September 22nd marks the first day of autumn and it’s time to turn our focus on fall. We can’t wait for the cooler weather, colorful leaves and comforting, seasonal food shared with friends and family. The sky is clear, the air is fresh and it’s so easy to fall into autumn with healthy harvest meals. Here are our suggestions for your September 22nd celebration menu:
Breakfast – Nothing says cozy like a warm bowl of Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal.
For each serving simply bring the ingredients to a boil, stirring until thickened.
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup milk of choice
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
Suggested toppings: Stir in chopped walnuts or pecans, raisins, maple syrup or honey, vanilla extract, or shredded coconut.
Lunch – A Hearty Vegetable Soup can fill you up, warm you up and provide lots of vitamins and minerals for very few calories (frozen or fresh vegetables work equally well). Pair it with crusty bread or rosemary focaccia to make it extra special. This recipe makes 4 servings, but can be doubled for extra.
- 1 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 medium chopped carrot
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 1 chopped bell pepper (any color)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup of chopped butternut squash or sweet potato
- 1 large chopped zucchini
- 1 cup of chopped kale or spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dash of tabasco or pinch of cayenne to taste
- 1 quart of vegetable or chicken stock
- 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
Heat the oil over medium heat and sauté onion, carrot, bell pepper and garlic until slightly softened (about 5 minutes). Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are all tender.
Dinner – You’ve probably been busy all day. Make dinner a snap with Butternut Squash Ravioli with a Quick and Easy Garlic Sauce. Pick up fresh, ready to prepare ravioli, then add a quick sauce and suggested toppings. Pair it with roasted vegetables or a flavorful autumn salad such as shredded broccoli with dried cranberry, crumbled goat cheese and a flavorful balsamic dressing.
Prepare the ravioli by following the package directions. Meanwhile make this simple sauce by heating these ingredients over a medium heat for 3 minutes.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Drain the ravioli, top with the sauce and suggested toppings if desired.
Suggested toppings: chopped walnuts, ground black pepper, and grated parmesan.
Desert – Serve a slice bakery apple crumble or pie, along with regular or decaffeinated pumpkin spice or gingerbread latte, hot chocolate with a dollop of heavy cream, warm cider, or hot toddies.
Follow these menu suggestions and your fall celebration meals are all sure to be cozy and enjoyable.
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