By: Alex Hobbs, RD, LD, CLT
Despite what the thermometer reads, autumn is here! Autumn, the season celebrated by the vibrant color changes of the leaves, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes and well….pumpkin bread! Even though we, Dallas residents don’t exactly get to experience the crisp fall air until about November, that doesn’t mean we cant start enjoying the autumn harvest now. Transitioning from the summer month’s means we are soon to be bombarded by the bounty of delicious fruits and vegetables this season has to offer. I know we are spoiled by having all fruits and vegetables year around, but c’mon, we all know the fresher the better! Lets celebrate the beginning of a new season by capitalizing on the fresh crops hitting the grocery stores and farmers markets. Here are some of the seasonal fruits and veggies to be on high alert for while cruising the produce department.
- Crab Apples
- Key Lime
- Passion Fruit
- Sugar Apples
- Brussels Sprouts
- Butternut Squash
- Chayote Squash
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Sweet Potatoes
- Swiss Chard
So I know you are wondering what to do with these delightful fruits and veggies so don’t sweat it! I will so graciously provide you with a few of my seasonal fav’s to get in you in the spirit! Happy cooking and let the countdown begin for the beloved sweater weather!
Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 medium sweet potatoes (2 pounds total), peeled and cut
- 1/2 to 1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
- 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Sour cream, for serving
- Toasted flour tortilla wedges, for serving (optional)
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until beginning to brown around edges, about 7 minutes. Add cumin and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sweet potatoes, chile, and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce to a rapid simmer, partially cover, and cook until sweet potatoes can be mashed easily with a spoon, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Let soup cool slightly. Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return pureed soup to pot over low heat and season with salt and pepper. Top soup with sour cream and serve with tortilla wedges, if desired.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic and Shallots
- 6 slices turkey bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced shallot (about 1 large)
- 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and sauté for 5 minutes or until bacon begins to brown. Remove pan from heat. Remove the bacon from pan with a slotted spoon, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan (discard the remaining drippings).
2. Return pan to medium-high heat, and stir in bacon, shallot, and Brussels sprouts; sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic, and sauté for 4 minutes or until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently. Add the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes or until the broth mostly evaporates and the sprouts are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in salt and pepper.