I take a shortcut using a boxed cake mix, but really… who has time to bake from scratch these days? I don’t even have an electric mixer!

By substituting pumpkin puree and applesauce for some of the oil, eggs and butter the cake takes on a denser, richer texture that I prefer, plus it’s healthier.

As always, I recommend using as many organic ingredients as possible.

Prep time: 20 mins
Baking time: 40 mins
Cooling time: 60 mins

CAKE
1 box (15 oz) Betty Crocker® Gluten Free yellow cake mix
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla
8 ounces (approx 1/2 small can) pure pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
3 ounces unsweetened applesauce
1 cup finely shredded carrots (2 medium)

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
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asparagus
I like to prepare this at night so I have my next day’s lunch ready to go. Boil water in a saute pan. Cut ends of asparagus and cut the good parts into quarters. Blanch asparagus pieces in boiling water for only 90 seconds… just 90 seconds. Drain the water, toss in olive oil and dried shallots, salt and then put it in a covered bowl in the fridge. Next day your asparagus is soft but not mushy and the perfect temp for a salad!