Super Seasonal, Super Healthy Fall Cooking!

The fall is such an amazing time for produce and cooking.  Fresh apples from the orchard, squash, pumpkins, pears, yams, maple syrup, rainbow chard, red cabbage, so many colors and delicious flavors.  I threw a little dinner party last night and put together a super seasonal menu that, in my opinion, showcases all of fall’s delicious bounty!  I also found it really fun to have some common ingredients that threaded the meal together, including some of the delicious apples we picked the day we got engaged!

Homemade Spicy Sweet Potato Chips

I had a bunch of mandolined sweet potatoes left over from the Sweet Potato Torte (see below), so I thought I would put them to good use by making a delicious pre-dinner treat of little crunchy chips.  They go great with the hummus I had out, and are just generally a delicious, healthy munchie food!


3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch thick slices
2 tbsp olive oil (plus a splash for the baking sheet)
2 tbsp organic maple syrup
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a baking sheet with tin foil and lightly grease with a bit of olive oil.  Spread the sweet potato slices evenly throughout.  Stir together remaining olive oil, maple syrup and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.  Brush mixture over the sweet potatoes, and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  Bake in pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes, flip potatoes with a spatula, and bake for about 10-15 minutes more, or until the edges of the chips are crispy and begin to curl upward.

Arugula and Pear Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Serves 4
This classic salad is made even more autumnal with a delicious maple vinaigrette.


8 cups arugula leaves, washed and dried
1 organic pear, unpeeled, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp organic maple syrup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, mustard, vinegar and seasoning.  Toss with arugula and pears, and top with crumbled gorgonzola.
{adapted from Real Simple}

Layered Sweet Potato Torte

Serves 8

I assembled the torte the night before and just popped it in the oven the night of.  Huge time saver!

2 lbs organic sweet potatoes (I ended up using about 3 potatoes), thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 lb swiss chard, stems removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, chopped
4 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil (for brushing)
3 oz. Taleggio or gorgonzola (optional), crumbled
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 F.  Brush 9 inch springform pan with olive oil.  Stack 6 leaves of swiss chard on cutting board and roll into a tight cylinder.  Slice cylinder into thin strands (chiffonade).  Repeat with remaining chard.  Place one sweet potato slice into the center of the pan, and begin to arrange the slices around in concentric circles, overlapping pieces by at least half, until entire bottom of pan is covered.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with about 1/3 of the rosemary and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread 1 cup of swiss chard over the layer, sprinkle with 1/3 of the onion and 1/3 of the crumbled gorgonzola (if you’re using it).  Cover with another layer of sweet potatoes, press the layers down, and repeat layering 2 more times.  Place torte on baking sheet and cover with foil.  Bake 45 minutes, uncover, and bake another15 minutes.  Cool for 15 minutes, and press top of torte to remove excess liquid.  Turn torte upside down, unmold, and serve.  For a crispier top, unmold top down onto a baking sheet, brush top with olive oil, and broil for another 3 to 5 minutes, until potato slices start to brown and curl upward.  Cool 10 minutes before serving.

{Adapted from Vegetarian Times}

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples and Tempeh

Serves 8

This super hearty take on traditional German braised cabbage is loaded with protein, and has a delicious sweet and sour flavor.  This dish also reheats really well, just add a little bit of cider if there isn’t liquid in the bottom of the pot, and warm on low heat.


1 8 oz package organic tempeh
2 lb red cabbage, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
2 large organic sweet/tart apples, cored and chopped
1 large red onion, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbs organic tamari
1/2 cup sweet apple cider
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp organic agave
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Cut tempeh width wise into 1/2 inch strips. Heat about 1 1/2 tsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add tempeh and saute about 4 minutes, or until browned.  Stir in tamari and 1/2 cup water.  Simmer about 5 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed, turning occasionally.  Cool, and cut tempeh into squares.

Heat remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and apples, and saute for about 12 minutes.  Stir in cabbage, apple cider, vinegar and agave.  Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for about 25 minutes, or until cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in tempeh and season with salt and pepper.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Apple Crisp

Serves 8

I ADORE this apple crisp recipe, and using the delicious, organic apples we picked the day we got engaged just made the whole thing that much sweeter.


For the filling:
4 lbs. organic apples
1/4 cup organic agave (or less, depending on preference)
1/2 cup apple cider or water
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 cup organic raisins or dried cranberries (optional)

For the topping:
1 cup organic rolled oats
1 cup gluten free flour or baking mix (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup maple sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut oil
3 tbsp almond milk or coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Peel, core, and slice apples into 3/4 inch chunks.  Dissolve arrowroot in apple cider or water, set aside.  Place apples and raisins or cranberries (if using) in a mixing bowl.  Add spices and mix.  Pour into a baking dish.  Pour arrowroot mixture over the apples.  To prepare the topping, mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, add melted Earth Balance, milk, and vanilla.  Mix well until the consistency is crumbly.  Crumble topping over the apples, and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

{Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen}


{Images: Pinterest}

  • AlanaMarx
    January 31, 2012

    They all doesn't just looks delicious, but healthy at the same time. Will bookmark your post for future reference, would love to try them all. Thanks for the share.How German Red Cabbage Recipe

  • Natasha Uspensky
    January 31, 2012

    Thanks for posting, Alana! And that red cabbage recipe is delicious! I make the very same dish!!

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