Tag Archives: fall

Fall Favorites 2016

It’s finally that time of year, y’all.

Ahhh. Cooler mornings. Pumpkin everything. The smell of cinnamon. 😉

Every year, I love a mix of tradition and innovation.  There are some recipes that make me feel like home–but I also love the joy of trying something new.

So today, I’ve made a list of some of my Fall Favorites–some old “goodies” and some brand new ones that rocked my world lately.


I hope you find something on this list you’d love to make. I encourage you to get in the kitchen with your kids, family, or friends and experience the glory of the season!

Happy Fall!

Fall Drinks:

1) Dairy Free Hot Chocolate from Detoxinista

2) Warm Turmeric Milk from Nutrition Stripped

3) Spiked Apple Cider with Rum from Martha Stewart


1) Pumpkin Muffins by Minimalist Baker

2) Basic Oatmeal from Thrive to Live

3) Fall Green Glowing Smoothie from Kimberly Snyder


1)  Delicata Squash with Pomegranate Seeds from Minimalist Baker

2)  Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts from Thrive to Live

3)  Healthy Caramel Dip from Thrive to Live


1) BBQ Chili from Oh She Glows

2) Creamy White Bean and Kale Soup from Thrive to Live

3) 10 Spice Vegetable Soup from Oh She Glows

Main Dish:

1) Veggie Pot Pie from Thrive to Live

2) Lentil Walnut Meatloaf from Oh She Glows


1) No-Bake Pumpkin Tarts by Detoxinista

2) Apple Apple Pies by Thrive to Live

Garlic White Beans with Thyme

One of my favorite chain restaurants to frequent is Zoe’s Kitchen.  I love that there’s something for my hubby, my son, and me!  (My other two sons cannot eat at restaurants–ARG!)

It’s light and fresh–and one of my favorite side dishes there (that is Vegan friendly for me) is a side of white beans.  So filling, inexpensive, and full of flavor.

I figured it might save a little money to make a recipe similar to the one I dig, and I really love the result.


They truly are easy to make AND are also easy on the budget.

I love using thyme in this recipe because it reminds me of pot pie and the beginning of fall soup season.

You could serve these beans as a side dish or as more of a main course over rice and with a Caesar Salad!

Enjoy 🙂

Garlic White Beans with Thyme
  • two cans Great Northern beans, drained
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup veggie broth
  • ¼-1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • dash pepper
  1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes
  3. Add beans and stir for 2 minutes or so or until sticking to pan.
  4. Add veggie broth and spices. Stir to combine.
  5. Cook until heated through.
  6. To reheat, add a little more veggie broth to the beans so they aren't dry.
  7. Enjoy!


Southwest Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Y’all know some of the best recipes come from mix-maxed pantry items and a desire to save money.

This recipe was JUST THAT.


I fed the kids and the dishes were done (a miracle!) so I had a few extra minutes to make a quick, yet tasty meal for myself.  These days, my food routine has been ROUGH.  While we’re living in Nashville, I’m by myself doing all the housework, cooking, etc since my hubby hasn’t joined us here yet.

Usually, I’ll get everything done and be too tired to make anything extravagant for myself, so I settle for a salad or pre-made soups from Whole Foods.  It’s not ideal–mainly because I LOVE CREATING IN THE KITCHEN.  But this is my season.  Whew.

Maybe I’m happy today because it felt like fall walking to the bus stop, or maybe it’s because I eating leftovers that I made myself (yes, this makes me happy). Either way, I’ll take it!

So here it is.  An interesting taste of sweet, salty, and crunchy.  My favorite palate!

*This recipe serves 2. Doubling it would be easy to feed a larger family or guests.

* This is a main entree for me because it is so filling and packed full of protein, but I would also serve this with a side salad to make it complete.

*This is the brand of tomatoes & chilis I use, but Rotel would work just fine too.

Southwest Twice Baked Potatoes
  • 1 large/extra large sweet potato
  • ½ cup cooked black beans
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup canned tomatoes with green chilis (Rotel)
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 2 T tahini
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 2 T almond milk
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • ¼ t sea salt
Cashew Sour Cream:
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least two hours
  • ¾ cup water
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ t sea salt
  • ¼ cup raw pepita seeds (raw pumpkin seeds)
  • ½ t oil
  • sea salt, to taste
Other Suggested Toppings:
  • sliced avocado
  • green onions
  1. Before you start cooking, make sure to soak the cashews or you can forego the cashew sour cream and have your favorite sour cream on hand.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Bake large sweet potato until soft and a knife can slide in easily. (about one hour)
  4. While the potato is cooking, combine filling ingredients and set aside.
  5. Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.
  6. Put all cashew sour cream ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  7. During the last few minutes of baking the potato, bake the pepita seed topping until seeds turn slightly brown and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes.
  8. Take sweet potato out of oven and slice in half.
  9. Scoop out all of the flesh and place in medium bowl.
  10. Smash sweet potato with a fork, then stir in the sauce ingredients until creamy.
  11. Add in the filling ingredients and stir until combined.
  12. Fill the sweet potato halves back up with the mixture and bake 10 more minutes.
  13. Top with cashew sour cream, avocado, toasted pepita seeds or any other desired toppings.


Guilt-Free Caramel Dip

Set Image

What I love most about switching to a whole foods, real foods lifestyle is that I don’t have to deprive myself of things that I love.  Yeah, they might end up looking a little different, but I don’t live a life of “without.”

In fact, that’s the thing that drives me crazy about people on diets. And it’s why I hate diets.  If I want to eat a cookie, I’m going to eat a cookie. BUT, I take pride in choosing the best cookie I can for my body–by making them with the best ingredients I can and for only eating until satisfied without binging.

That’s why I love this Guilt-Free Caramel Dip.  It’s one of those things that you’ll eat and wonder how it tastes like Caramel.  But it DOES!


Sure, it won’t taste like sugar and oil and corn syrup.  It has a fresh, light, fruity caramel flavor.  The amazing thing is that you can enjoy things that “diets” might consider forbidden.

Ingredients of the popular Marzetti Caramel dip:

Ingredients in this recipe: dates, water/almond milk, vanilla, coconut oil.

Now, I wouldn’t sit down and eat this whole bowl in one sitting.  In fact, it kind of rich, so I don’t need to.  Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful treat that you can feel good about serving your kids or any dinner party.  Plus, it’s naturally dairy free for those that are concerned about that.

I hope you enjoy this like I do!


-Serve with fruit, or on oatmeal, or your favorite ice cream.  If you want it more like a drizzle, you’ll need to add more liquid.

-If you are nut-free, choose the water option for the liquid in the recipe.

-If this isn’t sweet enough for you, try adding a little pure maple syrup.

-You can buy Medjool dates at a health food store.  I buy mine in the bulk section at Whole Foods!

-This dip tastes amazing the second day, so feel free to make this the night before you need an appetizer or dinner party dessert. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Guilt-Free Caramel Dip
  • 1 [packed] cup Medjool dates, pitted and cut in half
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk or water (if you use water, save the water you soak the dates in and use that)
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ t sea salt
  1. Soak the dates for about two hours to get them very soft.
  2. Drain and reserve liquid if you are using water.
  3. Add all ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy, adding more liquid if necessary.
  4. You will need to stop and press the sides down with a spatula often.
  5. Adjust taste to your liking.
  6. Chill and serve!


Orange-Cranberry Sauce

Orange Cranberry Sauce

Can we have a real moment here?  I’m posting my favorite cranberry sauce recipe (sans the refined white sugar) but I’ve got nothing to compare it to!  I’ve never tasted cranberry sauce out of a can, or made another recipe.

And it’s not because I’ve always been a foodie.  If you know my journey, you know I’m a recovering “picky eater,” and something that jiggles when the table moves is most definitely classified under “gross” in my book.

But what I’ve learned is there’s always a way to make something taste better, and even look more appealing to the eye. You just gotta try it out!

Here’s the thing about cranberries.  They are beautiful. They are strong.  They are bold.  And sometimes, they can be overbearing.  (It’s a personal thing, here).

I love the addition of the orange and a dash of cinnamon!  It’s like memories are tucked away in the jelly-like substance.  Something about nostalgia this time of year?  Love it 🙂

This recipe really doesn’t take long or much effort to make, but y’all know me–I wouldn’t be able to sleep unless I told you WHY it’s better to make your own rather than buy from a can.

But I’m also practical–I won’t reinvent the wheel if someone else has already explained it.  So head on over here and read Food Babe’s article and read about some bad stuff in the traditional cranberry sauce.  (Plus you can check out her recipe–which adds a few things–I’ve tasted it, and it’s delicious too!)

Even many homemade recipes call for a cup of white sugar! Ouch!  While maple syrup is still sugar, it’s a much better option than a whole cup of white sugar!

Try serving this orange-cranberry sauce at your Thanksgiving table this year, and see what you think 😉  My opinion is something made with love & fresh ingredients is always better!


I prefer less cranberries in my cranberry sauce so I used 8 oz, but a regular 12 oz bag would work in this recipe too, and would have more chunks of cranberries.  It’s up to you 🙂


Orange-Cranberry Sauce
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 8 oz (or 12 oz depending on how much cranberry you want) bag of fresh cranberries
  • 2 dashes of cinnamon
  • orange zest (optional)
  1. Add all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 12-15 minutes until desired consistency.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate for 4-6 hours before serving.