Each season has a cuisine to match. Comforting winter food gives way to the fresh flavors of spring and then the grilled fare of summer. The warm dishes of fall then lead us back to cold winter days. Autumn plates reflecting the colors of fall don’t just make for beautiful meals – they are packed with nutrients that nourish us, boost immunity, and fight disease. What’s more, versatile fall produce is the first ingredient to the cozy meal you’re seeking this time of year.
Puree squash and pumpkin to create creamy, cozy soups that warm you up as chilly nights set in. Or try a Creamy Wild Rice Soup* that uses a pureed blend of vegetables and rice (but no cream) to make a thick, satisfying soup. Consider roasting vegetables to caramelize and deepen their flavors before making soups like Roasted Sweet Potato & Carrot.*
Layer fall fruits and vegetables to make a seasonal side dish or stuffing. Use creamy butternut squash and less cheese for a luscious lasagna that will become a family favorite. Not only do cozy casseroles made with vegetables fill your house with smells that will excite your family and guests, they sneak in a serving of vegetables too.
Ready to Roast
When vegetables are part of the roast, you need less meat, which is not only budget friendly, but helps with a more produce-centered diet. Add finely diced carrots and onions to your next meatloaf, try an Apple & Fennel Roasted Pork Tenderloin* or consider a “Taco Tuesday” twist with Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash.*
Spend more time outside on the perfect fall day and less time in the kitchen with a slow cooked stew that brings all the flavors of fall into one pot. Try Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew* or Slow Cooker Beef & Vegetable Stew.* Short on time? Bring Sweet Potato & Black Bean Soup* or Carrot & Apple Soup* to your table in just 30 minutes on a busy day.
If your picture-perfect fall day brought you apple picking, prepare this versatile, slow-cooked Apple Confit,* which can be enjoyed “as is” or atop whole grain waffles, plain Greek yogurt, or a (small!) scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or prepare this overnight slow-cooked Apple-Spice Oatmeal* and wake to a warm treat on a chilly morning.
Why not make fall fruits and vegetables part of simple sides, a seasonal sandwich, or even a pizza? Try gluten-free Cauliflower Squash Pizza* made with a cauliflower crust. The secret to enjoying cauliflower crust pizza is to not expect it to behave like pizza crust – it’s more of a layered casserole, and you will need a fork to enjoy it with less mess!
*Visit www.guidingstars.com for these cozy fall recipes and information about the Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program.
As your local Hannaford Dietitian, I’m pleased to be sharing my advice and simple tips. Please visit www.hannaford.com/dietitians for my in-store schedule of classes, demonstrations, and store tours or call (845) 855-0553 for more information.
Cauliflower Squash Pizza
Tip: A can of pumpkin or squash puree will fill in nicely for the Hubbard squash and make prep a lot faster.
3 c. cauliflower, grated
1/2 c. plain, non-fat yogurt
1 t. Italian seasoning
3/4 c. Hubbard squash, cooked and mashed
1/2 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 c. part-skim Asiago cheese
1/2 c. chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1 onion, sliced and caramelized
6-8 cloves garlic, fried until soft
Combine cauliflower, yogurt, egg, and seasoning until a loose dough forms. Form into a crust and bake at 400ºF until lightly browned (20 – 30 minutes).
Use broth to thin squash and use as the sauce for the crust. Top with cheese, chicken, and vegetables.
Bake until cheese is melted and lightly brown (10 –15 minutes).