It’s the season so many of us look forward to with the changing of leaves, switching out the tank tops for comfy jackets and the breezy air turning those nice days into crisp nights (unless you’re down south like me where even our autumn can be sticky and in these temperatures even our delicious pumpkin spice lates just aren’t the same!). One thing we can agree on regardless of where you’re located, that Fall is a perfect start to incorporating powerful autumn antioxidants into our daily lives. If you haven’t started, now is the time to stock up on these seasonal superfoods and start getting healthy with these delicious meals to bring to the table!
Some of our favorite superfoods that not only taste great but are guilt proof…
APPLES are rich in antioxidants, fiber and flavonoids. An apple a day may keep the doctor away helping lower the risk different diseases, may provide you with better gut health and weight loss and younger, healthier looking skin.
SWEET POTATOES contain many important minerals and vitamins including being a great source of vitamins A, B and C. High in antioxidants eating sweet potatoes can not only help your skin but your mental health as it contains magnesium which is known to help and lower levels of stress and anxiety.
PUMPKINS are a delicious source of powerful antioxidants including vitamin C and beta-carotenes that improve the appearance of skin and helps the body in producing more collagen, works on the elasticity and skin tone. Even the seasonal favorite pumpkin pie has some calcium, vitamins B and C and potassium in every bite!
KALE is one of the most popular and most nutritious! Loaded with antioxidants, it may help reduce the risk of diseases including heart disease which is the leading cause of death of women in the U.S as stated by the CDC.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH is one high nutrient, low calorie food that you want to incorporate into your meal plan! Your body even converts provitamin A carotenoid compound into retinoic and retinal acid which are forms of vitamin A. We need vitamin A for our skin, eye health, bone health and even regulating cell growth.
SWEET POTATO SALAD Yields 6. Prep: 10 min
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed / 1 small onion thinly sliced into halves / 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper / ½ c dried cranberries / ½ c crumbled feta / ¼ c freshly chopped parsley
For The Dressing: 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard 1 tbsp. honey ½ tsp ground cumin ¼ tsp ground paprika ¼ c extra virgin olive oil
Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Using a large rimmed baking pan, toss the sweet potatoes and onion in the oil, then seasoning with salt and pepper . Creating a single layer of the potatoes you’ll distribute them evenly baking them until tender for about 20 minutes. You’ll then begin cooling for 10 minutes then transferring them into a large bowl. Now it’s time to make the dressing in a small bowl. Whisk together mustard, vinegar, spices and honey then gradually pouring in the oil. Whisking constantly until it emulsifies then seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. With parsley, feta, cranberries and dressing toss in the sweet potatoes. In as little as 10 minutes to prepare it’s a great meal for those days you don’t want to spend stuck in your kitchen!
AUTUMN GLOW SALAD Yields 6. Prep: 15 min
1 cup grains (whichever is your favorite i.e. quinoa) / 1 head cauliflower / 2 sweet potatoes / 1 tbsp. olive oil Sprinkle your favorite dried spices / 1 large apple
For The Dressing: 1 bunch parsley minced 1 small garlic clove minced 2/3 c olive oil Juice from a lemon 1 tsp agave (optional) ½ tsp salt black pepper to taste
You will start by placing rinsed grains in a rice cooker with broth or water and setting it on the rice setting (following the amount of liquid the individual package of grains calls for). As the grains cook, prep the other ingredients and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes then chopping your cauliflower into smaller size florets. After placing on a baking sheet, drizzle oil then sprinkle with salt, pepper and other dried spices you’d like. For about 20 minutes allow to roast then stir. After stirring roast an extra 10-15 minutes until soft and golden brown then set aside. As the vegetables are roasting you’ll combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a sealable jar and shake until mixed thoroughly. Next you’ll chop the apple and place aside. When everything is complete toss the veggies and grains together. Serve and enjoy!
HEALING BOWL Yields 4. Prep: 15 min
Turmeric Mashed Potato: 2 large sweet potatoes, cut in chunks / 1-2 tsp of turmeric A swish of olive oil / 2 cup vegetable broth / 2 garlic cloves minced
For The Lemon Herb Dressing:
1 small garlic clove / 1/4 c parsley leaves / ¼ c lemon juice / 1/3 c olive oil / 2 tsp agave ¼ tsp salt
The Bowl: Scrambled or poached eggs Quinoa or brown rice Arugula Nuts
First start off with the turmeric mashed sweet potatoes by heating the olive oil and the sweet potatoes on medium high heat in a skillet. Next tossing the turmeric coating them, you will then add your vegetable broth and garlic. Simmering until the liquid is almost absorbed and the potatoes are soft transferring them into a smaller bowl to then mash. Add salt and pepper to taste
Next we have the dressing and it’s incredibly simple…throw the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor or blender to pulse then season to taste. Easy peasy!
Lastly it’s time for the bowls. Begin by tossing the greens of your choice (I found arugula to be my favorite) in some dressing. You will serve the bowls with the brown rice (or quinoa), greens, mashed sweet potatoes and egg. Finish it off by topping with dressing and nuts of your choice.
AUTUMN BREAKFAST CASSEROLE Yields 12. Prep: 20 min
8 oz baby belle mushrooms / 1.5 lbs. diced red bell pepper / 1 medium diced onion 3 tbsp. olive oil / 1 lb of ground sausage (or turkey sausage) / 4 garlic cloves minced / 2 handfuls of fresh kale / 15 egg whites / 2/3 c milk / 1 ½ tbsp. old bay seasoning / 1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
First you’ll begin by spreading the veggies evenly on the large baking sheet and allowing to roast until tender. As the vegetables are roasting, brown the turkey sausage in a larger skillet. While browning the turkey sausage throw in your kale and garlic letting them sauté a bit. Getting a bowl or large measuring cup begin whisking the eggs thoroughly. Add the old bay, black pepper and milk into the egg mixture. Now it’s time to assemble your autumn breakfast casserole by spreading the veggies and sausage evenly into a large baking dish followed by pouring the egg mixture throughout the casserole. Bake the casserole uncovered for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick is placed in the center and comes out clean. Serve the delicious breakfast warm and enjoy!
BEET, MUSHROOM, AVOCADO SALAD Yields 4. Prep: 10 min
4 Medium Portobello mushroom caps / 1 Small shallot chopped finely / 1/4 c lemon juice / 3 tbsp. olive oil / 8 oz. Precooked beets chopped / 5 oz. of fresh baby kale / 2 Ripe avocados sliced thinly / 2 Sheets matzo crushed into bite size pieces
Super duper easy! Starting off with a nonstick cooking spray (I use coconut oil spray) you’ll spray the caps on a large rim baking sheet sprinkling them with ½ tsp of salt roasting them at 450 degrees until tender (about 20 minutes). Whisking the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot and a ¼ tsp of salt and pepper tossing half of it with the beets and the baby kale. Divide into the servings and top it off with slices of avocado, slices of Portobello mushrooms and the matzo. Serve and savor!
PUMPKIN CAULIFLOWER SOUP WITH GINGER Yield 6. Prep: 10 min
1 Head cauliflower / 1 Medium onion diced / 2 Sticks of celery chopped / 1 Large chopped carrot / 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger / 3 Cloves of garlic minced / 2 (10 fl oz) cans chicken broth or vegetable broth Salt and pepper to taste / ¼ tsp ground cumin ¼ tsp dried thyme 1 c Water 1 can pumpkin puree Heavy Whipping Cream to taste
Begin by sautéing carrots, celery and onions for 5-7 minutes on medium in a large pot. Add your garlic and ginger stirring for two minutes then adding pumpkin puree, vegetable broth, cumin, salt and pepper, dried thyme and your cauliflower. Keeping the lid ajar slightly, begin simmering your soup on low-med heat until the veggies soften for about 30 min. Allowing the soup to cool first, pour different batches into the blender and puree. The soup will be thicker so adding an optional cup of water to thin the consistency is recommended. Top it off with an optional swirl of cream and enjoy!
STUFFED BUTTERNUT SQUASH Yields 4. Prep: 10 min
2 medium butternut squash / 2 tsp olive oil / ¾ c quinoa / 1 bunch of kale chopped up / 1 ½ c low sodium veggie broth / 2 cloves of garlic minced / 1 tsp dried oregano / ½ tsp kosher salt / ½ tsp black pepper / 1 can low sodium chickpeas / One Orange zest / 1/3 c dried cranberries Optional shredded cheese or feta
Preheat the oven to 425. Cutting the squash in half, scoop out the seeds then lay out the halves open side up on a sheet using the center oven rack. Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil then lightly sprinkle salt and pepper and place in the oven baking for 45-55 minutes until tender. Once tender remove from oven and allow to cool as you reduce the temperature to 375. While the squash is baking, boil the broth in a small sauce pan adding the quinoa then allowing to boil again reducing the heat and allowing the covered pan to simmer for 12 minutes. Once the majority of the broth has been absorbed remove from heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes keeping covered. Once ready, get a fork and begin fluffing it then put aside. 5. With the remaining teaspoon of olive oil add to a large skillet over medium heat adding the kale to cook for four minutes then reducing heat. Adding oregano, garlic, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper then cooking an extra 30 seconds. As it cooks stir in the orange zest, orange juice, chickpeas, quinoa and cranberries to the mixture. Next, when the squash is cooled scoop out the inside allowing a ½ inch border on the sides and a ¾ inch of a border on the bottom. Add the kale quinoa to the halves filling them before returning to the oven again to bake for a final 10 minutes at 375 degrees. (Adding cheese is optional but in my home it’s the only way my kids will eat it!)
APPLE CINNAMON BAKED OATMEAL Yields 9. Prep: 10 min
1 ¾ c unsweetened vanilla almond or cashew milk / 2 Large eggs / 1/3 c maple syrup / ¼ c unsweetened applesauce / ¼ c coconut oil / 3 c old fashion oats / 1 tsp baking powder / 1 tsp ground cinnamon / ¼ tsp nutmeg / ¼ tsp all spice / 1 ½ finely chopped apples (any type works) / Optional ½ c chopped nuts
Kid approved!! This savory bake is great for breakfast or with collagen infused whip cream for a desert. Preheat to 350 making sure you are using the 3rd rack in the oven. Spray your 11x7 or 9x9 bake pan before beginning. In a large bowl whisk all the ingredients pouring into the sprayed baking pan with the optional nuts sprinkled on top (or in my home mixed in) baking for 35 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then serve. This bake is great for refrigerating for the week!
SOYBEAN PASTA WITH KALE PESTO Yield 4. Prep: 12 min
1 20 oz. package of butternut squash peeled / ½ cup + 3 tbsp. olive oil /¾ tsp coarse salt / 7 oz. soybean spaghetti / ½ c grated parmesan / ½ c whole almonds / 1 smashed garlic clove / 1 bunch of Tuscan kale or 4 c bagged Black Pepper To Taste
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Begin by cutting the squash into ¾ inch cubes tossing in 1 tbsp. of oil ,salt and pepper spreading evenly on a baking sheet to roast. Once the thirty minute mark hits, begin stirring then allowing to continue roasting until golden brown. Gathering the kale, tearing into smaller pieces place in the food processor along with the almonds, garlic, parmesan and the remaining ½ c + 2 tbsp. of oil processing the pesto until smooth. Cook your pasta until ready to drain. You will reserve ½ of the water for later. Using a large skillet toss the cooked pasta with ½ c of pesto, remaining ½ tsp of salt and pepper and the remainder of pasta water. Any additional pesto you can refrigerate for another time. You will toss until the liquid starts to thicken and covers pasta as you cook on medium/high about 2 minutes. Lastly, divide into four servings and top with the roasted squash and parmesan.
Open those windows and let that beautiful autumn breeze flow through and celebrate this season with some of our favorite fall foods that will fill your home with deliciously smelling goodness that kids and adults alike will enjoy.
What’s your favorite Autumn dish that you make or look forward to having? Let us know!
About the Author:
Stephanie Ivonne is a freelance writer and Licensed Esthetician and mother of 2. She spends majority of her free time with her family and friends. When she is not learning about Beauty and Wellness, Stephanie is a Florida girl and loves spending time doing Yoga, running 10ks, Snorkeling and her absolute favorite, Disney!
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