Article By: Maria Tucker, MPH, RDN, LDN, CDCES
Maria Tucker is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with over 20 years of experience assisting patients with diabetes, obesity, and nutrition-related conditions. Maria is also the Founder of MyBiyaya.com, a site dedicated to healthy recipes and kitchen shortcuts.
Is it autumn or fall? No matter what you call it, the months from September to November excite everyone with crisp air, trees with varying shades of earth tones, from yellow, to orange, to red, to brown, and the smell of pumpkin spice. The hustle and bustle of summer vacations and preparing kids for the new school year is over; we settle back into our routines and maybe, look forward to the fall and winter holidays. Fall means apple cider, football, and tailgating. Here are a few healthy fall recipes to enjoy this autumn.
1) Mini Meat Loaves.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs. lean ground beef
- 1⁄2 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup almond flour
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 cup ketchup
- 6 strips turkey bacon, cut in half crosswise
- Pre-heat oven to 375oF. Brush a 12-cup muffin tin with a little olive oil and set aside.
- Place all ingredients, except turkey bacon, in a medium mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until well-combined.
- Press about 4 heaping tablespoons of the mixture into the muffin tin. Top with one half-strip of turkey bacon. Cover the muffin tin with foil.
- Bake mini meat loaves for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160oF. Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information per mini meat loaf: 144 calories, 8 grams fat, 14 grams protein, 3 grams carbs, 2 grams sugar
2) Turkey Cabbage Casserole.
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried or 2 tablespoons fresh dill weed
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1⁄2 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken bone broth
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large cabbage, shredded
- 2 cups shredded reduced fat pepper jack cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Pre-heat oven to 375oF. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place ground turkey in a large skillet and cook until pork is cooked through. Add onion and cook until transparent and soft. Add garlic, salt, dill weed, smoked paprika, and salt, stirring for about 1 minute. Add quinoa, crushed tomatoes and chicken bone broth. Cook until quinoa is almost fully cooked and most of the broth has evaporated. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add shredded cabbage and sauté for about 4-6 minutes, stirring often until soft.
- Spoon half of the softened cabbage into baking dish. Layer half of the turkey mixture on top of the cabbage. Repeat layering with the other half of the cabbage and turkey mixture. Cover baking dish with foil.
- Bake in the middle rack of the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Remove casserole from oven, take foil off and sprinkle shredded cheese on top of the casserole. Place casserole back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. Cheese should be golden brown and bubbly. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish.
Nutrition information per serving (9 servings): 334 calories, 17 grams fat, 24 grams carbs, 6 grams sugar, 21 grams protein, 5 grams fiber
3) Fall Acorn Squash & Spinach Salad.
- 1 medium acorn squash - peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon onion
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (5 ounce) package baby spinach
- 1⁄4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1⁄4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1⁄4 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 400oF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place acorn squash cubes in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix cinnamon, onion powder, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle spice mixture over squash cubes.
- Transfer acorn squash cubes onto prepared baking sheet and bake in the center rack of preheated oven until squash cubes are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- Prepare salad dressing - whisk salad dressing ingredients, except olive oil, in a bowl until thoroughly combined; drizzle olive oil gradually into vinegar mixture, whisking until olive oil mixes completely into the dressing. Refrigerate while completing remaining steps.
- Toss cooked acorn squash cubes, baby spinach, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and feta cheese in a large salad bowl; drizzle with dressing and serve.
Nutrition information per serving (4 servings): 192 calories, 14 grams fat, 13 grams carbs, 2 grams sugar, 6 grams protein, 4 grams fiber
PS - Unfortunately, fall also marks the beginning of cold and flu season. Be sure to check out the BariMelts Immunity Bundle to stay one step ahead of those nasty germs.
BariMelts provides general recommendations, not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor.