Hearty Comfort Food Recipes for Fall!

So Long Summer, Hello Fall!

Take a look around you, the Texas summer heat is finally giving us a break. No more sweaty, muggy Texas mornings. Go outside and take a deep breath of that nice, crisp air.

Enjoy the beautiful display of all the different trees and their fall leaf display. You’ll also notice that the wind is blowing, and the temperature is getting cooler. People all around us are bringing out their sweaters and boots, fall is officially here.

Every fall, the most heartiest vegetables become ripe and ready for picking. Beautiful squash, bright orange pumpkins, every kind of potato, carrots and even greens. There is always an abundance of these fulfilling fall favorites right at our hands. Take advantage of this abundance with these warming recipes your friends and family will love.

Nothing says fall better than a nice, hearty bowl of soup and a warm slice of pumpkin bread. For dinner, treat your guests to this hearty, mouthwatering sausage and potato soup. This recipe will have your guest returning for seconds.

Hearty Sausage and Potato Soup
2 lbs ground Italian sausage (one hot, one mild)
1½ tsp crushed red peppers
1 large diced white onion
5 garlic cloves
10 cups water
5 cubes of chicken bouillon
1 cup half and half
10 potatoes sliced cross ways (thin)
1 bunch of kale chopped
Grated parmesan cheese

In a large pot brown and fully cook sausage in large pot. Take sausage out and set aside. Combine all other ingredients in pot except half and half and kale and let boil. Add the kale and half and half once all the potatoes are soft but not falling apart. Turn off heat and let sit until the kale is soft and cooked. Serve with fresh parmesan cheese, yeast dinner rolls and a salad.

When I was younger I remember picking pumpkins from the pumpkin patch with my grandmother. I am sure most can agree that visiting a pumpkin patch in the fall is something we all have done as a kid. The truth is pumpkins bring many of us together in the fall, even if we do not realize it. Whether you are cutting into one to make one of the many yummy pumpkin treats or carving your best jack o lantern face into it, pumpkins are a staple in our lives every fall. Pumpkins are a symbol of one season ending and another beginning. Even though we are accustomed to using them at Halloween, pumpkins are not only great for carving faces into, they are packed with vitamins and nutrients and they are very low in calories. Pumpkins are a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C, and vitamin-E. It is one of the very low-calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins.

Pumpkins are one of the vegetables recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs. So if you’re on the Keto diet, the Atkins diet, or a low carb, low fat diet, pumpkin is great for you. Which is why it is one of the star ingredients to this wonderful fall Pumpkin Bread Recipe.

Pumpkin Bread with Maple Glaze
3 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 ½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp baking powder
15 oz can of pumpkin or almost 2 cups of prepared pumpkin
¾ cup unsalted butter melted
2/3 cup warm water
3 eggs plus 1 egg white
2 cups sugar
½ cup pecans
Maple Glaze
½ cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp milk
1/tsp lemon juice

Alternatives:
Flour-Use 2 cups almond flour and 1 ½ cups coconut flour.
Gluten free- Use your favorite gluten free flour blend or blend listed above
Sugar-3/4 cup erythritol
Glaze
1/4 cup butter or butter alternative
1/4 cup Swerve or sugar substitute
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or coconut cream
1 tsp vanilla or maple flavoring

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and baking powder into a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Mix pumpkin puree, butter and warm water in large bowl. Add eggs and egg white one at a time to pumpkin mixture, stirring continuously. Add sugar and mix well.
4. Add dry ingredients 1 cup at a time, stirring continuously.
5. Pour mixed ingredients into 2 prepared pans and sprinkle chopped pecans over top of each loaf. Bake 20–25 minutes. Remove from oven when a few crumbs still cling to a tester. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove loafs to a cooling rack.
6. While bread is baking, whisk together the glaze ingredients in a small measuring cup. When the bread has cooled for 10 minutes, pour the glaze over the top and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Pumpkin seeds indeed are an excellent source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. Also, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals, and health-benefiting vitamins. Pumpkin seeds provide protein, iron, niacin, zinc, selenium, and no cholesterol. Talk about one healthy fat right there. Pumpkin seeds can be enjoyed raw, cooked, or my favorite, roasted. So the next time you carve a pumpkin for Halloween, toss those seeds in the oven for a tasty, fresh, nutritious, pumpkin snack.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons butter, melted

1 pinch salt
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
2. Toss seeds in a bowl with the melted butter and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.
3. Remove from the oven, let cool, and enjoy! Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Article / Photos by Jennifer Dotson
Contributing Writer