Pumpkin spice tends to get most of the attention this time of year, and it never ceases to amaze me what food (or food-like product) becomes pumpkin-fied each year. But there are many other fall treats worth adding to your autumn arsenal. Here’s a roundup of my latest fall fruit and veggie tips to try for yourself or tweak with your own personal style.
Add canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) to mac and cheese. I know it sounds weird but trust me on this one. Adding a tablespoon or two to a batch of mac and cheese adds vitamins, fiber and a surprisingly velvety texture. Mac and cheese doesn’t fall under the typical list of “healthy” foods, but I’m personally a fan of adding healthier ingredients to your favorite dishes (and watching portions) instead of depriving yourself. And if you’re wondering what to do with the rest of the pumpkin after you open the can, save it for oatmeal or banana bread.
Make a restaurant-worthy grilled cheese by adding apples. When the weather is gloomy or you’re feeling a little under the weather, a homemade grilled cheese paired with a cup of tomato soup can feel like a warm hug. Adding thinly-sliced apples gives an extra crunch and a delicious burst of flavor that pairs perfectly with the cheese.
Make a loaded sweet potato with cottage cheese. These two may seem like an unlikely duo but they can make for the perfect light meal. Adding one-quarter cup of cottage cheese to a small baked sweet potato gives you a nice blend of fiber and filling protein. Top with sliced scallions and/or whatever herbs and spices you prefer.
Pop tomatoes under the broiler. Our neighbors have been kindly sharing their tomatoes with us every week for the past month. Try drizzling tomatoes with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and placing them under your oven’s broiler until the edges begin to slightly char. Be sure to keep a close eye on the broiler, as it tends to heat very quickly. Then toss these tomatoes on a fresh salad, the pumpkin mac mentioned above or just enjoy them on their own with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.
You don’t have to be a foodie or even a huge fan of cooking to make the most out of the flavors of the season. If you happen to try one of these suggestions, be sure to tell me what you think in the comments section.
Happy fall, y’all.