Fall is rapidly approaching, and I could not be happier. As much as I love summer, I am ready for fall. My leggings and boots are begging to be worn. I’ve already made my purchases of pumpkin and cinnamon scented soy candles, and I am burning them every night. Today, I enjoyed my first pumpkin spice latte and must have said “mmmm” about 10 times. For me, there is something about fall that gives me an all-over good and warm feeling. It is by far my favorite season.
One of my favorite things about fall is the warm and cozy cuisine that accompanies the season. I’ve grilled all summer and eaten my fair share of farmer’s market fruits. Now, I am totally ready to settle in to squash, apples, soups, stews, casseroles and good ol’ comfort food.
For today’s post, I want to share some of my favorite fall recipes with all of you. My family and friends absolutely love these dishes, and I have had many friends request some or all of these recipes – they are tried and true!
The first recipe is something I adopted from my husband’s Great-Aunt Zorka, called spinach balls. I love these; they are special to me and my family. I make them for dinner parties, during football season and for every holiday. They are the perfect finger food or appetizer, and they are so simple to make.
6 eggs, beaten
1 package of stuffing (I prefer low sodium chicken flavor)
½ cup melted butter
1 cup of parmesan cheese
¼ diced green onion
1 teaspoon of thyme
¼ teaspoon of onion salt
2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Make sure all of the ingredients are equally distributed. Shape in to balls that are about 1-½ inches in diameter. Place balls on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until the bottom of the balls are light golden brown.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
This curried butternut squash is the perfect fall soup. It is creamy and delicious, and as an added bonus, it is pretty darn healthy.
1 large butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cinnamon stick
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3-½ cups chicken stock or broth (can easily sub in vegetable stock to make this vegetarian)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon garam marsala
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
½ cup non-fat or low-fat milk, optional
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise and remove all seeds with a spoon. Place face down on a baking sheet. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside. Preheat a large pot. Add olive oil, onions, celery and carrot to pot. Sauté on medium for 10 minutes, until carrots are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Next, add 3-½ cups of chicken stock, milk and all spices. Let mixture come to a boil. Next, scoop out the squash from the rind and add to the soup. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup together until it is thick and creamy.
If you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. A few words of caution: make sure not to fill to the top when blending, and be sure to hold the lid tightly when blending. Blending hot ingredients in a blender cause the ingredients to overflow and leak out of the blender, if you don’t follow the steps above. Hot soup flying everywhere is messy and dangerous.
White Bean and Turkey Chili
This white bean and turkey chili is delicious. It is packed full of protein and fiber. This recipe is budget and waist friendly. It is the perfect recipe for a chilly night and is sure to leave you with a warm and full belly.
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. flour
1 large white onion, chopped
1 jalapeno diced (less if you don’t like too spicy)
1 package of pre-sliced mushrooms (I like baby bella, but white work just fine)4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground turkey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans) – drained and rinsed
2 15-ounce cans white or navy beans – drained and rinsed
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock/broth
¼ cup of nonfat milk
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
4 medium flour tortillas, cut in to ¼ inch strips
Sliced avocado for garnish (optional)
Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for garnish (optional)
Hot sauce (optional)
In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, add olive oil and flour to make a roux; cook for 4 minutes over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. Next, add the onion, jalapeno and mushrooms. Cook 5-7 minutes over medium low heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Next, add ground turkey, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Brown the ground turkey, by cooking for 8 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Add the beans, chicken stock, milk and yogurt. Bring the mixture to a simmer on low heat. Simmer uncovered for 35 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and the chili has thickened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add tortilla strips to chili and simmer for additional 5 minutes. Top with sliced avocado, dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of hot sauce, if desired.
Not Your Mom’s Tuna Casserole
This tuna casserole is stellar. I call it Not Your Mom’s Tuna Casserole for a few reasons. It is relatively healthy for a tuna casserole, it is jam-packed with flavor, and it is not the cheddar cheese and Lays potato chips topped tuna casserole that I remember as a kid. To me, that seemed to be the standard recipe for many families. This recipe is a little more sophisticated, containing mushrooms, capers, dill and most importantly, dill Havarti cheese.
1 bag of Just Whites egg noodles
1 small white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-½ cups of sliced baby bella mushrooms
¼ cup of capers
2 cans of solid white albacore tuna (drained)
2 cans of low-fat cream of mushroom soup
2 beaten egg whites
3 teaspoons fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
¼ cup of dried breadcrumbs or crumbled crackers
1 cup of shredded dill Havarti cheese (this is the best part)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot, boil the noodles as directed. In a medium sauté pan, add onions, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and remove from heat. In a large mixing bowl, add capers, tuna, cream of mushroom soup, egg whites, dill, oregano, salt and pepper. Next, pour in the onions, garlic and mushrooms from the sauté pan into your mixing bowl. When the noodles are cooked, strain and add to the mixing bowl. Gently fold all of the ingredients together until incorporated. Pour all the ingredients into a lightly greased casserole dish. Top with breadcrumbs and 1 cup dill Havarti cheese. Bake for 35 minutes.
I really hope you try these fantastic recipes. They are truly some of my favorites for breaking into fall!