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Fall foods are taking over my kitchen in full force lately! There are some on today’s list that you don’t want to miss – like homemade applesauce! It’s so easy! Enjoy!

if you’re not sure how to use all the spices in your spice cabinet or just want to be more creative in the kitchen, this infographic is perfect for you. so much great info!!

if you don’t mind a little spice, you’ll probably love this sriracha roasted chicken

do you make homemade pizza? I used to make it at least once a week but I’ve gotten out of the habit. this thai chicken pizza would be a nice change of pace

I think I have my favorite pizza crust recipe on this blog somewhere from back in the day, but this whole wheat pizza dough is even faster. now you have no excuse NOT to make pizza this week! 🙂

did you jump on the kale chip bandwagon a couple years back? I know…it sounds like major hippie food but they’re pretty darn good and these masala kale chips look incredibly addicting.

I’m not a fan of tomato soup, but this one actually looks pretty incredible

a souffle pancake with cinnamon apples sounds like the perfect fall Saturday morning treat

fried chicken is high in unhealthy saturated fats but if it’s a routine part of your dinner menu, you can make a lighter version like this oven fried chicken

nachos are one of my favorite foods and they don’t have to be unhealthy. load them up with fiber-filled black beans, healthy fats from avocado, and veggies like bell peppers and corn for a filling meal you can enjoy and feel good about.

fall is full of all kinds of squash. if you haven’t tried it, what better way to start than squash covered in sweet and sour sauce?

everyone in the family will like easy cheese baked tortellini. bonus – it can easily be frozen so make a couple batches at once!

if you have a slow cooker and you haven’t made homemade applesauce yet, you are missing out. it is so incredibly delicious and EASY….and makes your house smell amazing.

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spotlight

Clearly fall is in full swing because today’s round-up of recipes is definitely heavy on the comfort food.

some soups are definitely not enough on their own to be a meal (I’m looking at you, vegetable). mediterranean chicken, bean, and pasta soup, on the other hand, has everything you need for a meal

roasted potatoes are hands down one of my favorite comfort foods. barbeque roasted potatoes take it up a notch.

guacamole tacos…what more could you possibly need??

sneak in some veggies with cinnamon butternut squash bread

no-bake coconut raisin crunch bars

homemade indian food seems intimidating but this cauliflower coconut masala seems totally doable

baked apple chips would make the perfect fall snack

I think I’ll be making these peanut noodles for lunches next week!

veggie potato breakfast tacos would make a fun weekend breakfast/brunch. I’m betting you could even wrap the leftovers up as burritos and pop them in the fridge/freezer for easy weekday breakfasts….

this one-pot herb roasted chicken looks incredible

homemade cheeze-its!

 

 

 

spotlight

Sometimes after the abundance of summer produce disappears, I feel like there are no vegetables left to be had over the colder months. But that’s not true! There are lots of ways we can eat veggies in the fall/winter! [am I the only one that sometimes needs reminders that there are foods besides cookies and bread from October – February??] This week’s collection of recipes have certainly helped inspire me to seek out more cold weather veggies [even if in the form of dessert]. I hope they do the same for you!

this harvest veggie bowl is a good start

you could also eat raw veggies with roasted pumpkin seed hummus. or add it to a wrap with leftover roasted veggies.

snack on homemade bbq sweet potato chips

you can never have too many recipes for southwest quinoa salad

I LOVE barbeque chicken pizza. barbeque chicken french breads are even faster! and you could totally sneak in extra veggies. pretty much everything is better with a little barbeque sauce and cheese.

maybe the easiest way to fit more veggies into your diet is to toss them in a grilled cheese

creamy roasted red pepper soup!

shredded kale salad with fried chicken. talk about balance! also, I just bought her cookbook, seriously delish, and I can’t wait to make pretty much every single recipe

butternut squash + apple + pear crisp. I mean, we put pumpkin in just about everything this time of year, so why not butternut squash?

speaking of pumpkin and dessert – the texture of these soft pumpkin chocolate chip bars looks like perfection

mix some zuchinni noodles into your pad thai

these sesame peanut noodles are loaded with veggies and only take one pot…and less than 30 minutes!

granola bars are a great snack in theory, but most of the ones on the shelves today are just glorified candy bars. making your own is easy and a much healthier and better tasting option – like these chewy peanut butter apple granola bars. there may not be any veggies in there but real fruit is a major step up from the stuff in packaged granola bars

 

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LOTS of recipes this week! There are summer recipes, fall recipes, snack recipes, weeknight meal recipes….all of the recipes! Enjoy 🙂

it’s soup season for sure. this week, I made this summer minestrone I shared awhile back. it’s like the perfect combo of fall + summer for those of us who aren’t quite ready to let go of warm weather. this weeknight indian chicken soup might be next.

maybe there are people in your house that have an aversion to “healthy” foods. you could probably deceive them with some baked chicken wings. it’s a win-win for everyone involved.

popcorn is a whole great and a great snack, especially when air popped at home…and of the sour cream and onion variety

homemade ramen is much healthier than 20 cent packages of ramen

although fall means winter is next, it is the season for brussels sprouts which I LOVE. don’t be afraid of them. they really are amazing if you cook them right..like these tart cherry-glazed brussels

grilled eggplant + pesto sandwich!

apples are starting to get really good. if any survive being eaten raw, you should probably make some hazelnut streusel apple muffins

why eat a plain side of corn when you could eat thai glazed skillet corn?

strawberry + almond oat crumble would be a more filling/healthy way to take care of that after dinner sweet tooth (I have a major after dinner sweet tooth….anyone else??)

sometimes you just need a little inspiration to get you out of a lunch rut (I also have and LOVE this book for good lunch ideas)

if you are a fan of arugula, you might be a fan of this salad

homemade snack mix is so easy

lentil chickpea salad + roasted garlic dressing!

risotto is comfort food. especially with sausage, brussels sprouts, and sun-dried tomatoes!!

stir-fried beef + sesame noodles. it only takes 30 minutes!

if peach butter is as amazing as apple butter, then I am all. over. it.

fast food friday

I am all about fast food. No, I’m not talking about what you might find at your local Burger King. I’m talking healthy, real food that I can make at home….fast.

When I get hungry, I need food right.this.very.second….or else things go downhill quickly (just ask my family). Planning ahead is 100% necessary because I can go from being totally fine/not hungry at all to absolutely ravenous in approximately 30 seconds.

Because of this, it helps to have a rough plan for what I’m going to make for dinner each night so I don’t eat my entire kitchen while trying to make up my mind (which is even harder at this point because everything sounds good when you’re hungry!).

Maybe you have the same experience at dinner time? If so, I thought it might be fun to share some of the quick meals I make during the week. Some honestly take as little as 10 minutes, start to finish. Doing some prep on the weekends (washing/chopping vegetables, etc.) has saved me even more time with both cooking and clean-up during the week, but it doesn’t add on a ton of time if I haven’t done those things in advance.

For this week’s quick meal, I’m sharing this salad I made last night:

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My rough plan for dinner was Mexican. This usually means rice/homemade tortillas/chips/sweet potato + beans, corn, avocado, salsa, etc. Varying the “base” makes it feel/taste like a different meal, even though it may be the same ingredients.

For this salad, I turned the oven on broil when I walked in the door (so it would heat faster…it works – try it!). I chopped a sweet potato and tossed it with a little oil, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, smoked paprika, and salt. This went on a foil-lined baking sheet (less clean-up) and into the oven, which I then turned down to 425 degrees.

The sweet potato takes 15-20 minutes, but I spent that time getting out the other ingredients and cleaning up the kitchen. You could also roast the sweet potato in advance & store in the fridge for even quicker prep. To put it all together, I tossed some mixed greens with salsa and topped with leftover chicken (cooked in the slow cooker over the weekend), avocado, and sweet potato.

Easy, filling, healthy, delicious. That’s what fast food should be, right?

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I hope everyone is having a smooth transition back into the routine of the school year! Enjoy some of the recipes below to help you pack school lunches, get a quick dinner on the table, or enjoy the last bit of summer.

here are 5 great tips to packing a healthy lunch that can be used at any age!

a thai chopped salad with tofu is a nice change

yogurt marinated grilled chicken skewers! make extra for easy lunches!

quinoa can be breakfast too – like this coconut quinoa with dried fruit and nuts

I wish I had a spiralizer so I could make these incredible greek cucumber noodles. genius!

soba noodles with shrimp – can’t go wrong with a recipe that only requires one pan

whole wheat apple zucchini muffins make a quick breakfast or snack you can feel good about

homemade sesame chicken is MUCH better than fast food sesame chicken. less grease. fewer sketchy ingredients. just better.

and if you prefer beef, you can make that at home too.

let’s be honest…it’s kinda chilly this week (compared to what it has been). if you feel like you need some soup, I think this spicy sausage and kale soup would be perfect

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lots of great veggie filled recipes this week! many would make perfect leftovers for lunches. just make a big batch of something like the easy pasta salad or chickpea and mozzarella salad, portion into individual containers, and healthy, affordable lunches will be the easy choice all week long. Enjoy!

coconut basil chicken with brown rice looks AMAZING.

ginger garlic steak tacos with pineapple pico de gallo are perfect for summer

add those delicious fresh blueberries to a fresh blueberry lemonade

toss some potatoes and carrots on the grill – the herb feta pesto would be perfect on grilled meats too

vegetarians sometimes get stuck with a plate of baked beans or pasta at cookouts – serve these grilled portabellos for a nice change!

cherries are at their prime right now (and super cheap). if you can avoid eating them all fresh, throw some on the grill for this grilled cherry milkshake

another easy summer pasta salad. you can never have too many! it makes a perfect healthy, no-fuss lunch for the rest of the week too

take a trip to Morocco from your own kitchen with this vegetarian tagine

toss your next grain salad with some pesto for great flavor – like this chickpea, tomato, and mozzarella salad