of a dinner roll size.
  7. Let rise another 30-45 minutes.
  8. Turn oven on to 350 and bake until golden brown. This will take approximately 25-30 minutes but timing could vary depending on your oven and the size of your rolls. You can test by tapping on the bottom of a roll to see if it sounds hollow (under baked bread will be doughy on the inside and should not be consumed – put it back and bake it a little longer).


Tomato Basil Buns 6

Tomato Basil Buns 7

Easy Flour-less Banana Pancakes

I just heard about this idea yesterday, made it last night and felt like I should post right away because these pancakes are incredibly delicious and even more incredibly easy to make. I was talking with my sister and she mentioned that she makes pancakes with just bananas and eggs since some members of her family have food restrictions that would completely rule out regular pancakes. I was surprised how much they really taste like regular pancakes and how delicious they really are. I added a few things in, but I experimented with just banana and egg first and you could literally make them just like that if you want a super simple healthy breakfast.

Flourless Banana Pancakes 1


makes 1 small serving (Just multiply by the number of people. If your crowd is hungry, make 2 servings per person.)

  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed (You can totally skip this if you don’t have it. I made them both ways and debated which one to post, but I think the flax version came out a little more fluffy.)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Flourless Banana Pancakes 4


  1. Grease skillet with 1 tablespoon oil or generously with non-stick cooking spray and heat to medium or medium high heat.
  2. Mix all ingredients making sure banana is mashed thoroughly. I made a small batch and mashed it in a bowl, but a blender might work better for a large batch.Flourless Banana Pancakes 2
  3. Pour on skillet, flip when ready. They take a little longer to cook than regular pancakes and can be just a little harder to flip. It’s probably best to keep them on the smaller side for flipping ease. My current flipping success rate is 2 out of 3, but with regular pancakes it really isn’t much better to be honest.
  4. Eat with natural maple syrup, peanut butter, sliced strawberries, or whatever suits your fancy.

Flourless Banana Pancakes 5

Fried Rice Chicken Sausage Breakfast Tacos

I know this post is a little late for breakfast, but get ready for fried rice chicken sausage breakfast tacos. I made these the other day for brunch with a good friend.

Fried Rice Chicken Sausage Tacos 3


makes 5 tacos

  • 1 link chicken sausage (I used jalapeno chicken sausage)
  • 1 cup yellow pepper (or bell pepper of choice)
  • 1/2 cup red onion minced
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno minced finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 egg
  • tortillas and desired toppings (I used guacamole, queso fresco cheese, and tomato)

Fried Rice Chicken Sausage Tacos 1


  1. Saute chicken sausage, yellow pepper, red onion, jalapeno, salt and cumin on medium heat.
  2. Add rice and egg near end and continue cooking until egg is fully cooked.
  3. Assemble tacos and enjoy.

Fried Rice Chicken Sausage Tacos 2

Pumpkin Banana Pancakes

I add bananas to a lot of things because I always seem to have a few overly ripe ones sitting on the counter that didn’t quite get eaten or made into smoothies at the right point in time. Today I decided to mix it up a little and add some pumpkin.

Pumpkin Banana


makes about 12 pancakes

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 cup water or milk

Pumpkin Banana Pancackes 2


  1. Heat greased griddle to medium/medium high heat.
  2. Mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together.
  3. In the same bowl, add egg, banana, pumpkin and water or milk.
  4. Cook pancakes on griddle, flipping as needed.

Pumpkin Banana Pancakes 3

Spicy Pineapple Breakfast Plate

So if I use Spicy Pineapple as a blog name, I really do need to deliver at least one recipe that lives up to this name right? Introducing the Spicy Pineapple Breakfast Plate:


Serves 2

  • 2 links chicken sausage (I used 3oz sweet apple maple syrup flavored – which I highly recommend)
  • 1.5 cups sliced fresh pineapple
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2-4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • dash of red pepper
  • 1 batch of homemade guacamole or 1 sliced avocado drizzled with lime juice if you are feeling lazy
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 2 handfuls arugula (or another green of your choice)
  • 3oz goat cheese


  1. Cook chicken sausage in saute pan on medium heat, keep covered until heated thoroughly.
  2. Heat black beans in sauce pan or using microwave.
  3. Combine sliced pineapple (see slicing directions below for tips), cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and dash of red pepper (or several dashes if you are brave) in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Make 1 batch guacamole (or slice avocado and drizzle with lime juice for the simple version).
  5. Slice chicken sausage and arrange all ingredients on two plates

I didn’t set out to use a sweet chicken sausage, but that is what I had in the refrigerator. After tasting it all together, I will never make it any other way.

Spicy Pinapple Breakfast Plate 2

To slice a pineapple, twist off the stem, cut in quarters, then cut out the core from each section. Run the knife around the bottom edge to cut the fruit away from the skin, then slice into bite sized pieces.

Spicy PInapple Breakfast Plate 3Spicy Pinapple Breakfast Plate 4 Spicy Pinapple Breakfast Plate 5Spicy Pinapple Breakfast Plate 6

Step 3 right before I mixed it all together.

Spicy Pinapple Breakfast Plate 7

There you have it! The Spicy Pineapple Breakfast Plate is ready to eat.

Spicy Pinapple Breakfast Plate 8