It’s (somehow) quickly becoming that time of year once again: the summer heat is cooling down, the leaves are beginning to fall already, and everywhere you go, some variety of pumpkin-flavored delights are popping up for sale. I know that those of you who most appreciate sweater weather and pre-holiday season cheer are already tingling with excitement! Fall has probably the best assortment of seasonal foods and flavor options, but the problem is that a lot of them are either pretty difficult to prepare, or loaded with excessive sugars and fats in the form of baked goods and enticing, flavor-abundant dishes.
So what can you prepare for yourself and your family this fall season that you’ll enjoy cooking, and actually feel good about eating? With all of the fruits, vegetables, nuts and gourds in season, there are limitless possibilities - you just have to know where to find the good recipes! Below we’ve compiled a small variety of harvest-style meal recipes that are relatively easy, and won’t cost you a fortune (especially if you already pride yourself on having a hearty spice rack in your kitchen). So allow yourself that pumpkin spiced latte, and sip with a smile as you read on to see how you can kick off the fall season at dinner time tonight!
Creamy Autumn Vegetable Soup with Easy Pumpkin Bread
For the soup recipe, you’ll need:
2 ½ cups peeled, cubed butternut squash
1 large sweet potato, also peeled and cubed
3 medium carrots, washed and sliced
¼ cup thawed orange juice concentrate (preferably one with no added sugar)
3 cups fat-free milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 ½ tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
To get started on this hearty and colorful dish, you’ll want to steam the first three ingredients in a steamer basket over a large saucepan of boiling water. If you don’t have a steaming basket, don’t fret! Boiling your veggies works all the same, it just leaves them a little less firm and colorful. Whichever way you choose, cook covered for fifteen minutes - you may also fall over or under this mark by a few minutes, depending on how well your vegetables tenderize.
Once they’ve cooled slightly, transfer your ingredients to a food processor, and add in the orange juice concentrate. Again, no worries if you don’t have one - simply mash up your soft veggies a bit before taking them to your blender instead. Process (or blend) until smooth, and then transfer to a large saucepan, stirring in the milk, salt and pepper while still cool. Cook slowly over low heat while stirring, but do not bring the soup to a boil - simply allow it to heat the whole way through while you stir. This recipe is good for six servings of thicky, creamy, nutritious soup, each of which can then be topped with the sour cream, chives, and sesame seeds, if desired.
For the bread recipe, you’ll need:
⅓ cup melted coconut oil
½ cup organic honey
1 cup pumpkin purée (You can make your own with raw pumpkin and a food processor, or collect a can from the grocery store to make things easier!)
¼ cup low-fat milk
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
Pinch of ground cinnamon, for sprinkling on top
If you’d like: ½ cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or raisins
This side of sweet pumpkin bread takes a bit longer to prepare than it will to get your soup together, so I recommend getting started on the bread first, and then letting it bake while you get to work on your main course. For starters, you’ll need your oven preheated to 325 degrees F and a lightly greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Then, grab a large bowl and whisk firmly together the oil and the honey. Blend in the eggs next, making sure that your coconut oil does not solidify - if it does, simply let it warm up in the microwave or on a warm stovetop before proceeding.
Whisk in next your pumpkin puree, milk, ground spices, baking soda, vanilla, and salt. Finally, with a large spoon, stir in the flour a little at a time until it is just mixed in - it’s fine if you have a few lumps. Fold in any extras now if you have them (I like to sneak in some chocolate chips every once in a while), and then pour into your greased loaf pan.
Sprinkle the top of your raw batter with cinnamon (if desired), and bake for 55 to 60 minutes until you get a clean toothpick when inserted into and removed from the center of the loaf. This recipe makes one loaf that will need to cool ten minutes before being removed from the pan, and then for 20 minutes on a cooling rack, all before slicing. And now you’ve got a lightly sweet, healthy side or dessert for your soup!
Harvest Nut Salad with Cinnamon Apple Chips
For the salad, you’ll need:
⅓ cup chopped walnuts
⅓ cup chopped pecans
1 bunch spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons red raspberry jam (with seeds)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
⅓ cup walnut oil (extra virgin olive oil also works fine)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
salt to taste
This salad is simple to prepare and delicious to have! To get started, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F, and spread your walnuts and pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet to toast in the oven for about five minutes. While you’ve got that going, whisk together the jam, vinegar, oil of choice, pepper, and salt to prepare the salad dressing. Once the nuts are done and cooled, mix them together in a large bowl with the spinach, cranberries, blue cheese, tomatoes, avocado and onion. Toss in your salad dressing to coat, and you’ve got six easy servings of a deliciously nutritious fall salad!
For the chips, you’ll need:
3 large sweet, crisp apples, such as Honeycrisp, Fuji, Jazz, or Pink Lady
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
These apple chips are really as easy as it gets, and can be prepared on a lazy Sunday to have with your salad whenever you’d like throughout the week, since they need to bake for a few hours. To begin, spread your baking racks out on the upper and lower thirds of your oven, preheat to 200 degrees F, and line two full-sized baking sheets with parchment paper. Wash and core your apples of choice, and use a sharp knife to cut them into ⅛ inch thick round slices. Places the apple rounds in a single layer on your baking sheets and sprinkle with the cinnamon.
Bake for one hour, switch the pans on your oven racks, and then continue baking for 1 to 1 ½ hours. At two hours in, check the crispness of your apple slices by removing one and allowing it to cool at room temperature for 2 to 3 minutes. Continue baking for that last half hour until you are happy with the crispness. Remember that the total baking time will vary upon the thickness of your slices and the kind of apple you chose! Once you’re done baking, turn off the oven, but leave your pans in for 1 hour as it cools to set the crispiness of the slices, checking occasionally to get them just as crispy as you like them. When you’re finally done, you’ll have about three cups of apple chips, which also just make for a great fall snack!
Slow-Cooker Thanksgiving Casserole
For this recipe, you’ll need:
14 ounces multigrain ciabatta rolls (about 7 rolls), cut into 1-inch cubes
Nonstick cooking spray
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, crushed
1 pound turkey breast tenderloin, cut into 1½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
¼ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon crushed Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup turkey stock
This is probably my favorite one on the list, since it’s a full Thanksgiving meal, without all the hours of work! Lay out your ciabatta cubes in a single layer on a large baking pan and bake in a preheated oven (350 degrees F) for 20 to 22 minutes until they are completely dried, and let cool afterwards. As they bake, lightly coat the inside of your 4-quart crockpot with cooking spray and set aside. Get to work on the meat of this recipe by rubbing ½ teaspoon of the Italian seasoning onto the surface of the turkey with your fingers, and then melt butter over medium-high heat in a large, nonstick skillet.
Add the turkey to the skillet and cook for about five minutes, or until just browned on the outside, and then remove from heat. Once your ciabatta is done baking, toss the bread cubes and browned turkey in a large bowl, adding in the celery, carrots, onion, cranberries, parmesan, and remaining spices. (You can also add in some of the drippings from the turkey pan if you like, for an extra boost of flavor.) Once combined, drizzle in the stock over the mixture and toss regularly until the bread is lightly moistened (but don’t let it get soggy!).
Finally, spoon your mixture into your prepared crockpot, cover, and cook on low for 2 ½ to 3 hours (or until your turkey has reached an appropriate color, and your stuffing is warm throughout the casserole). Dish out up to eight servings directly from your crockpot for a delicious, easy, and early Thanksgiving dinner!
Crockpot Cranberry Meatballs with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
For the meatballs, you’ll need:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 pounds ground turkey
1 cup cooked long-grain brown rice
½ cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 to 3 teaspoons olive oil
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
⅓ cup reduced-sugar ketchup
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
This one is a hearty, filling recipe that is still simple to whip up, and can be served as is, on meatball subs, or in whatever other way you can think of. Combine your eggs, turkey, rice, cranberries, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using your palms (you can wet them if the mixture seems too sticky to work with), shape the mixture into individual meatballs, each being about 1 ½ inches in diameter, which should give you about 60 meatballs. Heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in an extra large skillet over medium heat (use the last teaspoon if you deem it necessary as you cook), and cook half the meatballs at a time, turning each batch over once about halfway through, until just browned and slightly firm (about five minutes).
Once you’re done, immediately and carefully move each batch of meatballs from the skillet to a 3 ½ or 4 quart crockpot. In a separate bowl, combine the cranberry sauce, ketchup, and orange and lime juices with a whisk, and then pour that mixture over the meatballs in the crockpot (but do not stir!). Cover and cook on the low setting for 3 to 4 hours, checking occasionally within the last hour to see if your meatballs have cooked entirely through. For a quicker meal, you can also cook them on the high setting for 1 ½ to 2 hours, paying careful attention that the meatballs near the edges of your crockpot do not dry out or begin to burn. This recipe produces a lot of meatballs, so be sure to have friends or family over for this one to show off your seasonal chef skills!
For the mashed potatoes, you’ll need:
1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup low-fat milk
½ teaspoon salt
⅜ teaspoon black pepper
This is an easy mashed potato recipe with a seasonal twist that makes for a healthy, delicious side! Start by filling a large saucepan with your sweet potato cubes and covering them with 2 inches of water (meaning 2 inches from the surface of the water to the top of the potatoes). Bring the pan to a boil on high heat, and then reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for about 18 minutes until the cubes are tender. Drain the cubes thoroughly, and return them to the saucepan.
In a small skillet, combine the butter and olive oil over medium heat, and cook for about three minutes until the mixture browns and becomes fragrant. Remove this mixture from heat and stir in the thyme. Add your milk, salt and pepper to the sweet potato cubes and mash thoroughly, then drizzle with the butter mixture and stir gently to distribute the flavor. Garnish your potatoes with thyme leaves if desired, and you’re all set! This recipe provides four servings that pair perfectly with those cranberry meatballs above.
To wrap it all up…
… Yes, it really is that easy to create a variety of delicious and wholesome meals that contain all of your favorite fall flavors. Whether you whip up a light but tasty soup or salad, or a hearty and filling crockpot dish, you’ll love every step of the process, and every bite that you create as well. So, which one are you excited to try first?
Holidays and celebrations are here. School parties, office parties, friend parties, family parties so many parties to attend yikes! But your supposed to bring something it is your turn,,,, what do you bring? EASY you go to your local store and grab a HORMEL GATHERINGS Party Tray like I do!
I received this product for free in exchange for my personal thoughts and view.
I have attended three parties already in which I had to bring something. Of course I got my go to tray. It is stunningly delicious and perfect for any occasion including game day parties. I just can not tell you enough how much I love these trays every year because it takes all the stress out of what to bring.
Holidays are meant to spend time with your family and friends not worrying over cooking food in the kitchen. So in a run,,, shoot the gun of EASY and grab a party tray. They offer hard salami & pepperoni , honey ham & turkey options. Pre-done so you can enjoy all the fun! Don't sweat it! Relax and enjoy the season.
We all are truly so blessed. I want to encourage you if you know of someone in need of a Thanksgiving meal this holiday consider making a Thanksgiving in a basket!
I know a very young struggling couple who financially couldn't afford a Thanksgiving meal. So I made a blessings basket.
And that was it. It doesn't take much time or money to make a blessings basket for someone!
As a Jennie-O Switch Circle Blogger I was sent an oven ready turkey breast and decided to pay it forward and give mine away this year in the basket. I have had one before and they are delicious! There is no need to prepare it or thaw. Just follow the very few simple directions on the back and your all set for the easiest, juiciest tasting turkey you ever had. Jennie-O is my trusted source for turkey. Period and I have tired a lot of turkey brands over the years. Jennie-O truly does take all the work out of it for you so you can focus on whats most important, spending time with your loved ones and friends.
Need turkey, sides or appetizer inspiration? Be sure to check outJennie-O' s web site for some fantastic Thanksgiving ideas!
And by the way, don't forget to check out my post 17 meals to make with turkey to inspire you with those turkey left overs!
Kielbasa Sausage Potato Skillet is a super fast, easy, & tasty one pan wonder for your whole family. I was given Jennie-o turkey kielbasa & sausage to make a meal. I shared the sausage with a friend and used the Hickory Smoked Kielbasa.
With 65% less fat than other kielbasa's, Jennie-O reigns supreme on giving you a healthier option than the market's other choices. And let me tell you they have a better flavor. A lot of low fat options lack in taste but with Jennie-o's offering you do not need to worry. You get both quality and taste.
For this simple yet hearty meal all you need is:
Just cut and chop your veggies in what ever style you desire. Coat the pan well with olive oil. I would add a little bit of oil to the veggies as well as your seasonings at this stage and mix together.
Jennie-O's top quality turkey meat is such a great way to ensure clean eating. The sausage is fantastic to work with and slice.
Add in your meat with the veggies together in the skillet. Cooked wrapped with foil in your 355 - 375 degree oven for 50- 60 mins depending on your oven.
This is a great clean easy meal.
Want more healthy eating inspirational recipes & coupons?
Visit Jennie-O today.
Reason number one and I love this one.... are you ready? When you refer a friend and they use Groupon you earn $10 in free money per person to use at Groupon that could equal to free food, free trips, free eating out, free spa days, free local attractions and more.
Reason number two why you should use Groupon is it really can enhance your life by saving you money. Yes, saving to use towards the family budget is great, you can do that if you need to, but I have a bigger picture idea for you for. A bigger vacation you have always dreamed of some day. Where would you go? Why pay full price for something if you do not have to. Let's say you take the difference you save with Groupon each time you use them and put that money in an account and use it to invest in something to grow your money. You can literally grow your wealth by using Groupon. Then someday seriously take those dream vacations you have always wanted to take. It is possible if you set your mind to it!
Reason number three is they now have coupons. You do not even need to purchase a deal, join Groupon nor sign up for their email if you do not want to. You can use their coupons at your next trip to Wal-mart or Target for example online or offline in store.
I need to go visit family this summer and I will be going through Groupon to use coupons for Hotwire and Travelocity. Yes you can save money at those sites stand alone but why not save even more money by visiting them through Groupon using their coupons for those very sites! That is smart money. Smart savings.
This is a sponsored post. But all thoughts are my very own.
Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the best burger I have had this summer. The Cobb Turkey Burger. It is loaded with simple goodness. With it's 90 percent lean self, it gives you a low fat burger that will rock your world. Not to mention super healthy on so many levels. To get the best of taste and health you just can not beat that!
Head on out to your grocer to get Jennie-O's 1/3 lb. Smoke seasoned Turkey Burgers for this burger build. Add red onion, avocado,tomato, lettuce, fried egg. Add any condiment sauces you may desire and you have a burger that screams summer goodness.
Visit my most recent past post for my low carb series.
1. Low Carb Egg Roll In A Bowl
2. Summer Jubilee Turkey Salad
3. Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps
4. Zucchini Lasagna Rolls
5. Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers
6. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers
7. Ham & Egg Cheese Roll Ups
8. Skinny Chicken Fajita Soup
9. Mini Zucchini Pizza Bites
10. Baked Denver Omelet ( Family size!)
I just love summer. But I also love being a Jennie-O Switch Circle Blogger. May's shipment brought a lot of joy to my family and others. I received these three turkey breast. Cajun Style, Oven Roasted, and Sun Dried Tomato. I did not want to keep all the Jennie-O goodness to myself so I gave two of them away to other people to try Jennie-O for themselves. As for myself I kept the Sun Dried Tomato turkey breast to create a brand new summer sandwich salad. A cool dish with a new twist. This was so much fun to think up and make.
I call it Summer Jubilee Turkey Salad. This was fun to create and simple. I wanted it to be bright, fresh, tasty and very easy to make. In the picture below is everything you need. Adjust the amounts of everything you use based on how much of course you'd like to make. I made a large bowl to share with others.
That's it. No other seasoning needed. It is low fat to the max. No mayo needed. This Summer Jubilee Turkey Salad is simple, easy, low fat and fantastic in taste. It is a great tribute to summer and it's colorful abundance. It is great for dieters yet perfect for anyone in love with flavor. Good clean eating at it's finest.
What a great Spring weekend to be out and about in North Carolina. My son and I wanted to experience something different in our Triangle region that we had not yet tried. Brixx in Bradford Shops Cary N.C. was the spot. They also have a location in Parkside Town Commons just in case your in Cary anytime soon.
Let me tell you 9 reasons why Brixx was the fix for me this weekend!
Brixx is open Monday -Saturday 11 a.m. -1 a.m Sundays 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Look them up on Facebook @Brixx Pizza – Parkside Town Commons and @Brixx Pizza – Bradford.
Learn more at www.brixxpizza.com
I love Chinese egg rolls they are simply fantastic to me. But lately I have to watch my carbs. This month I set out to fix this problem and I did. As a Jennie-O Switch Circle blogger I was sent their all natural turkey sausage. I tried it out in making a egg roll in a bowl. It really took me away!
What you need:
Ok the great thing about using Jennie-O's all natural trukey sausage is that is it only has 5 grams of fat! It is zero carbs and has 13 grams of protein. The sodium count is much lower than other sausage brands that I have compared it too.
This dish is so simple and a serving is only around 6-9 carbs depending on if you add a few frozen sweet peas for color.
This is enough to serve a large family or save for other meals during the week. Or you can cut the tube in half and the bag in half and make a smaller amount.
This fresh dish is healthy and fast. You just can not beat the flavor and the time it takes to prepare. Amazing.
In the average American diet we simply do not get all the nutrients a person needs. In this fast paced world who has time to get all they need in a day to be at optimal health? A great way to get healthy food fast is with green superfood. You can add superfood powder to cakes, smoothies and more. My personal favorite is smoothies.
Eight reasons to try super food powder:
The brand to get is Activa Naturals and here is why:
Visit ActivaNaturals.com for more health information.
Have you ever been to Olive Garden and had their famous Zuppa Toscana soup? It is truly amazing. I think it is fabulous! Well I tired my hand at making this copy cat version my self but making it lower in fat without giving up the taste by using Jennie-O Extra Lean Ground Turkey. This was so fast and fun to make. Every one who sampled my Olive Garden copy cat soup loved it.
What you need:
What to do:
Start the new year off right by eating healthier than you ever have. Make 2017 your best year yet. If you love fatty foods and want to eat better but not give up the taste then this low fat stroganoff recipie I developed will be great for just that.
Your supplies list:
1. Brown your Jennie-o extra lean ground turkey meat. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder & worcestershire sauce during the browning.
2. Mix in another pot one can of low sodium low fat cream of mushroom, 8 oz of low fat sour cream, 1 1/2 cups- 2 cups of low fat milk ( or almond milk) , & 2 table spoons of worcestershire. Mix on low heat until creamy and mixed well.
3. Boil one bag of yolk free extra broad egg noodles. Do not over cook. Only cook just until tender. Drain and let sit for five minutes.
4. Add the meat, sauce & noodles together and mix well. Warm on very low heat for 8- 10 minutes while mixing often to blend the sauce well. Top with pepper & parsely. Enjoy
Also try these other great posts by me to see new ways to eat healthy with turkey!
Ok who wants to spend the entire Thanksgiving day cooking when you can spend time with family and friends. So to make the holiday easier I have compiled a list of 10 awesome Thanksgiving hacks!
I will be using the Jennie-O Oven Ready Turkey! Yep Jennie-O has Cajun Style. This will be different for us this year trying the Cajun Style. I am so happy I will not have to thaw this baby. Last years oven ready turkey was simply amazing and took all the work out of cooking a turkey. Anyone could do this.
Check out My 17 Meals to Make with Turkey Breast for your turkey left overs!
This is Jennie-O's BEST Turkey Chili recipe as shared from their site. I wanted to give it a try for myself. You can see my finished product in my photos, don't it look so good? I have to say it was! It passed my taste test for sure. I am a Jennie-0 Switch Circle blogger but typically I do my own recipes. This time I wanted to sample something new. Jennie-O has a lot of great recipes to sample at their amazing website. All of course low in fat! This chili serves six and is super filling. I loved the test! This is perfect for these cooler Fall evenings.
RECIPE NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING (Serves 6)