It’s officially fall. The leaves are turning colors and you can feel a crispness in the air. If you’re the kind of person that can’t wait for all things pumpkin, now is your time to really embrace the seasonal foods. (You know who you are, pumpkin spice latte lover!) If you are of the opinion that pumpkin is a flavor bully, here are a couple of lovely flavor alternatives that still stay true to the fall harvest, but widen your options when thinking about what to serve for a hearty autumn meal.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples
The apples in this easy side dish impart a sweet tanginess to complement the bitterness in Brussels sprouts. Pair with pork loin or chicken for a quick weekday meal.
1 pound Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced into shreds
2 apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 Tbs minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Turn oven to broil. Spray sheet pan with nonstick spray. Place Brussels sprouts and apple slices on pan. Top with garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Place in oven for 3-6 minutes or until apples and Brussels sprouts are tender. Remove from oven, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy warm.
With robust layers of flavor from bacon, onion, and basil, this smooth soup is light but satisfying. Pair with a hearty salad and whole grain bread for a complete fall meal.
6 medium zucchini
1 large onion
6 strips bacon (uncooked)
2 c chicken stock
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 T fresh basil, chopped
2 c water
Put strips of bacon into large soup pot over medium heat. Let the bacon cook for a few minutes (it doesn’t have to be cooked all the way). Meanwhile, chop zucchini and onion into large chunks and add to pot. Add basil, salt, and pepper. Pour in chicken stock and water. Stir. Simmer for 30 minutes or until everything is tender. Remove bacon from pot. Blend ingredients in pot with immersion blender, or transfer all ingredients (minus bacon) into blender, blend until smooth. Garnish with bacon bits or tiny fresh mozzarella balls.
~This was also published in Portland Metro Living October 2017
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