Fall Food Favorites (with a Twist)

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When I think of fall, I automatically think football. As a child, we had family over to watch the big game, and my dad was at the grill cooking hamburgers and hot dogs. But for us kids, the favorite was putting chili and cheese into a fun-size Fritos chip bag. How easy was that dinner?

As an adult, just THINKING about eating that gives me major heartburn — and for my kid, I think how unhealthy that is. Of course, times have changed, and food is a big conversation among moms because we want dinners that are not only easy and healthy, but also something our little ones will actually eat.

Quick homework; google “favorite fall foods.” A luxurious list of fall meals are listed, but if anyone has actually made “roasted acorn squash with mushrooms, peppers, and goat cheese,” I tip my hat to you. Unfortunately, after a long work day and helping the kiddo with homework, I for one would not have time to attempt such a dinner. What follows are some favorite fall foods that I have the time and energy to make — and that we all enjoy eating. 

Breakfast

Imagine waking up on a misty fall morning. I’m sure you would love to just cuddle in bed with a warm breakfast and a hot pumpkin spice latte. Let’s spice up some common comfort breakfast meals with a fall twist!

Lunch 

Is everyone as tired of the same old soup and sandwich meal as I am? Awaken your appetite with these fall-themed quick meals.

  • Not your average grilled cheese. As a child, a fall favorite lunch was grilled cheese with tomato soup. I would never think to add apple. 
  • Warm butternut squash. We have to amp up those taste buds — so instead of tomato soup, how about butternut squash soup?
  • Add some pasta for a meal. Turning a fall favorite soup into a comfort meal that you can curl up on the couch with is a fall must.
  • Get healthy with soup. I must admit fall is about a lot of heavy carbs. If you are looking for a lighter, healthier soup, this would be a great addition to a meal — or perfect to eat alone.
  • Chicken sandwich with a kick. You can’t go through fall without a cup of soup and a yummy sandwich. This recipe takes the effort out of chicken salad sandwich by using rotisserie chicken. Lighten things up with Greek yogurt, and enjoy apples and cranberries for a taste of fall in every bite.

Dinner

When I think of a fall dinner, I think comfort food. And when it comes to fall comfort food, we all have our go-to recipes that are family favorites: pot roast or beef stew, to name several. But how about adding a twist to some classics or trying something new?

  • No-bake chicken pot pie. You read that right. This simple, one-pot recipe delivers all the flavors of the classic without the wait.
  • Chicken ranch. I don’t know if you have tried this meal, but this is absolutely my family’s fall comfort food. I make this my top pick because of my oh-so-many twists to this meal. Instead of rice, I make cauliflower mashed potatoes. Go healthy by adding some veggies; my favorite one to add is broccoli. 
  • Try the spaghetti squash. A few years ago, I decided I wanted to attempt to make a spaghetti squash. If you haven’t tried it, believe me when I say it’s so easy. So when I found this recipe, it was a twist to the spaghetti sauce recipe.
  • You gotta have chili. Now of course, you can’t go through fall with out a classic chili. Yes, I know chili recipes for most families are a long-standing tradition. I mean, there are chili cook-offs to see who has the best. I have posted a simple go-to recipe for the few who do not have one. But why not spice it up with 10 different spices? 
  • How about mini chili pot pies? Everyone loves to add their own personal touch to dinner, so how about individual pot pies where you can add your own twist? For the adults, add some peppers to the crust — or for the kiddos, extra cheesy is always a hit.

Dessert

And of course, you can not think of fall without getting a sweet tooth. Put a spin on some fall classics for perfectly portioned desserts you can enjoy after every meal!

  • Not apple pie. Easy apple turnover dessert made with frozen pastry and fresh apples. This one comes together in a pinch — but don’t forget the ice cream!
  • Family portion caramel apple. Caramel apples are a fall festival favorite. With this recipe (described by its author as “nachos”) of sliced fruit and fun candy toppings, you can have your caramel apple at home with the family.
  • Did you say pumpkin? My all-time favorite dessert is pumpkin pie. I actually eat it year-round. So how about instead of pie, try some cookies!

There are so many great fall foods out there. Going through these recipes can bring out the child in you, so I hope you enjoy these favorite classics with a fall twist. May you make not only some great meals for your family, but also great fall memories.

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Andrea, a Fort Worth native, married her high school sweetheart in 2004 and now resides in Benbrook. She is a full-time work-from-home mom working as a medical biller. Andrea and her husband had a few struggles having a child, but God blessed them with a rambunctious baby girl in 2011. She is their one and only, so they treasure every minute with her. Before having her daughter, her favorite pasttime was coordinating weddings and decorating for parties. Having a girl was an extra blessing because now she can put those special skills to work. Now her favorite pasttime is throwing fun playdates and school parties.

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