Each season brings certain changes like fashion or food, other than weather, of course. Somehow the food in autumn and winter is heavier than during summer or spring. We eat and cook more because we feel more relaxed, the summer season is long gone so we don’t find ourselves so preoccupied with our body images.
However, if you don’t want to do this anymore or you are just lazy and hate spending time in the kitchen, try out some of these easy and light meals. They are perfect for small dinners with friends, TV snacks, or to take to work with you and treat yourself over lunch.
1. Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
For this meal you will need sweet potatoes, any number, half a cup of cranberry relish, half a cup of chopped cranberries or raisins, butter, salt and toasted walnut pieces.
The first thing you need to do is to preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the potatoes on a rack and poke all over with a fork. Bake them for about an hour and a half. After this, take them out and cut in half lengthwise and take out the pulp with a spoon. The pulp should be saved for later in a bowl.
Then, mix the pulp in with cranberries, butter, salt and relish. Put the mixture in the potatoes and sprinkle with walnuts. You can either leave them to cool for 24 hours or serve them immediately.
In case you decide to cool them, just preheat the oven to 350 and bake the potatoes again, for at least 30 minutes. Take them out and serve them.
2. Garlic Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
For this one, you will need 3 heads of garlic, olive oil, salt, three sweet potatoes, one chicken, pepper, rosemary and a sweet onion.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare the chicken and clean the garlic and mince only four cloves. The remaining should be left for later.
Now mix the minced garlic, a little bit of olive oil, rosemary, black pepper and a pinch of salt, in a bowl. Once the mixture is ready, rub all over the chicken and finish it up by putting six garlic cloves inside it. Place the chicken on a roasting pan and roast, uncovered, for an hour and a half, or until the meat is tender.
While the chicken is being roasted, you should place the potatoes, the onion cut in wedges, the rest of the garlic, a bit of rosemary, and a pinch of salt, all into a baking pan. Put a bit of olive oil on top and place into the oven to roast for 50-60 minutes.
Remove everything from the oven and serve the chicken together with vegetables.
3. Pumpkin Pancakes with Sweet Apple Cider Syrup Recipe
Ingredients for the apple cider: ¾ cup apple cider or juice, half a cup of brown sugar, half a cup of corn syrup, butter, lemon juice, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg.
Ingredients for pancakes: one cup of flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, 2 eggs, a cup of milk, half a cup of canned pumpkin and oil.
First, make the syrup. Combine the ingredients into a cooking pan and let it boil in medium heat. Stir occasionally, don’t let it burn. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes until it thickens. When you are done, let it stand for 30 minutes.
Now make the pancakes. In one bowl combine the dry ingredients and in another whisk egg yolks, milk, pumpkin and oil. Mix with the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites and then mix them with the batter.
Lastly, pour the batter on a greased griddle. Cook until both sides are done. Serve the pancakes on a plate, with syrup.
4. Creamy Mushroom Soup
You will need olive oil, butter, salt, black pepper, two pounds of mushrooms, minced shallots, three minced garlic cloves, dried tarragon, four cups of chicken stock and half a cup heavy cream.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, put butter and add mushrooms. Stir to cover the mushrooms in oil. Cook them until they are brownish. Remove one cup of mushrooms from the pan and save for later.
Now add shallots and garlic in the pot, and cook for a minute. Add salt, tarragon and the chicken stock. When you’ve added everything, increase the heat and cook for about ten minutes.
Move from the stove and puree the soup how you like it. Mix in the cream into the soup and sprinkle with pepper and salt, according to your taste. Finally, add in the mushrooms that were saved for later.
5. Buttery Pasta with Pumpkin and Caramelized Onions
To prepare this dish you will need pasta, butter, one sliced onion, salt and pepper, a small pumpkin cut into pieces, thyme, and grated pecorino.
First of all, cook the pasta, depending on the packaging instructions. Drain it but save one cup of that water. Then, melt a bit of butter in a skillet. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook until the onion gets soft. When done, put on a plate and save for later.
Use the skillet to cook pumpkin, thyme, and the one and a half cups of water until the pumpkin is soft. Add all that, plus the pecorino and the pasta water to the pasta and stir to combine it all.
Serve the pasta with more pecorino or whatever you prefer.
6. Pumpkin Pie
Ingredients: one package of pie crusts, one and a half cups of buttermilk, as well as two tbsp. of buttermilk, canned pumpkin, sugar, ground cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract, two eggs, one egg yolk, and parchment paper.
Start with preheating the oven to 425 degrees F. Put one piecrust into a metal pie pan, pressing it to fit into the shape of the pan. Apply butter with a brush onto the pie edge. Poke the piecrust with a fork, line it with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake it for 15 minutes.
Mix together the pumpkin and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then pour it into the piecrust. Bake all that for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes.
Take it out of the oven when done and let it cool. Afterwards, cut the pie and serve.
7. Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Seeds
This is a very simple recipe with not a lot of ingredients needed for it. The only things you will need are pumpkin seeds, some butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon.
Your next step is to preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Take a baking pan and spread the seeds on it and bake for an hour or until the seeds are dry and done. After that hour passes, increase the heat to 350. Then, take a bowl and mix in it the seeds with all the ingredients and return on the pan to bake until golden brown.
8. Chicken with Zucchini and Prosciutto
You will need four chicken breasts, salt, pepper, olive oil, prosciutto, three small zucchini, sliced, one garlic clove and lemon.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then cook it in a frying pan on olive oil, until the sides are done. After you finish, put the chicken in the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
Take another frying pan and cook the prosciutto until it’s crisp and put it on a plate when you are done. Use the pan to cook zucchini and garlic, with salt and pepper, until they are soft.
In the end, add the prosciutto and zucchini to the chicken, squeeze a bit of lemon on top and it’s ready to be served.
9. Cheesy Autumn Mushrooms
If you are feeling hungry but you don’t want to over-eat or spend too much time preparing your meal, you should try this recipe. It is easy to make and it’s not too heavy on your stomach.
You will need several mushrooms, some kind of cheese, walnuts, thyme, and butter. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the mushrooms on a baking pan and sprinkle them with cheese, walnuts, thyme and butter. The amount of ingredients depends on your preferences.
Next up, put the pan in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes until the cheese melts and the mushrooms are done. After it’s done, take out of the oven and serve on a plate.
10. Lemon Potatoes
The things you will need to make this meal which consists of only the healthiest ingredients, are some potatoes, lemon juice, olive oil, four garlic cloves, oregano, salt and pepper.
Slice the potatoes how you want, put them in a skillet and pour a little bit of lemon juice, like ¾ of a cup. Add a tbsp. of olive oil and smashed garlic. Season with oregano, salt and pepper. In the end, add water to it, enough to come halfway up the sides of potatoes.
Let it cook for a few minutes until the water boils, then roast, uncovered, in the preheated oven at 500 degrees F, for at least half an hour.
See Also: How to Afford Healthy Food for Work
As you can see, making these meals is a piece of cake. You can find all the ingredients in your nearest supermarket and even if you’re not great at cooking, you will manage this task with ease.
More importantly, you will enjoy the time in the kitchen and at the table. So, have fun and bon appetite!