Fall-Inspired Meals & Snacks

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Fall is here! In addition to your beloved pumpkin spice latte, registered dietitian, chef and cookbook author Michelle Dudash shares her delicious meal ideas to help you get into the season of things.

Fall Fruit Toast
• Start with 100% whole-grain toast.
• Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter. It’s just dry roasted peanuts and sea salt. That’s it!
• Fall fruit, like pomegranate arils. Or use sliced figs.
• Protein, fiber and good carbs. No added sugar.

Overnight Oats on the Go with Grapes & Cinnamon

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Make the night before so you don’t have to do among the morning craziness.
• Basic recipe: 1/2 cup oats + 1/2 cup milk. Easy.
• Then add in whatever fruit, nuts and seeds you want, like red grapes.
• Sprinkle with pumpkin spice or gingerbread spice.
3. For lunch, make a Fall Harvest Bowl with Quinoa
Mixed greens, grapes or pomegranate, sliced almonds, vinaigrette. Sprinkle on chickpeas or leftover chicken. Add quinoa for a heartier lunch.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Garlicky Greek Yogurt Dip

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We are in the midst of sweet potato season, with the majority of them hailing from North Carolina and California. Get excited! Baking them in an extra hot oven is my favorite way to enjoy sweet potatoes, since they caramelize, concentrating their natural sweetness with no added sugar required.

Paring with ketchup simply doesn’t do sweet potato fries justice. Rather, they deserve a creamy dip, like a spicy aioli, or even better, a yogurt-based sauce for a tangy twist and calorie savings. I prefer using Chobani Greek yogurt since it has a luscious, thick texture resulting from the authentic straining process, bypassing fillers. I’ve been buying Chobani for myself and my family for years, so am excited to work with them to educate home cooks on the versatility of Chobani in savory recipes. Chobani Greek yogurt naturally contains twice the protein as regular yogurt and never contains artificial flavors or preservatives, providing all the more reason to use it in your recipes.

This fall, when you’re craving sweet potato fries, give this simple and streamlined recipe a try.

For the fries:
2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and patted dry
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon neutral high-heat oil like canola, rice bran or grapeseed
1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chile powder

For the dip:
1 (5.3-ounce) container Chobani non-fat plain Greek yogurt* (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt

To prepare the fries: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F convection and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Cut 1/4 inch off the end of each potato, then cut 1/4 inch lengthwise down the sides to create a flat base. Cut the potato into planks, then into fries. Place the fries on the sheet pan. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again. Spread into a single even layer on the pan. Bake until golden on the bottoms, about 15-20 minutes. Turn the fries with a spatula to the other sides and bake until golden on the bottoms, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the fries with cumin and chile powder. Bake 1 more minute to toast the spices.

To prepare the dip: Combine all of the dip ingredients in the Chobani container.

Serve the fries with the dip.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Makes 4 servings

*For a richer taste, use Chobani whole milk plain

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 109 calories, 5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 339 mg sodium, 3 mg cholesterol, 12 g total carbohydrate (2 g fiber), 5 g protein, 2% DV iron, 5% DV calcium, 189% DV Vitamin A, 16% DV Vitamin C.

Pumpkin Butter with Apples & Maple

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If you love pumpkin pie, you’ll love slathering this pumpkin butter on, well, everything. From toast to smoothies to bagels to muffins to lattes, just a dollop of this delicious silky smooth spread is so versatile and adds a deliciously sweet fall flavor to your favorite foods. This version of pumpkin butter relies on sweetness naturally from apples, plus a bit of real maple syrup, without any actual butter or refined sugar. And pumpkin butter is a simple way to add nutrition to your favorite foods, with 40% of the daily value for vitamin A (as beta-carotene) and only 15 calories in each tablespoon.

1 (1 1/4 pound) pumpkin, about 5 inches tall (or 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree)
1 medium sweet apple, like Gala, quartered and cored
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Tiny pinch salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut 1/2 inch off the top of the stem end of the pumpkin, then cut the pumpkin into halves. Scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon, then cut the pumpkin into eighths. Place the pieces flesh side down on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silpat for easier clean up. Place the apples skin side up. Bake until fork tender, about 45 minutes, removing the apples after 20 minutes. Scrape the apple and pumpkin flesh from the skins, placing the flesh in a food processor. Add syrup, spice, vanilla and salt, and puree until smooth.

Loosely cover and simmer in a saucepan on medium-low heat, scraping the bottom and sides of pan occasionally, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture is so thick that it stands up on itself, about 5 more minutes.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 10 minutes (including pumpkin roasting time)

Makes 22 servings, 1 tablespoon each

Kitchen notes:
*To make your own pumpkin pie spice, combine 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger and a pinch of ground cloves.

All-Natural Pumpkin Spice Latte

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It’s that time of year again for pumpkin spice coffee drinks. You know you crave the aroma, the taste. This fall, treat yourself to a real pumpkin latte made with pumpkin puree and maple syrup for just the right amount of sweetness. With this drink, even though it tastes indulgent, the added sugar is minimal, and you’re getting 150% of the daily value for vitamin A (as beta-carotene), an excellent source of calcium, 8 grams of high-quality protein, and all for just 165 calories. This drink saves you 145 calories and 25 grams carbs compared to coffeehouse versions.

8 ounces reduced-fat milk
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree*
4-5 ounces hot strong coffee
1/8-1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice (or use cinnamon with tiny pinches of nutmeg and ginger)
2 teaspoons maple syrup

Microwave the milk and pumpkin in a glass measuring cup or bowl until steamy, about 1-1 1/2 minutes. Use a frother to make foam on top of the milk, or use a blender. Pour the coffee into a 16-20 ounce coffee mug or glass. Holding back the foam with a spoon, pour the milk into the coffee. Spoon the foam on top of the latte.

*Using canned pumpkin puree is the best way to go for this recipe, since it is perfectly smooth. If using homemade pumpkin pureed in a food processor, you’ll need to mix this drink in the blender to pulverize fibrous pieces of pumpkin, or press the pumpkin first through a fine mesh strainer.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 1 minute

Makes 1 serving, 16 ounces each

To learn more, visit www.michelledudash.com.