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Pumpkin Day! – Geek Turned Athlete

Pumpkin Day!

DSC03526 Last night, I had one of my good friends over and decided to go crazy with the pumpkin!  I made:


Pumpkin Burgers (these are vegetarian as well!)

Adapted from

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Fresh Tomato Salsa, optional (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 cup canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar  cheese
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 corn tortillas


Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, corn, garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare Fresh Tomato Salsa.

Add pumpkin, cheese, flax seed, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and pepper to the onion mixture; mix well. With dampened hands, form the vegetable mixture into 1/2-inch-thick patties, using about 1/4 cup for each.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Stack tortillas and wrap in aluminum foil. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes to heat through. (Alternatively, stack tortillas between two damp paper towels; microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds, or until heated through.)

Using 1 teaspoon oil per batch, cook 4 to 6 patties at a time in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side. Adjust heat as necessary for even browning. Wrap the patties in tortillas and serve immediately, garnished with lettuce and Fresh Tomato Salsa, if desired.

Directions for Fresh Tomato Salsa

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve within 1 hour.

  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (I couldn’t find these at my grocery store)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste


These were actually really good, and Steve actually ate them.  This was very impressive considering he was very upset when I told him there was no meat in them!  I also made:

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake


  • 1 3/4 cups crushed oreos
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 13 to 1/2 stick melted salted butter
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature (don’t use the fat-free!  As Allison says, it does not taste the same!!)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For crust:

In medium bowl, combine oreos and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

For filling:

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.

Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Melt however many chocolate chips you want over low heat in a pan on the stove.  Add milk until you get to your desired consistency.  Drizzle over cheesecake.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours. DSC03543 Um, this was amazing!!!  I really want to eat the entire thing, but I think that I’m going to section it off and freeze it.

This was the aftermath after last night.  I was very tempted to have a slice of this for breakfast this morning…DSC03546

but instead I was a good girl , and I had some pumpkin oats (not being sick of pumpkin still at this point).  These were amazing!DSC03551

I paired my oatmeal with some cherry juice.  Reading Megan’s blog this morning reminded me of that fact that cherry juice is supposed to help in muscle recovery and soreness.  I read that in a Runner’s world magazine a few months ago, and had completely forgotten about it!  I have been sore since yesterday from I don’t know what since I haven’t really been working out that hard this week, and thought that I would give the juice a whirl.

In the oatmeal:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup 1% milk
  • 1 tsp pb
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin (equal parts pumpkin pie filling and plain pumpkin)


Doesn’t my breaky look amazing?  I tell ya, this thing kept me full ‘till about 1:30pm.

I have been looking all morning at cruises online.  The hubby and I really want to take one before he deploys the end of December, but he also has work things going on at weird times that are in the middle of most cruises.  After searching for 4 hours today and 4 hours this week, I finally found one that goes to Barcelona, Morocco, and the Canary Islands!!  And, it is relatively cheap!!  Airfare to the port of Savona, Italy, however, is not!!

I am seriously thinking about driving there.  It is only about 8 and a half hours from our house.  The only thing to consider is that we have our truck to drive.  It really sucks driving that thing through Europe (it is huge and doesn’t fit on some streets) but it is the only car that we have, and it is almost paid off.  AND it is my husband’s baby, and he will NEVER give it up!  I used to feel really guilty about driving it around, but it actually gets pretty good gas mileage than the average truck, and we ride our bikes into base during the warmer months so it all evens out with the mileage of a compact car.  Trust me, it does.  I’ve asked around to compare. :)

This post is really random.  Sorry about that!  In other news, I went to a spin meeting yesterday with all of the spin instructors and the programs director at the gym to discuss all the spin classes starting next week.  Exciting times!!  I’ve been needing a little more motivation lately to get my butt to the gym, and this will do it.  I have felt so tired ALL week, and I think that I’m just not over the jetlag yet.  Plus, I still don’t have my new workout schedule done, and once I get that done, I will definitely be motivated.  I’m kinda floating around without a plan…

Do you all have workout schedules or do you just do what you feel like at the gym?

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Holly October 30, 2009, 3:26 pm

    ahhh i am loving all the pumpkin goodness in this post! that cheesecake looks absolutely TO DIE FOR. and can i please come on your cruise? thanks :)

    • Nicole October 30, 2009, 5:08 pm

      Haha, Holly, you would be the first blogger that I would choose to travel with!!! :)

  • Bonnie October 30, 2009, 4:52 pm

    Love your blog! I just became a reader after I saw you were attending FitBloggin 10. I’m seriously considering attending to! Sounds like fun.

    Those pumpkin burgers look heavenly!

  • Mary :: A Merry Life October 31, 2009, 2:02 pm

    Wow, you really can do a lot with pumpkin. I’ve never even heard of making pumpkin burgers. Cute idea!!

    As far as the gym, I have a rough schedule, but I still allow myself to do whatever I want. If I get to rigid in what I “have” to do I won’t enjoy it and won’t want to go.

  • Dawn (HealthySDLiving) November 2, 2009, 10:41 pm

    OMG that pumpkin cheesecake looks AAAAAmazing!

  • Marisa November 4, 2009, 8:33 am

    The pumpkin cheesecake looks so good!! The burgers, wow- never thought about…I’m going to try them. BTW where did you find cherry juice? I looked for it at the commissary last night and couldn’t find it to save my life!

  • natalie November 11, 2009, 4:36 pm

    yum both of those things look SO GREAT!!

  • Heather (Where's the Beach) January 17, 2010, 4:14 am

    The pumpkin burgers sound so tasty. I’ll definitely have to give them a shot. Thanks for posting.


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