The calendar says September, I see a few burnt orange and golden yellow leaves fighting to shine through the greenery, and, well, Pumpkin Spice Mini Wheats are out at Kroger...
So, it is officially fall in my world!
Fall brings me so much excitement. Honestly, I am like Elf but for fall activities. One of the best parts, though, is getting to use fresh fall ingredients in the kitchen.
This post includes a warm and nutritious fall meal made of rice, kale, broccoli, and my favorite fall produce... butternut squash. Then, there is a "pear-fect" fall after dinner treat.
From my kitchen to yours, happy fall!
Fall Vegetable Risotto
*I had never made risotto before, and the recipe I adapted from was confusing. So, here's a video of the process to help...
Turn up the music and make cooking from scratch fun and relaxing!
This recipe was adapted from: https://www.fooduzzi.com/2015/11/easy-fall-vegetable-risotto/
This recipe makes: 6-8 servings
Total time: 1 hour
What You Need:
6 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
4 cups small-diced butternut squash
4 cups broccoli florets
2, 32-oz. box vegetable stock (about 8 cups)
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1.5 cup DeLallo Arborio Risotto Rice
4 Tbsp. fresh, grated parmesan cheese
4 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast (adds a lot of nutrients, but this can be optional! Sub more cheese if choosing not to use.)
3+ handfuls kale, washed & chopped
salt + pepper
What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add diced butternut squash and broccoli to the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven until the squash is tender and broccoli is crispy, about 35 minutes.
While vegetables are roasting, add vegetable stock to a medium saucepan over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer.
Heat a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and the diced onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and stir to combine.
Reduce the heat to low, and add arborio rice and stir to coat in the olive oil (you can add a little more oil to the pan if needed!).
Toast rice for two minutes, then add 1/2 C hot vegetable stock to skillet. Stir constantly until the rice soaks up the liquid. Repeat this process, add more stock and stir, until rice is thick and creamy.
(*Get a clean fork and taste test to make sure the rice is not crunchy if it looks thickened. Rice needs time to absorb the liquid and heat to soften/expand.) I added about 7C of stock. This could take 30+ minutes, and yes, your arms will hurt!
Add cheese/nutritional yeast to the mixture at the end of cooking. Additional seasonings can be added here, too!... Red pepper flakes, more salt and pepper, onion powder, etc.
Add a couple handfuls of kale. Let cook with risotto until kale is softened.
Wal-ah! Now just put it all together. Add butternut squash and broccoli to the kale and risotto, mix well.
If you need more cheese or seasonings, go for it! Plate and serve. Enjoy!
* When cleaning up: I used glass containers to go ahead and make up lunch bowls, a container for the next night's dinner leftovers, and a small bowl with extra roasted vegetables to toss on a salad during the week.
Pear-fect Fall Sweet Treat
What You Need:
2 pears, washed, cut in half and cored
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 C heavy whipping cream *Optional for 21+: A few drops of Bailey's Irish Cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Your favorite granola (I like Nature Path's Organic Pumpkin and Flax)... Or, I actually had just made Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies (Basically Granola...) and crumbled those on top. There are no rules. ;)
What You Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash pears, cut in half, and take out core (I use a spoon).
Place cored pears on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon, and then with maple syrup.
Place in oven for 20 to 25 minutes to bake. (If pears are less ripe they will take additional time to soften.)
While in the oven, use electric mixer to whip the heavy whipping cream with vanilla extract until it is firm and looks like Cool Whip ;)
Plate pear, top with whipped cream, and crumble cookie (or sprinkle granola! Enjoy.
*Not pictured: My fuzzy, pink slippers. This is how I look 90% of the time in the kitchen. I have found curled hair, cute clothes, and jewelry while cooking are a recipe for unsafe food and a lot of Shout sprays in the laundry room.
Don't let the magazine covers and cooking show stars make you feel like you have to look like June Cleaver in the kitchen. Also, you don't have a team to help you portion out and clean up... Get your apron and counters dirty, have fun in the kitchen! :)