Pumpkin Bread, Quinoa…and Chemicals?

I needed to switch breakfast up a bit today, so instead of oatmeal I had a multi-grain English muffin with peanut butter and some light cranberry juice.

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I have to say that it didn’t hold me over as well as oatmeal. I was hungry by 10:00 a.m.! Any ideas on what I could add to my English muffin to keep hunger at bay? I’m thinking of doing half peanut butter-topped and half jelly-topped next time. 🙂 And then later, maybe peanut butter and banana on top!

Morning snack was the usual granola bar (no pic). And then lunch consisted of: carrots, Greek yogurt with oats, and some of my mom’s delicious pumpkin bread!

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The bread was pretty much like a dessert at lunch – good thing I only had one slice with me. Here is my mom’s recipe for this deliciousness!

Crumb Topped Pumpkin Loaf

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix (not just canned pumpkin)
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup butter –   cut up into small pieces
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/3 finely chopped walnuts

Loaf: Beat egg and sugars in large bowl.  Beat in pumpkin, oil and vanilla till smooth.  Add flour, baking powder and salt – stir just until moistened and it comes together.  Fold in walnuts.  Spoon batter into  9x5x3 loaf pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Topping: Mix butter pieces, brown sugar and flour in small bowl until crumbly.  Stir in walnuts.  Sprinkle over batter.

Bake loaf at 350  for 50 to 55 minutes, until wooden toothpick tests clean. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes then turn out onto rack to cool completely.

I’m not a huge fan of Pumpkin Pie (I know – I’m crazy), but this bread is one of my favorites.

Afternoon snack: rice chips and two clementines


After work, I stopped at Jack Rabbit Sports to see if they had any good ear-warmers for cold-weather running. Then I popped into a nearby health food store that I just noticed a few weeks ago to browse their selections.

Dinner tonight was a new adventure: Quinoa!

Quinoa Salad


3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 can beans, drained
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
10 grape tomatoes, quartered
½ green bell pepper
½ cucumber
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
dash cayenne pepper
dash cumin

Boil quinoa in a saucepan with 1.5 cups of water until all water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

Combine all chopped veggies and drained beans with lemon juice, vinegar and spices.  Toss with quinoa, add salt and pepper to taste and serve.


It was a decent meal – but not my absolute favorite. I used red wine vinegar because it was all I had, but I think if I make it again I would get some apple cider vinegar.

I’ll likely have another piece of pumpkin bread for dessert!

Here’s my last commentary of the night. I came upon this article today:
Chemicals in Our Food, and Bodies – an op-ed in the NY Times.  Reading things like this scares me half to death!

“While most of the studies are on animals, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported last year that humans with higher levels of BPA in their blood have “an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities.” Another published study found that women with higher levels of BPA in their blood had more miscarriages.”

The fact that BPA is being found in so many things is even more terrifying. It started with water bottles, but this study says it’s also been found in many canned goods. Canned soups are sometimes my go-to “quick” food if I don’t have time to or feel like making a “real” dinner. BPA has already been banned in Canada.

What do you think? Have chemicals like BPA  and MSG changed our bodies significantly? Should they be banned?


3 responses to “Pumpkin Bread, Quinoa…and Chemicals?

  1. do you like bananas or apples? I’d try those on top of the english muffins

  2. It’s so weird that BPA is allowed in food packaging or food at all – in pharmacy school we studied in when we studied the other pseudoestrogens, all of which are considered toxic unless they are being used as chemotherapy or hormone replacement therapy. In fact, the medical world is so aware of the problem that BPA is banned form plastic medical equipment like IV bags and tubing…yet we allow it in our food. The FDA is so slow to action!

  3. Pingback: Tuesday’s 10 in 2010! « Eat, Read, Run

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