There’s a chill in the air, and it’s time for some warm, rich, harvest meals. With so many of us watching our waistlines, how can we satisfy autumn tastes without putting on inches before the holidays even officially begin?
One way is to make sure that the carbs we eat are delicious, satisfying, and brimming with nutrients. Here are three simple recipes that satisfy without adding empty calories.
Spicy Squash Soup
1 large Butternut squash
1 large onion
2 small-medium apples
½”-3/4” piece fresh ginger root
½ stick of butter
1 TBSP curry pwd
Black pepper to taste
-Roast* or steam squash, allow to cool, and peel
-Saute chopped onion, apples, ginger, and curry pwd in 2 TBSP butter and enough water to keep butter from burning about 10 minutes, or until everything is softened
-Add squash, onion and apple mixture, and remaining butter to Vitamix or other food processor. Blend on high until smooth and well-mixed
-Thin with milk or water, as desired
-Add fresh ground black pepper to taste
The heat in this dish comes mainly from the ginger, although certainly you can use a hot curry powder, or add cayenne or fresh chiles for extra heat. It’s also lovely served with spicy sausages. Add sour cream or creamy yogurt at the table, and/or a chopped parsley or scallion garnish. This make for a delightful seasonal treat!
*The simplest way to cook a squash is this:
Halve the squash and remove seeds
Place halves upside down (skin up) in a large baking dish
Add around ½” of water to pan
Cover loosely with foil
Bake at 400F for about an hour
Roasted Root Vegetables
Yukon Gold Potatoes
Rutabaga (yellow turnip)
Any other delicious root veggie you can think of!
Spike or other all-purpose seasoning
This is an incredibly flexible dish, and a crowd-pleaser, great for potlucks and family dinners.
-Chop all root vegetables into bite-sized pieces
-Toss with 2 TBSP Olive oil and 1 TBSP Spike
-Fill a 9”x13” baking pan with the mixture and cover loosely with foil
-Bake at 400F for an hour
The ultimate cold-weather side dish!
Indian Style Stewed Mung Beans (Mung Daal)
1 cup Mung beans
3 cups water
2 Tsp Kicharee spice or Curry pwd
1 small onion
1 sweet potato or yellow squash
butter or ghee
-Wash Mung beans well in fresh water.
Soaking them overnight improves digestion and decreases gassiness, but isn’t necessary for proper cooking
-Put washed beans and water into a large saucepan and set on medium heat
-While that is coming to a boil, saute onions and spice mix in a teaspoon of butter or ghee (clarified butter)
-Add saute mixture to beans, stir well, cover and reduce to medium-low. Simmer for 25 minutes
-At 25 minutes, add chopped (bite-sized) sweet potato or squash, mix in, re-cover, and cook another 25-30 minutes. Stir periodically. If it shows signs of sticking, add a bit more water.
-For a creamier daal, you can mash gently with a potato masher
Serve with Basmati rice, steamed veggies, and a dollop of yogurt for a hearty and warming meal. For those who like heat, add some fresh ginger or green chiles when sauteing the onions.
Enjoy these seasonal recipes with lean meats or other high-quality proteins and lots of fresh vegetables for a balanced and satisfying diet. Squash and root vegetables can calm your sweet tooth, too, helping you stay away from refined sugars.
Stay active, enjoy the Autumn sunshine and fresh chilly mornings, and be in good health this season!