Fall Recipes

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Vegetarian Lentil Soup Recipe

Vegetarian Lentil Soup

11.05.09 by Jackie

Sunny had an orthodontist appointment today and she got tighter elastic bands on her braces. The poor thing couldn't chew solid foods. I had to make her something that wouldn't cause any pain, and after looking through the pantry I decided to make her a bowl of hot lentil soup. She loves hot and spicy foods, so I added some leftover harissa "ice cubes" (see tips) from the freezer to the soup to give it a kick and to complement the earthy flavors of the lentils.

You'll enjoy this soup even if you haven't had recent dental work done. It's a great cure for the cool weather we've been having as well.


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Pumpkin Oatmeal Smoothie Recipe

Pumpkin Oatmeal Smoothie

10.26.09 by Jackie

Recently I made a pumpkin spice latte and it got me thinking about other drinks that I could make using this Fall flavor. The girls love smoothies, so it seemed like an obvious choice.

I combined some pumpkin purée with traditional pumpkin pie spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon to form the base of the smoothie. Maple syrup and brown sugar provide the sweetness, and oatmeal helps to thicken the drink and provide texture. No bananas here.

If you're looking for a healthy alternative to gorging on slices of pumpkin pie, this smoothie fits the bill.  It has the same flavor but with fewer calories and more nutrition. If that's not your goal, you could always throw in a scoop of ice cream and make a milkshake...


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Roasted Beet and Corn Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette Recipe

I love beets. They have a wonderful sweetness and texture. I sometimes cook beets into hot dishes, but my favorite way to enjoy beets is in a simple salad. For this particular recipe, I paired the beets with a tangerine vinaigrette with tangerine-infused oil and tangerine juice. The vinaigrette brightens the flavor of the dish and acts as a nice complement to the flavor of the beets. I also added corn to create a contrast of texture and color. The result is a salad with some very bold flavors.


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Rosemary Roasted Beet Risotto with Ricotta Salata Cheese Recipe

I had half of a beet, puréed, leftover from the harissa paste I made yesterday. Since there are no infants in the house and all the adults have teeth, I had to find some other use for it. I finally decided to incorporate the beet purée in a risotto. The beets imparted a mild sweetness and beautiful pink color to the rice. I roasted some more red beets and added them as well for a texture contrast. I flavored the dish with rosemary from the garden and topped it with some ricotta salata.

Leftover ingredients can be a great way to test out new dishes. What I often do is combine the ingredient with a basic dish, such as risotto in this case, and couple it with complementary flavors that work well with the ingredient in other recipes. This way, chances are the new dish you've created will taste delicious. The real trick is knowing really well a few recipes that are easy to modify. 


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Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Beluga Lentils and Sage-Flavored Croutons Recipe

The butternut squash risotto was such a success last week that everyone was asking for more. I've learned that it's not a great idea to repeat the same dishes too often, even when requested, because eventually everyone gets tired of them. As opposed to making another main course, I decided to prepare a fresh salad that really shows off the versatility of butternut squash.

Instead of roasting the butternut squash with cumin and saffron as I did for the risotto, I glazed it with maple and flavored it with fresh sage. Sage is one of the most prolific herbs in our garden; it literally grows like weeds. This was a great opportunity to put it to good use, and I did so on multiple occasions in this dish.

I wanted to give this salad a real Fall feel, so I made a pomegranate vinaigrette and paired it with sage-infused oil. Continuing with the theme, I topped the salad with dried cranberries and sage-flavored croutons. The crunch of the croutons provides an excellent textural foil to the soft roasted butternut squash and the crispness of the greens.

Thanksgiving is not too far off, and if you're looking for a new addition to your table, this salad is a healthy and delicious option. Enjoy!


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