Tag Archives: autumn

Apple or Pear Crisp

Most of us have a dish that says “home”. In my family, apple pie or apple crisp would definitely fall into that classification. I can’t think of many family gatherings where my mom didn’t make one of those, especially the apple crisp.

This version is “healthified” a bit, but doesn’t taste that way. This dish works very well with apples or pears, depending on your flavor preference. It’s the perfect fall treat.

Enjoy!

Apple or Pear Crisp (Serves 6-8)

Apple or Pear Crisp

4 cups of peeled, sliced apples or pears
⅔ cup white whole wheat flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats
⅔ cup packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Place fruit in a shallow 2 quart (or larger) baking dish.

3. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add melted butter, mixing until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit.

4. Bake for 30-60 minutes, until fruit is tender.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 286
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 13 g
Saturated Fat: 7 g
Cholesterol: 31 mg
Carbohydrates: 40 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sodium: 79 mg

Recipe Notes: I would highly recommend slicing your apples thinner than the fruit pictured above. I just used the general apple slicer, but that wasn’t thin enough to cook very quickly.

Source: Adapted from a family recipe

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Pumpkin French Toast

I know I complained about all the pumpkin recipes on the internet a couple weeks ago. And I still stand by my statement that the food world should not revolve around pumpkin in the fall, even though it does. Most of them call for only part of a can of pumpkin, which is high on my list of pet peeves. If I’m opening something perishable, I better use all of it. And at the end, I often find myself saying, “This item isn’t better because of the pumpkin.” Pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pumpkin cheesecake brownie, pumpkin snickerdoodels…meh.

Breakfast food (minus the cinnamon rolls) is the one area I make an exception for. We ate this French toast before heading out the door to a fall festival last weekend, and it totally started our day off on the right foot. Super easy and super delicious. I know it only calls for a partial can of pumpkin, which I do hate. But this is the perfect way to use up remainder pumpkin from other recipes.

Pumpkin French Toast (Makes about 13 slices)

Pumpkin French Toast

3 large eggs
¾ cup skim milk
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
13 slices thick-sliced whole wheat bread

1. Preheat griddle or skillet to medium to medium-high heat.

2. Combine all ingredients except bread in a shallow dish.

3. Spray griddle with cooking spray. Dip bread in mixture until lightly coated on each side, scraping off any excess. Cook on griddle for 3-4 minutes per side, until lightly browned and cooked through. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information (Amount per slice):

Calories: 130
Protein: 5 g
Fat: 1 g
Saturated Fat: less than .5 g
Cholesterol: 15 mg
Carbohydrates: 25 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 192 mg

Recipe Notes: I used whole wheat French bread for most of mine. I didn’t have quite enough, so I used sandwich bread as well. I liked the thicker bread better, but all of it was delicious and got eaten. I served this with buttermilk syrup, which made it an extra special treat.

Source: Slightly adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

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Curried Squash Soup

Back in college, I got to try recipes as part of one of my jobs. Butternut squash soup was the first recipe, and I loved it. Every autumn, I would make it again. And progressively, I liked it less and less and each time. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Then last October, I went to Panera for lunch one day and tried the Autumn Squash Soup. Light bulb!

All of that is to say, this recipe has evolved over time. I took my basic recipe and then edited it heavily with some copycat recipes I found online. The bad news is this is no longer a “one pot wonder” soup. The good news is that the flavor is a million times better. Enjoy!

Curried Squash Soup (Serves 8)

Curried Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 medium baking or yukon potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 ½ tablespoons canola oil, divided
½ teaspoon cinnamon, divided
¾ teaspoon curry powder, divided
pinch of salt
1 small onion, chopped
1 sweet apple (gala, red delicious, golden delicious), chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon garam masala
¾ teaspoon cumin
6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup orange juice
Chopped cilantro, optional garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Combine squash and both potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon curry powder (make them heaping if you’d like), and salt. Toss together to coat vegetables. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, until fork tender.

3. When vegetables are almost done, heat ½ tablespoon oil in a bottom of a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and apple. Saute 3-5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, ½ teaspoon curry powder, ginger, garam masala, cumin, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Saute 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and heated through. Do not let this burn.

4. Add roasted vegetables and broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, until vegetables are soft and flavors combined.

5. Remove from heat. Stir in orange juice. Blend soup until smooth. Add more juice or broth if needed to thin out the consistency. Serve warm, with cilantro if desired.

Nutritional Information (Amount per Serving):

Calories: 124
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 22 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 449 mg

Recipe Notes: Adjust the level of curry based on your heat preference and the heat of your curry powder. I currently have pretty potent curry powder, so these might be low.

Source: adapted from several sources online

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Apple Cake

Today, my daughter and I enjoyed going to the zoo with family. We had a delightful time in the cool fall weather. At lunch, my sister-in-law and I had a discussion about different varieties of apples and how delicious apples are in the fall. Fall is my favorite season, partly for the flavors, partly for the weather, and partly because it is my birthday.

For all of those reasons, you should make some apple cake. This was really delicious, even though it is made with whole grains. The streusel is lighter than most cakes, but still enough that you know it is there. While it is sweet enough to be a regular dessert, it is also tame enough to serve as a breakfast or brunch item. And get your kids involved. My daughter loved helping me make this treat, and even snacked on the leftover apple pieces. Multiple wins right there!

Also, if you are looking for some other apple recipes or information about the health benefits of apples, check out http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/apples-health-benefits/

Apple Cake (Serves 8-10)

Apple Cake

⅔ cup packed dark brown sugar
⅔ cup nonfat buttermilk
⅓ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups finely chopped apple (about 2 apples)
3 tablespoons oats
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons frozen unsalted butter, grated
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

2. Mix ⅔ cup brown sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and eggs on medium speed of a mixer until well combined. Add flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves to bowl. Mix on low speed until just combined. Scrape bowl. Stir in apple by hand. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly throughout pan.

3. In a small ziplock bag, combine oats, walnuts, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, butter, and pinch of salt. Lightly knead with fingers to combine. Sprinkle evenly over batter.

4. Bake cake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs clinging. Cool in pan about 10 minutes on wire rack. Remove sides of pan. Serve warm or let cool completely.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving);

Calories: 260
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 11 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Carbohydrates: 39 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 280 mg

Recipe Notes: I have been using dark brown sugar lately, and I love the extra intense flavor it provides. Light brown sugar would also work. I never buy buttermilk. I just left out about 1 tablespoon of milk and added lemon juice (vinegar works too). I have been struggling to find the white whole wheat flour I usually use since my move, so I used stone ground whole wheat flour (red wheat). If using white whole wheat flour, you could use all whole wheat rather than adding some all-purpose flour. The recipe suggested gala or honey crisp apples. While those are delicious this time of year, I don’t usually bake with them. I used granny smith, which was good but did have a bit of a sour aftertaste on a few bites. Next time, I’ll do one granny smith and one golden delicious. Use your favorite variety. The recipe also said to shred the apple. I tried and ended up with a mess of juice and a little bit of pulp on my counter. Chopped small worked really well, and I liked the texture.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

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Roasted Butternut Squash

I’m back! I had my baby at the beginning of August, so all the posts since then were written pre-baby. But today, I’m back! Please pardon if posts aren’t as regular as before. Cooking and writing will be a work in progress.

I feel like the internet explodes with pumpkin recipes as soon as September hits. I like pumpkin well enough, but I actually prefer the other fall flavors – apples, pears, and SQUASH (butternut, acorn, spaghetti, oh my!). This roasted squash is an incredibly easy side dish that is sure to please. And if you don’t have adventurous eaters (like my 2 year old), you can lie and call it potatoes. She totally fell for it and probably ate more than any of the adults at the table. Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash (Serves 4-6, depending on your squash)

Roasted Butternut Squash

1 large butternut squash
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup lightly packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Peel squash and remove seeds. Cut into ½” to 1″ cubes. Place on baking sheet.

3. Combine butter, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over squash. Stir lightly to coat.

4. Bake for 20-45 minutes, depending on how large you cut the squash. Squash will be fork tender. Toss in glaze before serving.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 128
Protein: 1 g
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 15 mg
Carbohydrates: 20 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 201 mg

Recipe notes: You could sub canola oil for the butter, but it is a different flavor. You can really cut the squash to whatever size you want. Cutting it up is the hardest part, so I have done bigger chunks than pictured before. It just takes longer to cook. I’ve also tossed a little cinnamon in here before. This is tasty as well.

Source: family cookbook

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