Taste of the Fallidays

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I look forward to the flavors of fall, basically, all year.  Everyone goes wild for anything pumpkin when Autumn rolls around, but there are so many other amazing flavors that are utilized this time of year from apple-cinnamon, to cranberry, to even the use of different squashes or fruits and vegetables in season. A falling leaf may be summer’s wave goodbye, but it also means a wave hello to pumpkin desserts and hearty meals.

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One of my favorite fruits in season during this time are pears.  My roommates mom brought us Harry & David pears which are like the Mercedes of pears in my eyes, which I have been thoroughly enjoying this week.  I’m a huge fan of just plain, sliced pairs on their own, but I also think they are great when mixed into a dish.

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Pears can be utilized somewhat the same as apples when it comes to dishes.  Some ideas to consider if you have pears on hand: adding pear to a gourmet grilled cheese, utilizing pear in different desserts, or even adding pear to to a crostini appetizer. Most pears start becoming in season in September and there are so many different kinds making them fun to experiment with.

Utilizing the ingredients that I had at home and the tasty spotlight ingredient of pears, I decided to make a Fall Salad with Maple Vinaigrette.  Check out the recipe below!:

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Fall Salad with Maple Vinaigrette:

Salad & Toppings:

  • Mixed Greens
  • Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • Diced Pear
  • Candied Walnuts
  • Dried Cranberries

Dressing: [~2 Servings]

  • 2 Tbsp. Light Mayo
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Light Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix dressing together either in blender or with a whisk.  Make salad by taking desired amount of mixed greens and finishing off with equal amounts of toppings.  Pour dressing over, mix, and serve.

Dressing adapted from: Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Have a sweet day!


It’s All Lentil From Here

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I had never shopped at Trader Joes until this past Monday.  I really hate myself for it now because I feel like for the past years that I have been doing my own grocery shopping, I have missed out on the amazingness that Trader Joe’s has to offer. Whatever- now it’s all the rage in my life and I will be frequenting there more often- and it isn’t expensive like I assumed.  You know what they say about assuming…..

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Well, Trader Joe’s had this great sample station when I went there. I am not one to ever pass up a sample or conversation with the sample giver-outer, so naturally, I tried what they had to offer and I loved it!!! They were sampling this great lentil, feta, and bruschetta cold salad.  Didn’t take much peer pressure for me to give in and buy all of the ingredients myself.  This is a cheap, easy meal that only contains three ingredients and no effort whatsoever.

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I thought I would share the recipe just in case anyone is ever at Trader Joe’s and needs an easy side dish, appetizer, something to snack on with crackers or chips, or something extra to put in a lunch.  I also thought it was one of those things that would be easy to put your own spin on.  Some variations could be:

Sweet pepper bruschetta, goat cheese, and lentils

Pear, blue cheese, and lentil salad

Or even warm lentil recipes like curried lentils or lentils with squash or sweet potatoes

As you can see- lentils can be very versatile, which is great because they are really good for you with their high levels of fiber, iron, and protein.  Check out this easy recipe below…

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Trader Joe’s Lentil Salad:

  • 1 Package of Pre-Cooked Trader Joe’s Lentils (refrigerated)
  • ½ Jar Trader Joe’s Bruschetta
  • 1-6oz. Package of Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Optional-Crackers/Chips to serve with

Mix all together & serve.  If serving warm, heat up lentils separately beforehand.

Adapted From: Trader Joe’s

Have a sweet day!


You’ve Got Kale

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I feel like kale is one of those veggies that people either get buck for and put in every dish they can or they absolutely cringe and gag at the site of (like I do with lima beans)…. But if you’re one of those kale-haters, I hate to tell you this but it is REALLY good for you. I’m also here to tell you, there’s this revelation called “baby kale” that is so much less bitter, easier to eat and cook with, and I think is just an overall better option than the big kale leaves. SAlad

I do realize that I can’t just tell you how much better baby kale tastes and hope that my efforts were enough for you to get up and go get some yourself…. so I decided to make two different salad recipes both using baby kale to give you some ideas of how to use it in its raw state. Usually my attitude toward salads is a lot like the e-card above… But these salads really have some simple ingredients and good dressings making them great sides for your main dishes or main part of your lunch- depending on your preference.

Salad #1: Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon & Pecorinophoto 1 (1)

(Suggested Serving Size- 3-4… but hey, make that portion size bigger if you’d like)

Salad Ingredients:

  • 3 cups thinly sliced baby kale
  • About 16-18 brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 4 Slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced roasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino cheese, finely grated ( this is somewhat expensive, could definitely use a less expensive cheese like parmesan or if asiago depending on brand/form)

Dressing Ingredients: (from original blog- I added a little more of the lemon, mustard, and EVOO to make more dressing)

  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp shallot, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

I mixed all of the dressing ingredients in our Nutribullet, but if you don’t have a blender or something of this sort- mix all of the ingredients but the olive oil together and then whisk in the EVOO.

Once dressing has been made, thinly slice the brussels sprouts and baby kale and mix with the other salad ingredients.  Top with dressing before serving.

Adapted from: Sugar & Grace

Salad #2: Kale & Apple Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressingphoto 2 (1)

Salad Ingredients: (amounts were done to personal preference)

  • Baby Kale
  • Dried cranberries
  • Sliced roasted almonds
  • Feta Cheese
  • Chopped apple

Dressing Ingredients: (makes enough for about 3 servings)

  • 3 medium sized limes, juiced
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Again, I mixed all of the ingredients together in the Nutribullet for the dressing.  I added that to my salad ingredients right before serving.

Adapted from: Braised Anatomy

Kale me crazy, but I think these are some pretty easy recipes that are a good way to add some greens into your daily diet. 

Have a sweet day!